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Updated: 2 weeks 1 day ago

Experts look at Additive Manufacturing to foster circularity in defence

Fri, 24/06/2022 - 13:42

How to use and improve Additive Manufacturing (AM, commonly known as 3D-printing) for enhanced circularity in defence applications? To identify priorities for future collaborative triple helix projects in this domain, 50 experts from 13 European countries met on 21 June in Taranto (Italy) for a workshop organised under EDA’s “Incubation Forum for Circular Economy in European Defence” (IF CEED) and Materials CapTech.

The event was the first activity of IF CEED’s “Circular Additive Manufacturing” project circle. The meeting, hosted by the Arsenale Militare of the Italian Navy in Taranto, allowed participants from Ministries of Defence, industry, research and technology organisations as well as academia to exchange views on how AM can best help to reduce the military’s environmental footprint by promoting increased circularity of materials, optimisation of processes and the implementation of AM deployable solutions. Health and safety issues, as well as the quality of input data for Life Cycle Assessment were also addressed.

The EU’s wider research and innovation agenda was duly taken into account through to the participation of the European Commission’s DG RTD.

Several concrete proposals for future projects were identified during the meeting; they will be refined during the project circle’s next meetings. These project ideas confirm that innovation in technologies and logistics can contribute to improving the Armed Forces’ environmental impact as well as their operational efficiency. 

AM technologies are expected to enhance defence capabilities and have a strong potential for improved circularity: efficient use of resources, increased reusability, repairability and remanufacturing of products, as well as specific advantages for the logistics of spare parts.

Participants with the FREMM Frigate ITS Carabiniere in the background

More info:

EDA’s IF CEED website

EDA Materials CapTech

TV coverage in Italian (Resoconto in italiano

 

 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Revision of Capability Development Plan (CDP) launched

Thu, 23/06/2022 - 10:04

EDA’s Steering Board met yesterday at Member States Capability Directors’ level under the chairmanship of General Éric Bellot des Minières. Directors decided to launch the revision of the Capability Development Plan (CDP), the latest version of which dates to June 2018. The CDP contains the jointly agreed European capability development priorities (currently 11) which are updated on a regular basis under EDA’s auspices, in close coordination with the EU Military Committee and the EU Military Staff. 

 

The revision is scheduled to be completed by 2023 when the revised set of EU Capability Development Priorities is set to be agreed by EDA’s Steering Board. It will then serve as a reference for the third Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD) cycle which will start in autumn 2023. 

The need to revise the CDP now stems not only from the new guidelines provided by recently adopted EU Strategic Compass, but also from a series of significant and strategic changes witnessed in the EU’s overall security environment, first and foremost the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. All those developments have implications on the four strands which will nurture the new CDP: two short-term based strands provided by the EU Military Committee with the support of the EU Military Staff (capability gaps identified in CSDP missions and operations, as well as lessons learned), a mid-term strand (assessment of the potential for cooperation, based among others on the latest CARD findings and Member States’ current defence plans and acquisition programmes) and a long-term strand (looking ahead at expected capability trends and development by 2040 and beyond). 

Strategic Compass, CARD

Capability Directors also assessed the state of implementation of the Strategic Compass which has seen its first measures implemented on the ground, with the establishment of the Hub for EU Defence Innovation (HEDI) within EDA, and the first European Defence Innovation Day organised end of May.  

Directors were also briefed on the (still ongoing) second CARD cycle which is set to be completed by the Agency’s final report to Ministers in November of this year.  

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Portuguese Defence Minister visits EDA

Fri, 17/06/2022 - 16:01

Today, Portugal’s new Minister of Defence, Helena Carreiras, and her delegation were received at the Agency by Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý and Deputy Chief Executive Olli Ruutu. It was the first bilateral meeting between EDA’s top management and the Minister since her appointment last March. 

 

Mr Šedivý informed Minister Carreiras about EDA’s current work in support of collaborative defence research and capability development in Europe and thanked her for Portugal’s strong support and active participation in the Agency’s projects and programmes.  The Chief Executive also briefed the Minister about latest developments, such as the recent establishment of a Hub for European Defence Innovation (HEDI) within the Agency, the upcoming finalisation of the second Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), and the Agency’s involvement in the EU’s military response to the war in Ukraine, including joint efforts to fill defence investment and capability gaps in Europe.   

The Minister was also provided with short presentations of projects of specific relevance for Portugal, such as the Multinational Helicopter Training Centre (MHTC) which is currently being established at Sintra Airbase in Portugal and will be handed over EDA’s full range of helicopter training activities by October 2023. Among the other projects presented to the Minister were the European Detonation Code project (EuDetCode – in which Portugal is participating) as well as the PREMIUM project aimed at improving the Health and Usage Monitoring Systems-based management of munitions through the establishment of models for the estimation of the ageing and health status of munitions. 

“Portugal is an active and important contributor to EDA’s projects, programmes and activities. I gladly remember the very productive Portuguese EU Presidency in the first half of 2021 when we jointly organised a successful conference on disruptive technologies and a symposium on military mobility. I particularly want to commend Portugal for its leading role in the Agency’s helicopter training and exercise activities. I’m confident we can pursue the very good cooperation we always had in view of transferring EDA’s Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP), its Helicopter Tactics Course (HTC) and its Helicopter Tactics Instructors Course (HTIC) to the new permanent Multinational Helicopter Training Centre in Sintra by autumn 2023. Another example of Portugal’s fruitful participation in EDA’s work is the Cyber Defence Training & Exercise Coordination Platform (CD TEXP), a web-based tool developed at the Agency to coordinate and deliver joint cyber training courses and exercises, which was handed over last month to the Portuguese Ministry of Defence which will host the new asset”, Mr Šedivý stated.

 
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA at Eurosatory 2022 defence exhibition

Wed, 15/06/2022 - 11:34

An EDA delegation, led by Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý and the Agency’s Industry, Synergies and Enablers (ISE) Director, Emilio Fajardo, this week attended EUROSATORY, the world's leading land and airland defence and security exhibition which currently takes place in Villepinte/Paris (13-17 June).  

The Chief Executive participated in the official opening ceremony on Monday (13 June) before visiting several stands and holding bilateral talks with the organisers as well as representatives of GICAT, the Group of French Industries for Land and Air-land Defense and Security. Mr Šedivý also exchanged views with a range of industry representatives.  

