BRUSSELS --- A grant agreement worth a total of €0.95 million was signed on 20 December 2017 for the Strategic Technology Foresight action to be carried out under the EU Preparatory Action in the field of defence research. The grant agreement was signed between the European Defence Agency (EDA) and the winning consortium led by Engineering Ingegneria Informatica S.p.A.
The Strategic Technology Foresight action was selected following an EU-wide call for proposals organised by the European Defence Agency between 7 June and 28 September 2017. The action aims to support strategic technology foresight of individual Member States and of the EU as a whole in the defence domain by performing joint technology foresight activities supported by methodologies such as horizon scanning, technology watch, scientometric tools and expert consultations. It focuses on identifying emerging defence research areas for potential exploration in the next Multi-annual Financial Framework.
The Strategic Technology Foresight activity is part of the Preparatory Action, aimed at assessing and demonstrating the added value of EU-supported defence research and technology (R&T). The relevant results are expected to further deepen European defence cooperation, address capability shortfalls, and strengthen European defence stakeholders.
The foundations for the Preparatory Action were laid in 2016 with the successful launch of a Pilot Project on Defence Research.
The signature marks an important step in EU defence integration and paves the way for the launch of a fully-fledged European Defence Research Programme (EDRP) as part of the EU’s next Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027). The next step will be the signature of the grant agreements related to the Unmanned Systems and the Research in technology and products in the context of Force Protection and Soldier Systems calls for proposals, which are scheduled to take place in 2018.
All of them - Pilot Project, Preparatory Action and the future European Defence Research Programme - should support R&T serving capability priorities identified by Member States in the Capability Development Plan and be taken up in future collaborative capability programmes.