Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

EU to invest €1.2bn in defence industrial cooperation projects

Written by Eric Apim on Thursday, July 21st 2022 à 15:40 | Read 399 times

700 entities from 26 Member States plus Norway are participating in the selected projects (photo: DR)
700 entities from 26 Member States plus Norway are participating in the selected projects (photo: DR)
EU. The European Commission announces, on Wednesday 20 July 2022, "its intention to grant a total EU funding of almost €1.2 billion to sixty-one collaborative research and development projects in the field of defence".

These are applications submitted after the calls for proposals launched in September 2021 under the European Defence Fund (EDF). Created by the European Commission, this instrument aims to support defence cooperation in Europe, without replacing the efforts of the Member States. It has been active since June 2021 with the publication of a first series of twenty-three calls for proposals.

The EDF has a budget of €7.953 billion for the period 2021-2027. This sum is divided into €2.651 billion allocated to funding collaborative research to combat emerging and future threats and €5.302 billion devoted to co-financing collaborative capacity-building projects.

43% of SMEs

700 companies and research and technology organisations (RTOs) from 26 Member States and Norway are participating in the 61 selected projects. On average, they involve 18 entities from eight countries. 43% of the participants in these conglomerates are SMEs. For Margrethe Vestager, executive vice-president of the European Commission, this "shows that the European Defence Fund programme is indeed about the whole industrial value chain in the EU". SMEs will receive almost 20% of the total EU funding requested.

The projects cover areas as varied as the next generation of combat aircraft, tanks and ships, critical defence technologies (military cloud, artificial intelligence, semiconductors, space, cyberspace, medical countermeasures), and other disruptive technologies such as quantum technologies and new materials.

Of the €1.2 billion, €322 million is earmarked for 31 research projects and €845 million for 30 large-scale projects to develop systems and technologies for defence capabilities. Margrethe Vestager sees the excellence of these projects as proof that "defence industrial cooperation in Europe can become a reality, even on a large scale".

According to Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton, "the European Defence Fund is now delivering concrete results for a more integrated European defence industry that can foster innovation and provide state-of-the-art capabilities to our armed forces. Thanks to the European Defence Fund, European defence cooperation is increasingly becoming the norm. We spend better by spending collectively. Member States and the European defence industry will all benefit, whatever their size.

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