This year, the exhibition presents products and services in the following main areas: Ground, aerial and naval vehicles, aircraft & boats; infrastructure protection; sub-assemblies for ground, aerial and naval vehicles; logistics for operations and installations; weapons and ammunition; medical and emergency; communication and information systems; field preparation – Explosive ordnance disposal; detection, localisation, acquisition and deception; research, design and production materials; training and simulation; disaster, business continuity and homeland security; personal equipment, services. 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

BISON COUNTER C-IED Exercises Capability Building project kicks off

Tue, 14/06/2022 - 13:54

BISON COUNTER, the largest and most relevant European Counter Improvised Explosive Devices (C-IED) exercise, will in the future be organised directly under the auspices of EDA  instead of only benefitting from the Agency’s support, as in the past. To that end, a new EDA ‘Cat B’ project - the BISON COUNTER C-IED Exercises Capability Building (BC-EX) project - has just been launched by 13 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Portugal, Sweden, Slovenia, as well as Norway) at a kick-off meeting in Madrid (8-9 June). The new project, steered by the Agency’s Project Team Counter-IED (PT C-IED) will provide the framework for three additional editions of BISON COUNTER in 2023, 2025 and 2027. 

The BC-EX project will establish a permanent expert team in charge of the planning of the exercises and its subsidiary activities, both at the conceptual and technical level. This means that the joint planning and organisation of future BISON COUNTER exercises will become more centralised and structured under EDA’s auspices in close cooperation, of course, with the future host countries. As a result, this should further enhance the coordination and coherence among all participating C-IED actors at all different levels, from strategy to tactics to operations. Such a more structured approach should also help to better analyse the exercise results and implement a consolidated lessons learned cycle which is essential for moving towards even more sophisticated and interoperable C-IED capabilities in Europe. 

Next exercise to be held in Spain  

Building upon the reflections and observations collected during past BISON COUNTER exercises (2013, 2016, 2021) as well as on experiences made by Member States in other relevant multinational C-IED exercises, the BC-EX kick-off meeting marked the launch of the planning phase of BISON COUNTER 23 (BC23), which will be held in November 2023 under the auspices of Spain which, as the lead nation for the project until the end of next year, will host this event. 

The meeting in Madrid also decided the activation of the afore-mentioned permanent expert team constituted of subject matter experts from all contributing Member States, as well as other relevant C-IED organisations, such as the NATO accredited C-IED Center of Excellence (CoE) based in Madrid. This team will act as the main project interface with the host nation’s Exercise Planning Team, supporting the planning and preparation of the exercises as well as all its subsidiary activities, both at the conceptual and technical level. The establishment of this expert team will provide a more structured approach and a continuity element for the upcoming exercises. 

BISON COUNTER concept 

BISON COUNTER is a series of live multinational exercises covering all C-IED enabler capabilities. Its objective is to train the technical level skills, to integrate the technical enablers at the tactical level and to implement the full C-IED operational cycle. The desired end state is a more coherent, interoperable and resilient European Union, when facing the ever-evolving IED threat, both on expeditionary military operations and in the context of countering terrorism within its borders.

Project Team C-IED and other EDA C-IED projects 

The BC-EX kick-off meeting in Madrid was held back-to-back with the 31st PT C-IED meeting, held on 07/08Jun. This EDA working body is responsible for the inception of collaborative project proposals aiming to close the capability gaps identified by the EU Capability Development Plan (CDP) priority ‘Develop C-IED and CBRNe Capabilities Based on Newly Available Technology and Training’ (Ground Combat Capabilities - Enhance Protection of Forces).  

The project team has been responsible for a wide range of projects and activities. There are currently five in its portfolio: Joint Deployable, Exploitation and Analysis Laboratory (JDEAL), European Center for Manual Neutralization Techniques (ECMAN), Military Search Capability Building (MSCB), Smart Future Counter-IED Field Laboratory (SF C-IED FL) and C-IED Technical Exploitation in Maritime Environment (C-IED TEXMAR).  

The capabilities developed and delivered under these projects are extensively integrated into the BISON COUNTER exercises, building consistency across EDA participating Member States’ specific efforts in this capability area. 

During the 31st PT C-IED Meeting, new business cases for future projects were presented and discussed. The meeting was attended by 33 representatives from 11 participating Member States, as well as the NATO accredited C-IED CoE and EUROPOL.

More information 
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA Chief Executive holds talks in Lithuania

Fri, 10/06/2022 - 14:17

EDA Chief Executive, Jiří Šedivý, visited Lithuania today for high-level talks with Defence Minister Arvydas Anušauskas, Deputy Minister of Defence Vilius Semeška, Defence Policy Director Vaidotas Urbelis and the Director of the Lithuanian Defence Material Agency (MND), Sigitas Dzekunskas. He also met with the Chairman of the National Security and Defence Committee of the Seimas (Parliament), industry representatives as well as cyber security experts from the MND and national/regional Cyber Security Centres.

The exchange of views with Minister Anušauskas and Deputy Minister Semeška was mainly focused on Lithuania’s involvement in EDA’s current and future activities, the war in Ukraine and its potential impact on EU defence cooperation and spending, future defence investment programmes and cooperation opportunities to mitigate the defence gaps. Also, they discussed the EDA’s role in the implementation of the Strategic Compass as well as the initial phase of the new Hub for European Defence Innovation (HEDI) within EDA, as agreed by the Agency’s Steering Board in May.

To date, Lithuania participates in six EDA projects and one programme: EU Multimodal Transport Hub Network, Governmental Satellite Communication Demonstration Phase, EU Satellite Communication Market, Diplomatic Clearances, Common acquisition of Carl Gustaf 84 mm ammunition and C27J Spartan Cooperation (C27J). The total value of EDA programmes and projects in which Lithuania participates and where a project arrangement has been agreed currently stands at roughly €51 million. Lithuania also participates in four PESCO projects, one of which are even led by it: Cyber Rapid Response Teams and Mutual Assistance in Cyber Security.

“I am thankful to Minister Anušauskas and all my other interlocutors here in Vilnius for the possibility to personally exchange views about our work at EDA, the importance of enhancing EU defence cooperation, and the need to urgently fill existing defence investments gaps in Europe. I believe that with the massive security and defence challenges Europe is facing, especially now with the war in Ukraine, cooperation remains the best and most effective way of addressing them. Even though Lithuania already participates in six EDA projects and programmes, I am sure that there is much more cooperation potential to be exploited, for the benefit of Lithuania and all our other Member States. I therefore can only encourage the country to further benefit from collaborative opportunities in defence, and to use the Agency to its full potential”, Mr Šedivý commented.

Lithuanian Defence Minister Arvydas Anušauskas stated: “The return of war to Europe is a tectonic shift which will have a long term implications for European security. We have to adapt European defence architecture accordingly and ensure necessary defence capabilities are in place. We are grateful for the role EDA plays in this respect, including through PESCO and CARD. We believe that the most recent analysis of defence investment gaps is a good basis for exploiting further possibilities for cooperation, especially as regards replenishment of stocks, which is a key priority for us at the moment. Finally, I would like to stress the importance of EDA’s work on defence innovation which is highlighted by the creation of the European Defence Innovation Hub (HEDI) – a platform that would help to further stimulate and increase cooperation and investment in this field.”

