The EU is taking steps to invest almost 1.2 billion euros in 61 industrial cooperation projects

The Commission today announced its intention to provide general EU funding of almost 1.2 billion euros for 61 joint defense research and development projectsselected after the first calls for proposals announced under the European Defense Fund (EDF).

Through the proposals selected for funding, EDF will support high-end defense projects such as the next generation of combat aircraft, tanks and ships, as well as important defense technologies such as military cloud, artificial intelligence, semiconductors, space, cyberspace. or medical countermeasures. He will also lead revolutionary technologies, particularly in the field of quantum technologies and new materials, and take advantage of promising small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups.

Executive Vice President Margret, welcoming this important step in European defense cooperation Vestagersaid:

“The selected excellent projects showed that defense-industrial cooperation in Europe can become a reality, even on a large scale. The nearly 700 companies that will research and develop the next generation of innovative defense technologies with EU funding will provide the impetus for a sustainable and competitive industrial base. The fact that SMEs represent 43% of the organizations participating in the selected projects shows that the European Defense Fund program really covers the entire industrial value chain in the EU.”

Thierry bretonCommissioner for the Internal Market, expressed himself in the following words:With an investment of €1.2 billion in support of 61 joint European defense projects, the European Defense Fund is today delivering concrete results for a more integrated European defense industry capable of fostering innovation and delivering advanced capabilities to our armed forces. Thanks to the European Defense Fund, European defense cooperation is increasingly becoming the norm. We spend better when we spend together. Member States and the European defense industry will all benefit, regardless of their size. »

EDF’s success in its first year shows that its model, based on the models of its two predecessor programs (the Preparatory Action for Defense Research “PADR” and the European Defense Industrial Development Program “EDIDP”), is fit for purpose:

  • A very attractive program that is of great interest in the EU industry: received a record number (well above previous programmes) of 142 proposals submitted by consortia comprising leading large companies, SMEs, mid-caps and science and technology organizations (STOs), covering all published competitions and topics .
  • Large geographic coverage: almost 700 legal entities from 26 EU member states and Norway participate in the selected proposals.
  • Enhanced defense cooperation: on average, the selected proposals concern 18 organizations from 8 EU member states and Norway.
  • Significant participation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs): SMEs represent more than 40% of all organizations participating in the selected proposals, which receive almost 20% of the total requested EU funding.
  • A good balance between research and capacity building: €322 million to finance 31 research projects and €845 million to finance 30 large-scale projects aimed at developing systems and technologies for defense capability.
  • Support of breakthrough technologies in the field of defense: more than 5% of the budget is aimed at financing revolutionary ideas that will become a source of innovation and allow to radically change the concepts and conduct of defense activities.
  • Consistency with priorities at the EU level: in particular Permanent Structured Cooperation (CSP), with half of the selected development proposals being declared registered under the CSP project.

The Commission’s services will now start preparing grant agreements with the selected consortia of candidates. After the completion of this preparation and the adoption of the decision on awarding by the Commission, the grant agreements will be signed by the end of the year.


In June 2021, the Commission adopted the first annual work program of the European Defense Fund and published the first set of 23 calls for proposals, of which 11 targeted research and 12 targeted development, covering a total of 37 topics.

The European Defense Fund (EDF) is the Commission’s main instrument for supporting defense cooperation in Europe. Without replacing the efforts of Member States, it facilitates cooperation between companies of all sizes and research entities across the EU. EDF supports competitive and collaborative defense projects throughout the research and development cycle, prioritizing projects leading to interoperable and advanced defense technologies and equipment.

It also promotes innovation and encourages the cross-border participation of SMEs. Projects are selected following calls for proposals, which are determined on the basis of defense capability priorities agreed by member states within the framework of the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) and, in particular, in the context of the Capability Development Plan (CDP). ).

The EDF budget is 7.953 billion euros in current prices for the period 2021-2027. This envelope is divided between two pillars:

  • 2.651 billion euros will be allocated to finance joint defense research dedicated to countering new and future threats; and
  • €5.302 billion will be used to co-finance capacity-building projects.

Between 4% and 8% of the EDF budget is allocated to the development or research in the field of revolutionary technologies that can lead to decisive innovations in the context of defence.

The EDF is implemented through annual work programs structured around 17 sustainable thematic and horizontal action categories over the period covered by the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, focusing on:

  • their emerging challenges pay attention to the formation of a multidimensional and integrated approach to the modern battlespace, such as defense medical support, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBNR) threats, biotechnology and human factors, information superiority, advanced passive and active sensors, cyberspace and space;
  • their protective catalysts and activators which provide a significant technological boost for EDF and are relevant in all areas of opportunity such as digital transformation, energy sustainability and environmental transition, materials and components, breakthrough technologies and open calls for innovative and future-oriented defense solutions, including special calls for SMEs ;
  • Iexcellence in war facilitate the integration of new capabilities and support ambitious defense systems in such categories of operations as air combat, air and missile defense, land combat, force protection and mobility, naval combat, submarine warfare, simulation and training.

To know more

Overview of selected proposals, July 2022

EDF Newsletter June 2021

EDF 2022 work programme

Video recording of the EDF 2022 information day 06/30/2022

DG DEFIS is the website of the European Defense Industry