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17 novembre 2014 1 17 /11 /novembre /2014 19:50
European Security forum à Bruxelles


17.11.204 Fondation Robert Schuman


Le Forum sur la sécurité européenne est organisé à l'initiative de plusieurs organisations et groupes politiques européens les 17 et 18 novembre à Bruxelles. Plusieurs ministres de la défense, la Haute représentante, Federica Mogherini ainsi que des experts sont attendus. Le 17 novembre, Sandra Kalniete, députée européenne, membre du Conseil d'administration de la Fondation, intervient sur les défis en matière de défense et de sécurité. Le 18 novembre, Jean-Dominique Giuliani, Président de la Fondation Robert Schuman, modérera une table ronde sur le thème des différences de perception des questions sécuritaires en Europe.



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12 juin 2014 4 12 /06 /juin /2014 16:50
Vassilis Tsiamis, Project Officer, EDA

Vassilis Tsiamis, Project Officer, EDA


Brussels - 27 May, 2014 European Defence Agency


The EDA has successfully supported Member States in accessing European Structural Funds (ESF) for dual-use research and development technologies.


In February 2014 “Project Turtle” – a proposal from a consortium of Portuguese small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs), research institutes and universities to research ascent and descent energy-efficient technologies for robotic underwater vehicles – became the first of seven dual-use research initiatives supported by the EDA to access European Structural Funds (ESF).

ESF are financial instruments that provide for “the implementation of EU Cohesion Policy to reinforce economic and social cohesion within the EU”. The potential benefits for Europe’s defence industry is considerable from accessing this  source of finance are considerable .The new programming period, 2014-2020, contains more than €379 billion in European Regional Development Funds (ERDF), one of the ESF funds under which research and innovation ac­tivities can be supported. According to Vassilis Tsiamis, who manages the ESF project within EDA nobody had, until recently, seriously considered the application of this type of funding for dual-use research and technology (R&T). “The real issue was to challenge the perception of eligibility,” he said. “It wasn’t just a question of ‘can do’ – but much more a question of can we do it, and what, precisely, is it that we can do?”


Increasingly dual nature of technology

The starting point has been recognition of the increasingly dual nature of technology and the significant potential that exists for synergies between civil and defence research. Energy, telecommunications, information technology, automotive and materials technologies, space, aeronautics and the chemicals industry provide examples of the potential benefits accruing to a wide variety of defence and civil applications. So why not use the facility afforded by ESF to recognise some of these benefits, the EDA asked?

A new EU innovation policy concept called the Research and Innovation Smart Specialisation Strategy (RIS3) has been developed to promote the more effective use of public investment in research at a regional EU level.  Regional - and in a few cases national - authorities have been asked to identify the unique characteristics, assets and capabilities of their respective regions to focus policy support and investment channelled through ESF.


Supporting the regions

Including Croatia, there are some 273 identified EU regions, with almost 500 managing authorities directing the use of ESF.  When the EDA put out a call for proposals for the use of ESF in development of dual-use technologies in 2013, it received 72 proposals from 12 Member States. Of these, the Agency decided to support seven as initial pilot cases. From Bulgaria came a proposal for the improvement of urban security and defence applications through use of advanced sensor systems, while from Poland an intruder-detection and collision avoidance system for aircraft has been proposed. A French consortium has offered a Europe-wide icing testing platform for aeronautics, while an industry proposal in the United Kingdom has put forward a project in Epitaxial Microwave technology – a critical capability for improving radar performance in both civil and military applications. From Spain came a proposal for the development of an underwater signature monitoring and analysis centre, while from Germany an adaptation of short wave infrared (SWIR) technology for high resolution hyper-spectral and imaging applications has been suggested. The seventh proposal, from Portugal, became the first of these pilot cases to reach a sufficiently mature level to win. It is important to recognise the fact these proposals have come from project holders in the various nations, and are not official ‘national’ project proposals.