 
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

CE in Estonia for high level talks

Thu, 09/06/2022 - 14:42

EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý pursued his ‘tour des capitales’ today with a visit to Estonia where he met with Defence Minister Kalle Laanet, Defence Ministry Permanent Secretary Kusti Salm, the Deputy Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces, Major General Veiko-Vello Palm, National Armaments Director Magnus-Valdemar Saar, Deputy Head of Capability Planning Department Kalle Teras as well as with the Head of the Ministry’s Innovation Department, Miiko Peris. Mr Šedivý also had talks with representatives of the Estonian Defence Industry Association (EDIA).

The exchange of views with Minister Laanet was mainly focused on Estonia’s involvement in EDA’s current and future activities, the war in Ukraine and its potential impact on EU defence cooperation and spending, future defence investment programmes and cooperation opportunities, EDA’s role in the implementation of the EU defence initiatives (especially the ongoing work on the second Coordinated Annual Review on Defence, CARD), the implementation of the recently adopted Strategic Compass, the upcoming revision of the EU Capability Development Priorities, the implementation of the EU’s Strategic Compass as well as the launch of the initial phase of the new Hub for European Defence Innovation (HEDI) with in EDA, as agreed by the Agency’s Steering Board in May.

To date, Estonia participates in 6 EDA projects: five collaborative capability development projects (Multinational Anti-Tank Training, Governmental Satellite Communication Demonstration Phase, EU Satellite Communication Market, Cooperation on Cyber Ranges in the European Union, Common acquisition of Carl Gustaf 84 mm ammunition) and one joint defence research project (Combat Unmanned Ground System). The total value of EDA programmes and projects in which Estonia participates and where a project arrangement has been agreed currently stands at roughly €54 million. Estonia also participates in 7 PESCO projects, three of which are even led by it: Cyber Ranges Federation, Integrated Unmanned Ground System, Medium size Semi-Autonomous Surface Vehicle.

“I am delighted to have had the opportunity to personally discuss EDA’s work with Minister Laanet and senior decision-makers in the Estonian Ministry of Defence. This visit also allowed me to thank Estonia for its support to the Agency and the EU defence initiatives, including CARD and PESCO, which are crucial for bringing defence cooperation forward. I believe that with the massive security and defence challenges Europe is facing, especially now with the war in Ukraine, cooperation remains the best and most effective way of addressing them. Today, Estonia participates in 6 EDA projects, but there is much more potential to exploit. I therefore encourage Estonia to further benefit from collaborative opportunities in defence, and to use the Agency to its full potential”, Mr Šedivý commented.

Estonian Defence Minister Kalle Laanet stated: “The EU has a very important role in today’s security environment – incentivising investments in Member States’ defence capabilities. EDA has identified the areas that need most attention, and now we need to focus on immediate action. This cooperation will also allow us to be better equipped to support Ukraine through this war, and it was good to have a chance to discuss it in person today with EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý. What’s more, EDA is an important platform for taking innovation and defence industry development forward in Europe. We have already seen great results from PESCO and CARD initiatives, which hold a lot of potential for the future. Estonia welcomes the EU and EDA innovation initiatives, such as the recently established EDA Defence Innovation Hub (HEDI), which will link well with our future NATO DIANA footprint. HEDI and DIANA represent a great opportunity in developing NATO-EU cooperation”.

Industry & cyber defence

Mr Šedivý also visited Milrem Robotics where he was presented the Integrated Modular Unmanned Ground System (IMUGS) project which is co-funded under the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) and run by a consortium led by Milrem Robotics. He also visited the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) where he was received by Chief of Staff LtCol Bernard Hoffmann.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA launches project to improve PNT testing

Thu, 09/06/2022 - 11:01

The European Defence Agency (EDA) has recently kicked off a new R&T project which aims to improve the testing of military Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) equipment in Europe through enhanced cooperation and information-sharing. 

The cat B. “Resilient PNT Testing for Defence (RIPTIDE)” project officially started on 16 May 2022 with the kick-off meeting in Rome (Italy), at the Secretariat General of Defence and National Armaments Directorate premises. The following EDA Member States are participating in the RIPTIDE project: Italy (lead), Austria, France, Germany, and Spain.  Norway, which has signed an Administrative Arrangement with the Agency, is also participating.

Defence systems, platforms and personnel engaged in military operations heavily rely on PNT information to support mobility, command and control (C2) as well as situational awareness. It is therefore key for military forces to have reliable and resilient PNT at their disposal. However, PNT sources and services can be hampered at any time by different hazards or even become totally unavailable in particularly adverse operational environments, for example subsurface. To be able to anticipate such situations, Armed Forces must evaluate the performance of PNT services available to them during an operation, as well as the potential threats which may arise and jeopardise those services. This allows them to assess the risks in advance and to take mitigating actions to avoid PNT failure. 

Against this backdrop, several EDA Member States have been performing or are planning to perform PNT tests in different operational conditions and threat scenarios. To date, such tests are primarily done at a national level, with limited interaction of information-sharing between the different Ministries of Defence. 
Increasing the joint knowledge

The purpose of the new EDA R&T project is to improve the PNT testing procedures through more cooperation, information-sharing and joint experiments. In concrete terms, it is notably foreseen that participating Member States define, organise and conduct common events (tests, demonstrations, exercises, etc.) in the field of PNT superiority testing and awareness for defence users, by making different test ranges, test equipment, and test platforms available to other participating countries. The objective is also to develop a common forum for the dissemination and awareness of PNT threats and PNT superiority related tests. The project provides the participating industry consortium with an opportunity to consolidate PNT testing tools which could be used in the RIPTIDE events. 

The main rationale behind this project is that a coordinated and cooperative organisation of PNT superiority testing activities will help Member States to acquire and increase their respective knowledge about PNT threats and their impact on operations, but also about PNT technologies, tactics and procedures at EU level. The improved expertise and know-how could also be used in the future to verify and, if necessary, improve countermeasures and develop new doctrines, methods and technologies for the advancement and implementation of PNT superiority at national and EU level. 

The RIPTIDE project is one of several R&T activities under the CapTech ‘Guidance, Navigation and Control’, which is the agency’s forum for a vast number of international experts discussing technological challenges in PNT. It also interlinks with the Agency’s Defence Test and Evaluation Base (DTEB) and the Project Team PNT. 

 
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

FIRE BLADE 2022 helicopter exercise kicks off in Hungary

Tue, 07/06/2022 - 15:53

FIRE BLADE 2022, the 16th helicopter exercise organised under the umbrella of the European Defence Agency’s Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP), kicked off today at Pápa airbase in Hungary. It will last until 24 June. 

