An international conference was held today in Tallinn today, at which the implementation of the European Defence Fund and the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) were discussed.
For the first time, the European Union will start to finance defence-related projects from its budget, and EUR 500 million has been earmarked for the EDIDP’s pilot period in 2019–2020.
Pierre Delsaux, (Deputy Director General for DG GROW) identified two major steps for achieving success. First, we need to deliver on the current European Defence Industrial Development Programme by reaching an agreement on the regulation between the co-legislators quickly and by identifying meaningful key collaborative projects. Second, we need to propose a good legislative proposal for the post 2020 period. The EDIDP and the future EDF must be inclusive, focus on key projects of EU interest and ensure consistency between the research and the development parts. ‘The EDIDP should not be seen as a milky cow but as a tool to transform the European defence industrial landscape to make it more competitive and innovative,’ Mr Delsaux added.
‘During the negotiations on shaping the EDIDP the Member States reached among other things an important decision regarding the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises whose participation will be encouraged along with cross-border cooperation,’ said Kusti Salm, the National Armaments Director of Estonia. Project applications may be submitted by consortiums originating in at least two Member States and comprised of three parties, Mr Salm added.
Over 140 representatives from the defence industry and Member States across Europe participated in the conference today, and for the first time ideas for defence-sector development projects were introduced, which are being planned to submit to calls for proposals of EDIDP.
The projects presented included areas like cyber defense, autonomous systems, missile defense, communications systems and military medicine, as well as ambitious projects for next-generation tanks and infantry combat vehicles.
During the pilot period the projects focused on either new solutions or the further development of a product/technology will be mainly supported. The most important thing is to achieve a technological edge and competitiveness.
The European Defence Fund's primary goal is to promote defence related research and development activity, to raise the level of competitiveness of Europe's defence industry, and to intensify cooperation.
‘In order to move forward and find suitable projects following the adoption of the regulation, it was necessary to bring together country and industry representatives and to discuss projects and opportunities for cooperation,’ said Kusti Salm.
More information: press[at]mod.gov[dot]ee