Ensuring we have the expertise

“The first priority has been to acquire the expertise within the Agency and share it with the managers in the Ministries of Defence and then to arrange for in-depth knowledge transfer and capacity building with industry,” said Tsiamis. Four seminars have already been held – in Bulgaria, Ireland, Poland and Portugal – aimed at increasing awareness of the opportunity and the methodology of successfully applying for supportive funding. Engaging the community – both governmental and industrial – and building capacity within that community to be able to benefit from this innovative approach to stemming the decreasing investment in defence-related R&T has been a key priority for Tsiamis and his colleagues throughout the process.


Benefits for SMEs

“It’s important to recognise we are not creating process and we are not looking for more structural funds. What we are doing is helping defence actors to address these projects and to develop the application folders, ensuring the responsible authorities (in each region or nation) recognise the benefits SMEs can bring to the process and ensuring that the projects selected to move forward reflect the larger priorities of the EU,” said Tsiamis.

“The way forward is for more pilot projects and more seminars, offering pragmatic advice and support, not simply explaining theoretical policies. We are now training EDA project officers – approximately 15 of them – and are looking at possibilities in key EDA prioritised areas such as space, the cyber domain, maritime security, energy efficiency and remote piloted aerial systems (RPAS)  - as examples of what we can do from a positive and concrete results perspective,” said Tsiamis.

“Industry follows the money, and we are convinced there are enough significant opportunities for industry to recognise that engaging in this programme will have tangible and measurable results on its R&T activities,” said Tsiamis. He said that one of the new actions the Agency will be following during 2014 is to assess the degree to which European Territorial Cooperation on dual-use technology projects can be part of cross-border programmes financed by the European Regional Development Fund  (ERDF), to create an even larger pot of financial resources on which to draw.

EDA’s programme commitment to exploiting these opportunities currently has a three year timescale. “Looked at from all directions, we are in a win/win situation here – we’re supporting SMEs, we’re supporting regional research and technology development while simultaneously stimulating dual-use research, we’re supporting EU policy and most importantly, we’re conforming with the EU Common Security and Defence  Policy (CSDP) key priorities, as adopted by December 2013 EU Council conclusions ,” said Tsiamis. The Agency’s role in this can be seen as one of being a facilitator, encouraging SMEs in particular to come forward with innovative proposals and providing assistance and support in the process of applying for funding that will see those proposals come to fruition.  “The message is simple,” said Tsiamis. “We’re here to help – we can reduce hesitations – come talk to us!”


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7 février 2014 5 07 /02 /février /2014 12:50
First EDA Supported Dual-Use Project Receives European Structural Funds

Brussels - 06 February, 2014 EU Defence Agency


The Portuguese authority managing European Structural Funds has recently confirmed the acceptance of the “TURTLE” project, financing around 60% of the total project budget. TURTLE is the first of seven dual-use research initiatives supported by the European Defence Agency to access European Structural Funds (ESF). It aims at developing key enabling technologies for a sustainable and long term presence in the ocean. 


The European Defence Agency (EDA) and European Commission (EC) coordinate their research efforts in the areas of defence and security: the use of existing EU supporting tools and funds for dual-use research projects is a means to promote innovation in Europe while retaining key technological and industrial capabilities. EDA  facilitates and supports access to dual-use R&T projects. The TURTLE project was developed by a consortium of Portuguese SMEs, research institutes and universities. Its aim is to produce new robotic ascend and descent energy efficient technologies to be incorporated in robotic vehicles used by civil and military stakeholders for underwater operations. In the defence sector, the technology will allow underwater unmanned marine systems and robotics to operate at lower cost and added capabilities. The Portuguese authorities now decided to co-finance TURTLE with around €770.000 (around 60% of the total project costs) through the ESF. 

EDA Support to Projects

The main objectives of EDA’s work on ESF are to raise awareness among Ministries of Defence and defence industry, with special focus on defence related SMEs, as regards the use of ESF; so far a series of dedicated workshops in different countries have been organised; EDA also identifies  and supports eligible pilot projects in R&T priorities and industrial capabilities for the European Structural Funds; and is developing a methodology to be used by the Ministries of Defence and defence industry to increase eligibility for future projects.

