European Defence Industrial Development Programme Releases First Work Packages

The European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) is a European Union-led initiative designed to improve the military capability of European nations and encourage investment in the European defence industrial landscape. This week the European Commission announced a set of work packages that would form the first phase of work for the EDIDP.

The European Commission has adopted work programmes to co-finance joint defence industrial projects in 2019-2020 worth up to €500 million. A further €25 million have been earmarked to support collaborative defence research projects in 2019, with calls for proposals launched this week. In the coming days the Commission will publish 9 calls for proposals for 2019, and 12 further calls will follow for 2020. These calls will cover priority areas in all domains – air, land, sea, cyber and space:

  • Enabling operations, protection and mobility of military forces: €80 million is available to help develop CBRN threat detections capabilities or counter drone systems;
  • Intelligence, secured communication & Cyber: €182 million will cover cyber situational awareness and defence, space situational awareness and early warning capabilities, or maritime surveillance capabilities;
  • Ability to conduct high-end operations: €71 million will support the upgrade or the development of the next generation of ground-based precision strike capabilities, ground combat capabilities, air combat capabilities and future naval systems;
  • Innovative defence technologies & SMEs: €27 million will support solutions in Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and Cyber technologies, as well as to support SMEs.
  • In addition, two projects have been proposed for direct award: €100 million to support the development of the Eurodrone, a crucial capability for Europe’s strategic autonomy, and €37 million to support ESSOR interoperable and secure military communications.

Next steps

  • Eligible consortia can apply to the 2019 calls for proposals until the end of August. The first projects will be selected before the end of 2019, followed by the official signing of grant agreements.
  • With both programmes now operational and running, the Commission is paving the way for a fully-fledged European Defence Fund for the next financial period 2021-2027.

The EDIDP has a number of clauses for nations and companies that wish to engage with the programmes. A minimum of three different nations (or entities from three nations) must be engaged with a programme, there is also a bonus for SME engagement.

UK Government and UK industry is keen to engage with the EDIDP in the coming years; not only because the UK has already contributed to the funding pot, but also because it provides an excellent opportunity to create commonality with allies and improve existing capability.

These EDIDP programmes are currently available for the UK to engage with as a member of the EU. Future work packages published post-Brexit will be available for UK industry to engage with as a Third Country; however the entry requirements and benefits for participation will be different.