EU steps up to invest nearly 1.2 billion euros in 61 industrial cooperation projects

The Commission today announced its intention to provide total EU funding of almost 1.2 billion euros in favor 61 joint defense research projectschosen after the very first calls for proposals launched under the European Defense Fund (EDF).

With proposals selected for funding, EDF will support high-tech defense capability projects such as next-generation combat aircraft, tanks and ships, as well as critical defense technologies such as military cloud, artificial intelligence, semiconductors, space, cyberspace. or medical countermeasures. It will also spearhead breakthrough technologies, especially in quantum technology and new materials, and take advantage of promising small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups.

Welcoming this important step in European defense cooperation, Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestagersaid :

“The selected excellent projects have shown that military-industrial cooperation in Europe can become a reality, even on a large scale. Nearly 700 companies that will research and develop innovative next-generation defense technologies with EU funds will provide momentum for building a sustainable and competitive industrial base. The fact that SMEs represent 43% of the actors involved in the selected projects shows that the European Defense Fund program is indeed affecting the entire EU value chain.”

Thierry BretonCommissioner for the internal market, expressed in the following terms:With an investment of 1.2 billion euros in support of 61 joint European defense projects, the European Defense Fund is today presenting concrete results for a more integrated European defense industry capable of driving innovation and providing 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 benefit from this, regardless of their size. »

The success of the EDF in its first year of existence shows that its model, based on those of two previous programs (Defence Research Preparation “PADR” and the European Defense Industrial Development Program “EDIDP”), is fit for purpose:

  • A very attractive program of great interest from the EU industry: A record number of 142 proposals were received (far exceeding predecessor programs) from consortiums of leading large companies, SMEs, mid-caps and science and technology organizations (STIs) covering all published requests and topics.
  • Wide geographic coverage: Approximately 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.
  • Active 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 EU funding requested.
  • Good balance between research and capacity building: €322 million to fund 31 research and development projects and €845 million to fund 30 large-scale projects aimed at developing systems and technologies for defense capabilities.
  • Support for breakthrough technologies in the field of defense: more than 5% of the budget is directed to the financing of revolutionary ideas that will become a source of innovation and will radically change the concept and conduct of defense activities.
  • Compliance with priorities at the EU level: in particular, permanent structured cooperation (CSP), with half of the selected development proposals declared registered under the CSP project.

The Commission services will begin to prepare grant agreements with selected candidate consortiums. Following the completion of this preparation, and following the Commission’s decision on the award, 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 actions and 12 targeted development actions, covering a total of 37 topics.

The European Defense Fund (EDF) is the Commission’s flagship instrument for supporting defense cooperation in Europe. Without replacing the efforts of Member States, it promotes collaboration between companies of all sizes and research participants 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 after calls for proposals, which are determined on the basis of defense capabilities priorities agreed by Member States in the framework of the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) and, in particular, in the context of the Capacities Development Plan (CDP). ).

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

  • €2.651 billion will be allocated to fund joint defense research aimed at countering emerging and future threats; as well as
  • €5.302 billion will be used to co-finance joint capacity building projects.

Between 4% and 8% of the EDF’s budget goes to the development or research of disruptive technologies that can lead to decisive innovation in a defense context.

EDF is implemented through annual work programs structured around 17 stable thematic and horizontal action categories for the period covered by the 2021-2027 multi-year financial program and focuses on:

  • them emerging problems take into account, when shaping a multidimensional and integrated approach to modern combat space, such as defense medical support, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats, biotechnology and human factors, information superiority, advanced passive and active sensors, cyberspace and space;
  • them protective catalysts and stimulants that provide a significant technological impetus for EDF and are relevant across all areas of opportunity such as digital transformation, energy sustainability and environmental transition, materials and components, disruptive technologies and open calls for innovative and future-oriented defense solutions, including specific calls for SMEs . ;
  • I’superiority in war facilitate the integration of new capabilities and support ambitious defense systems in such categories of actions as air combat, air and missile defense, ground combat, force protection and mobility, naval combat, submarine warfare, and simulation and training.

Know more

Overview of selected proposals, July 2022

EDF Newsletter June 2021

EDF work program for 2022

Video of EDF Information Day 2022, June 30, 2022

DG DEFIS – European defense industry website