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The European Defence Market provides opportunities for innovative and commercial activities. The European Defence Agency (EDA), created in 2004, is an intergovernmental agency that supports its member states in the development of joint defence capabilities. In 2021, the European Commission has launched the European Defence Fund to finance defence research and innovation activities in the European Union.

The European Defence Fund (EDF) is the European Commission’s funding programme for defence research and development, aimed at fostering a European innovative and competitive defence industrial base. The €8 billion programme, which will be available from 2021-2027, is open to companies of all size and research performing organisations from the 27 member states and from Norway. Taking into consideration both the EU defence capability priorities and the technological gaps identified by the European Defence Agency (EDA) and the member states, the EDF is based on thematic calls released in an annual Work Programme.

European Defence Agency (EDA)

The European Defence Agency (EDA) supports its 26 member states – all EU countries except Denmark – in improving their defence capabilities and supporting the European defence industry technological base (EDITB) through European cooperation.

Regarding the technological aspects, EDA and its member states have established various capability technology (CapTech) groups in charge of identifying projects that will contribute to overcome the technology gaps (TBB) as defined in the context Overarching Strategic Research Agenda (OSRA). In the frame of these CapTechs, research and technology ad-hoc projects and studies on commonly agreed priorities can be supported with national funding on a direct award basis. These priorities can be used as inputs for potential projects in the frame of the European Defence Fund.

The CapTech groups gather representatives from industry and government and thereby give direct access to the ordering clients.

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