€ 205 million awarded to 16 defence research projects from PADR and EDIDP
On 15 June 2020, the European Commission (EC) announced that € 205 million have been awarded to 16 pan-European defence industrial projects and three disruptive technology projects through the two precursor programmes of a fully-fledged European Defence Fund: the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) and the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP). 15 other research projects had already been funded since 2017 through the PADR.
The EC regards this as a very positive outcome, which its regards as a confirmation of the "fit for purpose model of the European Defence Fund", providing the following facts:
- in total, 441 entities applied to EDIDP calls, contributing to 40 proposals. 223 entities from 16 proposals will be supported by EDIDP;
- the EDIDP projects cover participants from 24 Member States;
- SMEs represent 37% of the total number of entities receiving funding (83 SMEs) from EDIDP;
- the EDIDP selected proposals entail on average 14 entities from seven Member States;
- EDIDP is fully coherent with other EU defence initiatives, notably the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), as nine proposals financed under EDIDP are PESCO projects;
- the EDIDP proposals are consistent with the key capability priorities agreed by Member States at European level through the Capability Development Plan;
- the EDIDP results demonstrate the possibility to involve EU-based subsidiaries controlled by third countries or third country entities provided they fulfil appropriate security-based guarantees approved by Member States. This is namely the case with four participants controlled by entities from Canada, Japan and the United States;
- the PADR for the first time is supporting three projects dedicated to disruptive technologies through dedicated calls, designed to prepare the future EDF, which allocates up to 8% of its budget to disruptive actions.
The projects announced will support the development of European defence capabilities such as drones and related technologies, space technologies, unmanned ground vehicles, high precision missile systems, future naval platforms, airborne electronic attack capability, tactical and highly secured networks, cyber situational awareness platforms, or next generation of active stealth technologies.
The European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP), worth €500 million for 2019-2020, and the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR), which has a budget of €90 million for 2017-2019, are pilot programmes of the upcoming European Defence Fund. The PADR covers the research phase of defence products, including disruptive technologies, while EDIDP supports collaborative projects related to development, from design up to prototypes.
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