A total of 25 air assets (20 helicopters + 5 aircrafts) and some 550 military personnel from five countries – Austria, Belgium, Slovakia, Slovenia and Hungary – will participate in this exercise hosted by the Hungarian Defence Forces. In addition, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, and several international organisations will participate with exercise observers.

The exercise’s main focus will be on enhancing interoperability at the tactical level between helicopter units by using the Composite Air Operations (COMAO) concept in a joint, combined, realistic and challenging environment, in order to enable proper preparation for future international deployed operations.

Objectives

The objectives of Fire Blade 2022  are manifold, notably: 

  • enhance standardisation and improve tactical interoperability between helicopter units from the participating countries by using the COMAO concept and to learn and practice common helicopter Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs). 
  • train and practise TTPs with and against fighter jets and electronic warfare threats;
  • improve interoperability in training and operational tasks with ground forces involvement during day and night in a live and full spectrum environment. 
Programme 

Participating crews will fly diverse day and night COMAO missions and execute, among others, Air Assault (AA), Special Operations Aviation (SOA), Combat Service Support (CSS), Close Air Support (CAS) including Urban CAS and Emergency CAS, Convoy/helicopter escorts, Reconnaissance and Surveillance (R&S), Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), Personnel Recovery (PR), Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) and Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC). This will include live firing drills.

It will also provide opportunities for attack operations, Special Operation Forces (SOF) training, and the possibility to train special procedures like fast rope and abseiling techniques, Special Patrol Insertion/Extraction (SPIE), pick-up and drop off procedures and air-to-surface live firing (helicopter door gunnery and sniper training). Finally, the European Air Group (EAG) will deliver a Forward Arming Refuelling Point (FARP) Force Integration Training.

FIRE BLADE 2022 will also provide opportunities to practice multinational and national formation and training with SOF units and to enhance crews’ skills in using the HEP Standard Operating Procedures (HEP SOP) and COMAO planning procedures in the conduct of flight planning and operations, also supported by the ATP-49.

Distinguished Visitors Day 

A Distinguished Visitors Day (DVD) is planned for 21 June 2022 when representatives from EDA participating Member States as well as Switzerland and Slovakia will attend and observe a live training session. The Joint Air Power Competence Centre (JAPCC), the NATO Special Operations Headquarters (NSHQ) and the European Air Group (EAG) are also invited to the DVD.

Background 

The Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP) is part of EDA’s wider helicopter portfolio aimed at providing Member States with a joint European framework to develop, consolidate and share best practices to meet the challenges of flying helicopters in a modern operational environment. Other components of this portfolio are the Helicopter Tactics Course (HTC) programme, the Helicopter Tactics Instructor Course (HTIC) programme and the future Multinational Helicopter Training Centre (MHTC) which is currently being established at Sintra Airbase in Portugal.

More information  
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Tabletop Exercise to explore future military capabilities

Thu, 02/06/2022 - 14:55

In the framework of the EU’s Capability Development Plan (CDP), EDA organised a Tabletop Exercise in Helsinki on 1/2 June 2022, hosted by the Finnish Ministry of Defence.  The aim of the exercise, which gathered about 40 experts and defence capability planners from EDA participating Member States, was to identify the long-term capability trends and needs beyond 2040 based on potential future generic conflict scenarios and impact of expected technological innovation suitable for military capabilities at this timeframe. The findings and conclusions of the exercise will nourish the so-called ‘Strand B’ (long-term) input for the CDP revision. 

The focus was on assessing the long-term capabilities trends and requirements expressed according to the Generic Military Task List (GMTL) organised in six main capabilities areas which structures the CDP.

For this purpose, the Tabletop Exercise (TTX) was conducted based on a specific scenario designed to address the full spectrum of conventional military capabilities. The scenario was based on a general context derived from official Foresight Analyses, and on specific military trends, taking into account the technological impact on future warfare, in particular the Emerging Disruptive Technologies (EDT) and innovative warfare. This fictitious environment took place in the year 2040+ and referred to a generic EU Member State having to face external and hostile actions which, eventually, escalated to a full-scale armed conflict. The scope of the state and non-state actors, the geographic background and the specific events were to highlight the capabilities needed in the timeframe of 20 years + ahead to face such a threat, both from a material and non-material perspective.

The TTX stretched over two full working days and involved the participation of Member States’ representatives, EDA subject matter experts and other experts from EU defence and security entities. The audience represented a mix of defence planners, technology/innovation experts, and foresight analysts, enhancing the integrated approach needed to balance the “Capability Pull” and the “Technology Push” of military capability development. Furthermore, NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT) also attended the TTX, as observers. The exercise entailed both plenary sessions as well as split sessions in which 3 different groups of experts addressed specific capability areas. Moreover, they discussed the implications of the possible future threats, encompassing all military domains, and considering, among others, the impact of the hybrid warfare and the cognitive dimension. All the findings of the working sessions and the trends identified will be considered to assess the level of importance of the generic military tasks (GMTL), in order to anticipate and prioritise the future military requirements. 

Background

The EU Capability Development Priorities derived from the Capability Development Plan (CDP) provide a key reference for Member States' capability development endeavours and EU defence initiatives such as the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD) and the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO). These priorities are based on the input from the four strands of the CDP:

  • Strand A – CSDP military capability shortfalls derived from the EU Headline Goal Process;
  • Strand B – Long-term capability development trends;
  • Strand C – Member States’ defence plans and programmes;
  • Strand D – Lessons learned from missions and operations.

Strand B identifies future capability requirement based on key strategic factors, and expected technological innovation, that may be relevant to support the development of defence and security capabilities in the timeframe of 20+ years ahead. The aim of Strand B is not to predict the future, but to anticipate defence capability needs, and related development, resulting from an assessment of various possible factors, including best use of technological progress, when it will be available. Subsequently, the CDP Strand B informs R&T work and long-term capability activities in the EDA framework and facilitates the linkage of the R&T activities to capability development. The resulting Strand B long-term capability assessment, with the impact of technology on future military requirements, will feed the CDP prioritisation mechanism, providing future level of importance of military tasks in the timeframe of 20+ years ahead. 

The Strand B work is benefiting from the EDA Technology Foresight Exercise 2021, which provides technology trends with an outlook to 2040+, and from the Technology Themes assessment updated with the contribution of EDA’s Capability and Technology Groups (CapTechs). 

 
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

First European Defence Innovation Day Calls for More Investment and Cooperation

Wed, 01/06/2022 - 10:23

Brussels, 1 June 2022. We must invest more in defence and make up for years of budget cuts and underinvestment. The message is clear: we need to reduce fragmentation and invest more together, starting now”, said High Representative/Head of the European Defence Agency, Josep Borrell, during the first European Defence Innovation Day – organised by the European Defence Agency under the auspices of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The event displayed how greater investment and cooperation in defence innovation is crucial to maintain and drive European technological sovereignty.