In terms of concrete support to projects, twelve Member States submitted 72 project proposals for screening. The Agency provided free-of-charge guidance and support to 44 projects and selected seven pilot projects (from Bulgaria, Poland, Germany, Portugal, France, UK and Spain) which were actively assisted in the development of the application folders. Out of the selected projects, two applications have been successfully submitted by the project holders to the national managing authorities for co-funding, while the rest will be submitted during the new financial framework 2014-2020. The Portuguese project “TURTLE” is the first EDA supported project for which a decision on funding has been taken.

Stimulating Dual-Use Technologies

The European Council of 19 December 2013 underlined the importance of stimulating dual-use research and support to SMEs. Embedded in the Agency’s Action Plan on SMEs, the Agency’s support for dual-use research projects is of concrete benefit for initiators. EDA will continue working with stakeholders to access European Structural Funds in 2014 in proposing a systematic approach, taking advantage of the programming period 2014-2020. Moreover the Agency will organise seminars in Member States with the participation of government, industry and research centers to mobilise stakeholders to apply for ESF for dual use R&T projects. Upon a second call, EDA will select additional projects to support the development of application folders focusing on identified priority areas such as Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, space, energy efficiency, or cyber defence. 


TURTLE is developed by the following entities:

  • Silva Matos Metalomecanica S.A (Small-Medium Enterprise): The main promoter, responsible for all mechanical and market introduction; 

  • INESC PORTO (Technology & Science Laboratory): Responsible with ISEP for the robotization of the TURTLE project; 

  • ISEP (School of Engineering, Porto Polytechnic Institute) and 

  • CINAV (Portuguese Navy Research Center): responsible to develop acoustic detection adapted to the solution and demonstrate the use in security application. 


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7 février 2014 5 07 /02 /février /2014 12:50

by European Defence Agency


Annual Conference 2014
EDA Annual Conference 2014

On 27 March 2014, the EDA Annual Conference “European Defence Matters” will  again gather around 400 high-level speakers and participants. Frontline actors of defence cooperation as well as leaders from the military, politics and industry will engage in highly interactive panel debates and keynote speeches with plenty of opportunities for the audience to contribute to the discussion. 

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Dave Harding_EDA Video
New EDA Video

Do not miss our new corporate video, explaining the role and mission of the European Defence Agency. Learn more about some key projects and how the Agency cooperates with Member States. 

Watch now


Materiel Standardisation Conference 2014

The development of defence standards reduces costs and contributes to the interoperability of Member States’ military forces. 

For the preparation of a roadmap for the development of defence standards as mandated by the European Council in December 2013, EDA is organising a Materiel Standardisation Conference on 12 March 2014. 

More information on how to register is available here.


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First EDA Supported Dual-Use Project Receives European Structural Funds

The Portuguese authority managing European Structural Funds has recently confirmed First EDA Supported Dual-Use Project Receives European Structural Fundsthe acceptance of the “TURTLE” project, financing around 60% of the total project budget. TURTLE is the first of seven dual-use research initiatives supported by the European Defence Agency to access European Structural Funds (ESF).


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EDA Multinational Exercises in 2014

Multinational training exercises increase interoperability among participating Member States; they are an efficient way to prepare armed forces for CSDP operations. This EDA Multinational Exercises in 2014year, the European Defence Agency is organising in close cooperation with the respective host nations, contributing Member States and Air Transport Organisations four training e...


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Progress for European Satellite Communication Procurement Cell (ESCPC)

Since the signature of a framework contract between EDA and Astrium Services in September 2012, Progress for European Satellite Communication Procurement Cell (ESCPC)ESCPC, the Agency’s initiative for the pooled procurement of commercial satellite communication services, has proven its operational and financial value by delivering concrete support to Member States. In 2013 the ESCPC scheme facilitated orders...


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