A first for the European Defence Innovation Hub (HEDI)

The Defence Innovation Day marks the official launch - and first activity - of the Hub for European Defence Innovation (HEDI) which was established within EDA following a decision by Member States’ Defence Ministers on 17 May. The launch of HEDI is not only an important first delivery of the Strategic Compass, but also a crucial step towards a more innovative European defence.

The Head of Agency, Josep Borrell said: “EDA certainly has a key role to play in defence innovation. It has been dealing with innovation since its creation in 2004. And it has already delivered. Successful examples include projects on drone swarms; technologies for electromagnetic railguns; or new clean energy technologies to lower the carbon footprint and decrease energy dependencies in the defence sector. These are all initiatives developed at EDA”.

Speaking at the opening of the event, EDA Chief Executive, Jiri Šedivý said: “The creation of the Hub for European Defence Innovation in EDA is an additional sign that Member States are ready to take European defence innovation to the next level, in cooperation with the European Commission but also with NATO”.

Showcasing European Excellence in Innovation

The European Defence Innovation Day also extended to an exhibition highlighting cutting-edge defence innovations developed at national and European level. The exhibition gathered innovators from 19 Member States and 9 developed within the framework of the European Defence Agency. “I’m proud” of EDA’s work on innovation so far, “but we have to do more”, the Head of the Agency Josep Borrell said, insisting on a close cooperation with the European Commission and its European Defence Fund (EDF), as well as with NATO “because we have the same purpose”.

The event gathered defence experts and innovators from EU institutions, Member States’ Defence Ministries, armed forces and innovation agencies, NATO, media, research institutes, industry and academia. A summary of the discussions during the event are available here.

 

More information

Event summary : First European Defence Innovation Day marks launch of HEDI (europa.eu)

Factsheet: https://eda.europa.eu/publications-and-data/factsheets/factsheet-hub-for-eu-defence-innovation-(hedi)

Press release: Hub for EU Defence Innovation Established within EDA (europa.eu)

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

First European Defence Innovation Day marks launch of HEDI

Tue, 31/05/2022 - 18:59

The first ever European Defence Innovation Day, organised by the European Defence Agency (EDA) under the auspices of the French EU Presidency, took place today in Brussels. The event allowed a 500-strong audience - in the conference room and remotely - to listen to interesting and lively speeches and panel discussions, to visit the onsite European Defence Innovation Exhibition, and to take part in a series of separate thematic ‘Tech-Talks’. The Defence Innovation Day marks the official launch - and first activity - of the Hub for European Defence Innovation (HEDI) which was established within EDA following a decision by Member States’ Defence Ministers on 17 May

 

Jiří Šedivý, EDA’s Chief Executive, welcomed the conference speakers and attendees by thanking the French EU Presidency for supporting and co-organising this “landmark event” which is meant to be the first of a long series of future European Defence Innovation Days to come. He reminded the audience of the strategic importance of disruptive defence technologies which, he said, has made of defence innovation “a factor that shapes the international security environment” and the balance of power: “The brutal Russian war of aggression in Ukraine vividly shows why we need to urgently strengthen European defence, and also why defence innovation is essential”. While innovation has always been a centrepiece of EDA’s activities, the EU and its Member States “need to do more, and more together” because joint innovation activities, done in collaboration, “provide better value for money than today’s fragmented efforts”, said Mr Šedivý. The creation of the Hub for European Defence Innovation in EDA is an additional sign that Member States are ready to take European defence innovation to the next level, in cooperation with the European Commission but also NATO. “EDA’s collaboration with NATO, were both organizations are engaging each other in Innovation Prizes and Challenges events, will continue to expand in pace with developments in both organisations”, he concluded. 

Bertrand Le Meur: “France will work side by side with EDA to raise up HEDI” 

Representing the French EU Presidency, Bertrand Le Meur (Director for Defence Strategy, Counter-Proliferation and Strategic Foresight at the Directorate General for International Relations and Strategy of the French Ministry for the Armed Forces) stressed the strategic importance of defence innovation and the capacity to develop and produce high-end capabilities which, especially in the current times of conflicts and uncertainties, “play a central role in preserving our interests”. “Innovation is essential for improving our defence capabilities and keeping military superiority (…) Therefore, remaining competitive in innovation is a key for the credibility and efficiency of our defence”, he said. The challenges in this domain are manifold, Mr Le Meur continued. First, the defence sector needs to open to civil, non-traditional tech players and companies which are essential for new defence applications. Second, the public-private cooperation must become leaner and smoother than it is today. Third, developers and producers need to consider the end-users’ perspective from a very early stage of the innovation process.  And finally, there needs to be a culture-change in the Ministries of Defence who need to adapt to much shorter and quicker innovation and development cycles than they are used to so far. On all those challenges, Member States’ national innovation stakeholders and agencies need to work together, “not in competition one against each other, but in complementarity”.  HEDI, EDA’s Defence Innovation Hub, will have an important network function to play in this context by connecting the dots between Member States and being a “catalyst and amplifier” of national innovation efforts. France, a strong supporter of HEDI, “will be side by side with EDA to raise up this Hub” and make it a success, Mr Le Meur concluded. 

Defence Innovation Exhibition: 26 stands to showcase national and EDA projects 

The keynote speech was followed by the official opening, by EDA Research, Technology & Innovation Director Jean-François Ripoche, of the first European Defence Innovation Exhibition which was accessible to all conference attendees onsite. The exhibition featured a total of 26 stands of which 19 were sponsored by Member States to showcase national innovation strategies and projects, while 9 were representing the results of projects developed in EDA’s capability technology groups (‘CapTechs’). Two stands were informing visitors about other innovation activities underway at EDA.  The exhibition topics ranged from Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications in defence and new developments in the cyber defence domain to space-based innovative technologies and the use of 3-D-printing (additive manufacturing) in the defence supply chain.   

Keynote speech and panel discussions

The afternoon session was opened by a technical keynote speech on ‘Quantum Technologies’, delivered by Tommaso Calarco who is the Head of the Institute Quantum Control at University of Cologne.   

It was followed by a first panel discussion, moderated by Daniel Fiott (Defence Editor at the EUISS) on ‘How to bridge civil and military worlds in innovation?’. The session featured François Arbault (Director of Defence Industry, Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space, European Commission), Petter Bedoire (Chief Technology Officer, Saab), Marja Eijkman (Managing Director Defence, Safety & Security, TNO), Brigadier General Dieter Kohl (Special Advisor, NATO Allied Command Transformation) and Olli Ruutu (EDA’s Deputy Chief Executive).  

“How to cultivate a European defence innovation ecosystem?” was then the topic of a catching ‘Fireside chat’, moderated by Panagiotis Kikiras, EDA’s Head of Technology and Innovation, that brought together Emmanuel Chiva, the Director of the French Defence Innovation Agency, and EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý. There was a general agreement among the speakers on the need to enhance cooperation in defence innovation across Europe and increase uptake of innovation to ensure long-term effectiveness and resiliency of the Armed Forces.   

Josep Borrell: “EDA has a key role to play in defence innovation”

High Representative Josep Borrell, the Head of EDA, closed the event by recalling that the war in Ukraine, “a tough wake-up call”, has dramatically demonstrated why our Armed Forces must be always ready to defend our citizens, values and interests. To ensure that, “we must invest more in defence and make up for years of budget cuts and underinvestment (…) The message is clear: we need to reduce fragmentation and invest more together, starting now”, he said. Member States now clearly acknowledge the importance of it, as today’s European Council meeting in Brussels (30/31 May) has shown, where leaders discussed European defence, based on the defence investment gaps analysis the HRVP/Head of EDA presented together with the Commission on 18 May. While the focus of the EU leaders’ discussion was mainly on the short-term needs, i.e. the replenishment of stockpiles, “we should also look at the future and longer-term needs. For this we need innovation to modernise our armed forces. We either innovate or we risk becoming irrelevant in the field of security and defence”, Mr Borrell said. To retain an edge over competitors and potential adversaries, Europe must make full use of emerging and disruptive technologies to develop capabilities across the full spectrum. “EDA certainly has a key role to play in defence innovation. It has been dealing with innovation since its creation in 2004. And it has already delivered. Successful examples include projects on drone swarms; technologies for electromagnetic railguns; or new clean energy technologies to lower the carbon footprint and decrease energy dependencies in the defence sector. These are all initiatives developed at EDA”. “I’m proud” of EDA’s work on innovation so far, “but we have to do more”, the Head of the Agency said, insisting on a close cooperation with the European Commission and its European Defence Fund (EDF), as well as with NATO “because we have the same purpose”. Today’s official launch of HEDI is not only an important first delivery of the Strategic Compass, but also a crucial step towards a more innovative European defence, Mr Borrell concluded.  

 

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EDA-developed cyber training platform handed over to Portugal ​

Wed, 25/05/2022 - 15:48

The Cyber Defence Training & Exercise Coordination Platform (CD TEXP), a web-based tool developed at EDA over the last years to support, coordinate and deliver joint cyber training courses and exercises, was handed over today to the Ministry of Defence of Portugal which will host the new collaborative asset.

It means that from now on, all common European cyber defence courses and exercises - be they organised by EDA, the European Security and Defence College (ESDC) or individual Member States - can be integrated and handled through the CD TEXP platform to allow for the joint and remote (virtual) participation of all Member States involved. CD TEXP can also serve as a booking tool for EDA Cyber Ranges Federation exercises and will be an important platform for the implementation of the PESCO project related to ‘EU Cyber Academia and Innovation Hub’ (CAIH).

The handover between EDA and the Portuguese MoD took place today during the Cyber PESCO Projects Conference “The EU Cyber resilience Challenge: a Joint PESCO Cooperative Approach”, organised by Portugal in Lisbon (24/25 May), in the presence of EDA’s Capability Director, Stefano Cont, and Portugal’s Deputy Director for Defence Resources, Major-General Côrte-Real Andrade.

Already from an early stage of the CD TEXP development, Portugal had expressed its willingness to host and operate the new capacity. This served as an additional incentive for EDA and its participating Member States to push forward with the project, go beyond the demonstration phase and produce a fully operational tool usable by Member States’ Armed Forces.

EDA Director Cont thanked the Portuguese authorities for their outstanding cooperation and willingness to support EU Member States with operating the CD TEXP. 

More information:

 

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Ministers discuss EDA analysis on defence investment gaps

Tue, 17/05/2022 - 10:54

Meeting today at EDA’s ministerial Steering Board, Defence Minister discussed the “Scoping EU defence investment gaps” analysis the Agency has produced and transmitted to the European Commission as its contribution to the tasking given by the Heads of State or Government at their informal meeting in Versailles on 10/11 March. 

At that meeting, EU leaders had “invited the Commission, in coordination with the European Defence Agency, to put forward an analysis of the defence investment gaps by mid-May and to propose any further initiative necessary to strengthen the European defence industrial and technological base”.

 EDA’s analysis is notably built on the Invest chapter of the Strategic Compass, the Capability Development Plan (CDP) and the detailed findings of the first Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD) presented in November 2020. 

The findings of the analysis, which will feed and be integrated into the European Commission’s document/proposals to the European Council, cover three partially overlapping time horizons:

  • an immediate step should be to work on combat readiness of forces and capabilities; 
  • starting in 2022-23 with an impact within the next five years, the focus should be placed on augmenting the mass and volume of existing capabilities; 
  • in the mid-to-long term (10 years and beyond) the focus should be put on a structural reinforcement and modernisation of capabilities.
Hub for EU Defence Innovation established

The Steering Board also approved the establishment of a Hub for EU Defence Innovation (HEDI) within EDA. HEDI will strengthen the Agency’s existing innovation activities but also initiate new ones, in close cooperation with Member States and other EU stakeholders to ensure synergies and complementarity, as well as coherence with NATO innovation initiatives.  More information here.

The Netherlands to lead focus area ‘Enhanced Military Mobility’

At the Steering Board, the Dutch Minister also announced that the Netherlands will take up the role of facilitator for developing the so-called ‘focus area’ on Enhanced Military Mobility. In the first CARD report presented by EDA in November 2020, Member States are recommended to concentrate their cooperation efforts on six specific focus areas: Main Battle Tanks (MBT); Soldier Systems; Patrol Class Surface Ships; Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (Counter-UAS); Defence applications in Space; Military Mobility. As facilitator, the Netherlands intents to connect the dots on a number of topics that are part of military mobility, with a specific focus on capability development.

More information:  
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Hub for EU Defence Innovation Established within EDA

Tue, 17/05/2022 - 10:47

EDA Defence Ministers, meeting today at the Agency’s ministerial Steering Board, have approved the establishment of a Hub for EU Defence Innovation (HEDI) within EDA. The Hub will strengthen the Agency’s existing innovation activities but also initiate new ones, in close cooperation with Member States and EU stakeholders. Today’s decision comes after the Strategic Compass for Security and Defence, approved in March, called for the creation of such a Hub in 2022.

HEDI will act as a platform to stimulate, facilitate and support cooperation on defence innovation among Member States while ensuring synergies with related European Commission activities, notably the EU defence innovation scheme, and coherence of output with NATO innovation initiatives such as the Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA).

HEDI will operate at the intersection of EDA’s already existing innovation activities, serving as a catalyst and amplifier. The existing Innovation Framework in EDA contains the necessary tools to support collaborative defence innovation and is based on three pillars: - identification of innovative ideas and innovators; - implementation of these ideas; - outreach to increase the awareness of the solutions produced and their application to the defence domain. HEDI’s activities will be focused on the agreed EU priorities for capability development (Capability Development Plan), defence research (Overarching Strategic Research Agenda) as well as industrial capabilities (Key Strategic Activities).

The Head of EDA, HR/VP Josep Borrell, said: “Less than two months after the adoption of the EU’s Strategic Compass, we deliver on one of the Compass’ main priorities by establishing the European Defence Agency’s Defence Innovation Hub. Working closely with the Commission, the Hub will help our Armed Forces to step up their innovation efforts to be better prepared for the future battlefield and the next generation technologies”.

EDA Chief Executive, Jiří Šedivý said: “With the rapid development of new and often disruptive technologies and their fast weaponisation, innovation has become a geostrategic factor shaping the international security environment and the global balance of power. The establishment of HEDI is a clear signal that our Ministries of Defence take innovation seriously and that they want to invest more in it, and act together. HEDI will help develop the synergies needed to connect existing innovation efforts and stimulate the launch of new ones, for the benefit of European Defence”.

THREE STEP APPROACH

Three steps have been defined for the Hub to progressively grow and fulfil its role:

  • Step 1: inspiring and promoting innovation at EU level. During this ramp-up phase, the Hub will focus on networking and situational awareness activities, making the most of existing EDA resources. Activities to be deployed during this initial phase include the exchange of best innovation practices across the EU and the organisation of a first European Defence Innovation Day on 31 May 2022.  HEDI will also contribute to creating a ‘common picture’ of defence innovation in Europe. For this purpose, it will organise stakeholder groups and workshops and set up and manage networks of defence innovation organisations and researchers who will be invited to exchange views on these topics once or twice a year.
  • Step 2: facilitating innovation across Member States and EU institutions.  This second phase will see HEDI drive activities such as the upgrade of the existing EDA Defence Innovation Prize (increase in the number of prizes awarded and of domains covered), the funding of proof-of-concept of innovative ideas, the organisation of European Defence Innovation Shows, the launch in cooperation with partners of so-called Innovation Challenges (a specific R&T methodology targeting short cycles of development from proof-of-principle to minimum viable product), as well as specific actions to support the uptake of innovation ideas/concepts towards capability development.
  • Step 3: making of HEDI an EU-wide platform for cooperative design and experimentation embedded in the EU capability development process. The activities to be undertaken will be decided by Member States at a later stage.  
EMBEDDED IN EDA

HEDI will be embedded within the existing EDA framework and staffed by EDA personnel. According to guidelines approved today, the launch of the new Hub should not come at the expense of existing EDA activities. It will function under EDA’s 3-Year Planning Framework with a yearly reporting and evaluation in the starting phase. EDA shall regularly report to the Steering Board on the progress and way ahead, specifically on the impact, lessons learned, and possible updates of the stepped implementation plan. The Steering Board will evaluate the progress of the HEDI and its proposed activities for the next year. 

BACKGROUND

The work that led to the creation of HEDI initially started in May 2021 when the Foreign Affairs Council called for reinforcing EDA’s role in fostering defence innovation and tasked the HR/VP and Head of EDA, Josep Borrell, to present options by the end of 2021. Among the options put on the table (and now approved) was that of establishing a Hub for EU Defence Innovation within EDA.

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How can data management improve the circularity of defence capabilities?

Mon, 02/05/2022 - 09:40

Under the EDA-managed Incubation Forum for Circular Economy in European Defence (IF CEED), more than 30 experts from 13 countries across Europe met on 26 April 2022 to prioritise the way forward on the role of data for circular economy in European Defence.

Experts from EDA’s participating Member States, defence-related industry and Research-and-Technology Organisations (RTOs) gathered in two sessions of IF CEED working groups (so-called ‘Project Circles’). The core of the discussion covered how to improve circularity by information sharing across the defence-related value chain, while protecting classified or business-sensitive data.

The Project Circle ‘WFD’ discussed the implementation of the article 9(1)(i) of the Waste Framework Directive regarding the reporting of substances of very high concern. It focused on the associated ‘SCIP’ (Substances of Concern In Product) database, its use within the defence supply chain, the implementation of the Directive’s provisions across Member States and issues related to compliance with defence-specific requirements, such as rules on export of military systems.

Then, the Project Circle ‘Circular Data’ started its work on the broader use of data as an enabler for circularity in Defence. Presentations explored the potential uses of data and the concept of ‘Digital Product Passport’, by building on recent initiatives in civilian applications able to cross-fertilise and transfer innovative technologies to the defence sector. Participants shared experiences and views on the needs, benefits and barriers of the implementation of a data-sharing scheme in the military context. They discussed topics such as higher standards of data protection needed for classified information and the relevant scope of data to be shared across supply chains.

Both Project Circles established first priorities, aiming at making the most of data management to develop circularity principles in the defence sector.

The Incubation Forum for Circular Economy in European Defence (IF CEED) is co-funded by the European Union (under the LIFE programme) and the Luxembourg’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs - Directorate of Defence.

More info:

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CE in Poland for high level talks

Wed, 27/04/2022 - 16:33

EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý visited Poland this week (26/27 April) for high-level talks with the Deputy Minister of Defence, Marcin Ociepa, the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces, Major General Piotr Błazeusz, as well as with the Defence Policy Director and the National Armament, Capability and R&T Directors. Mr Šedivý also met with representatives of the Polish defence industry. The trip to Warsaw was part of Mr Šedivý’s ‘tour des capitales’ that, since last year, sees him visiting all EDA Member States.

The discussions with Deputy Minister Ociepa, Deputy Chief of the General Staff Major General Błazeusz and other interlocutors at the Ministry of National Defence mainly focused on Poland’s involvement in EDA’s current and future activities, the war in Ukraine and its potential impact on EU defence cooperation and spending, future defence investment programmes and cooperation opportunities, EDA’s role in the implementation of the EU defence initiatives (especially the ongoing work on the second Coordinated Annual Review on Defence, CARD), the implementation of the recently adopted Strategic Compass, the upcoming revision of the EU Capability Development Priorities, as well as the establishment of the Defence Innovation Hub in EDA, as agreed by EU Member States in the Strategic Compass.

To date, Poland participates in 38 EDA projects and programmes, representing 28% of EDA’s total project portfolio. Of these, six are capability development projects, including cooperation on the EU Multimodal Transport Hub Network, EU Satellite Communications Market, Additive Manufacturing for Logistic Support and Maritime Surveillance. Currently, Poland participates in 32 research and technology (R&T) projects, out of which 17 are ongoing and 15 under preparation. Poland is also the lead nation for four among them that cover passive radar, electronic warfare, maritime monitoring and biometric vehicles for underwater Intelligence surveillance and recognition (ISR). The total value of EDA programmes and projects in which Poland participates currently stands at €178 million (Apr.2022). Poland is also participating in a total of 13 PESCO projects of which it leads one, the project aiming at establishing a Special Operations Forces Medical Training Centre.

“I am grateful for Poland’s active involvement in the Agency’s work, especially, for its leading role in various important collaborative defence research projects run in the EDA framework. We need the leadership of Member States, such as Poland, to push joint research and innovation within our Armed Forces because new disruptive technologies and innovations are reshaping the whole defence sector. I would also thank Poland for its very active engagement in PESCO where is participating in a range of crucial capability projects which aim to fil existing European shortfalls.  All in all, I can only thank the Polish authorities for their strong commitment to EDA’s activities and European defence cooperation in general, and encourage them to pursue on this path”, Mr Šedivý commented.

Polish Deputy Defence Minister Marcin Ociepa said: “The big shift in the worldwide security situation associated with the war in Ukraine has changed the perspective on what is the regional status of Poland. This shows how important maintaining a technological advantage over potential adversaries is and how necessary is strengthening investments and efforts in defence, including R&T. Increasing tensions and the deteriorating security situation accelerated works on the new Homeland Defence bill that rises the GDP defence spending benchmark from 2,3% until 3% starting from next year and sets up conditions for increasing a number of personnel up to 300.000 over the next decade. We believe that the use of available instruments within EU and NATO to improve effectiveness of activities, and achieve more by acting together is crucial. Within the EU framework we recognize great relevance of the EDA, with support on Cat B research projects, CapTechs vehicles and new initiative with regards to HEDI - Hub for European Defence Innovation, and the European Defence Fund. Having all that in mind we would like to thank EDA for the work you have been doing to strengthen and increase the level of cooperation of joint capability building and defence innovation.

Industry

On 27 April, Mr Šedivý also met with the CEO of the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ), Mr Sebastian Chwałek, to discuss EDA’s industry engagement and a range of other industry-related topics.

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Call issued for EDA Defence Innovation Prize 2022

Tue, 12/04/2022 - 09:54

EDA today issued a call for applications from parties interested in participating in the ‘EDA Defence Innovation Prize 2022’ which, in close cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA), is dedicated this year to the following topic: Space-based surveillance and reconnaissance defence technologies (space domain) focusing on debris and artificial orbiting objects. 

Applicants are called to submit stimulating innovative solutions & technologies on Space-based surveillance and reconnaissance defence technologies (space domain) focusing on debris, artificial orbiting objects, and man-made objects with unexpected behaviour. The topic was chosen against the background of an increasingly crowded space environment which makes it necessary for military users to address the issue of identifying and tracking debris and man-made objects in all orbital regions. In this context, satellite operators - including military ones – are urgently looking for collision avoidance tools and solutions to support their decision-making for dedicated manoeuvres.

The proposed technologies and innovative solutions are thus expected to focus on:

  • Enhanced Space Traffic Management (STM) capabilities for military purposes and dual-use, for instance: tracking in all orbital regions for orbit refinement; safe deorbiting and rapid manoeuvring of military satellites; predicting and avoiding potential collisions, among others.
  • Awareness and tracking of debris and artificial objects, for instance: tracking in all orbit regions for natural and artificial objects; tracking and identifying of objects and threats in space; enhanced ability to maintain real-time awareness of the space domain; space debris detection and tracking through satellite grids; detection of very small LEO debris; space-based telescopes and radars, among others.

The winning idea/concept will be awarded 30,000€.

For the evaluation of ideas, ESA’s Space Debris Office will provide its expertise on space debris environment modelling, technologies for observation and mitigating space debris, as well as from its experience in collision avoidance for ESA’s missions.

How to apply?

The deadline for submitting applications is 9 September 2022.

The contest rules and application criteria/details can be found here, (plus the annexes to the call for applications here).

The prize will be handed over during the 2022 EDA Annual Conference in Brussels later this year.

Submitted innovations must be the applicants’ own intellectual property. However, submissions may include improvements of already existing ideas, new combinations or adaptations of them applicable in a different context. The applicants must demonstrate the innovative added value of their ideas, compared to what exists already. Proposals must be innovative, implementable through a collaborative project and financially affordable in terms of future development and exploitation.

Who can apply?

The contest is especially (but not exclusively) aimed at non-traditional defence industries (civil or dual-use producers) and researchers as they play a growing role in inventing and creating the disruptive capabilities that Member States’ Armed Forces will need tomorrow. The contest also provides a good opportunity for small and medium sized enterprises, research organisations and universities involved in defence R&D activities to demonstrate their know-how, maximize dual-use synergies and create partnerships with key players in the defence field.

Background

Since 2018, the Agency organises the 'EDA Defence Innovation Prize' which rewards companies and research entities who come up with ground-breaking technologies, products, processes, or services applicable in the defence domain. The contest aims to stimulate defence innovation in Europe and provide non-traditional defence stakeholders (civil industries, SMEs, research organisations, universities, etc.) with an opportunity to showcase their know-how in domains relevant for defence.

 

More information

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Stefano Cont starts as new Capability, Armament & Planning (CAP) Director

Fri, 01/04/2022 - 09:52

Major General Stefano Cont has been appointed EDA Capability, Armament and Planning (CAP) Director as of 1 April 2022. He previously held the position of Italian Defence Cooperation Attaché in Washington where his primary duties were to promote bilateral military relations and enhance cooperation in research and development of defence programmes. 

“I am honoured to join the European Defence Agency at a crucial moment for European defence in general, and for the Agency in particular. At a time when defence expenditure is expected to increase significantly throughout Europe because of the war in Ukraine and heightened global security threats, European cooperation and collaborative capability development will be key to make sure the money is spent well and efficiently. EDA will have a central role to play in making this cooperation possible, and I look forward to contributing to this important work as the Agency’s Capability, Armament and Planning Director, together with its highly qualified and experienced staff”, Stefano Cont stated when he took up his new post.

As Capability, Armament & Planning Director, Stefano Cont will lead a key directorate that has a crucial function in EDA’s overall mission because it prepares the programmes of tomorrow by maximising synergies between capabilities, armaments and research & technology. The Agency’s main capability programmes are all under the responsibility of this directorate - from military mobility and air-to-air refueling (AAR) to satellite communications and cyber defence. Mr Cont’s directorate also leads the Agency’s work on the EU’s Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD – for which the second report will be presented by the Agency in November) and plays a central role in the upcoming review of Member States’ Capability Development Plan (CDP). Both tools are central for steering and guiding collaborative and coherent capability development in Europe.

Mr Cont holds degrees in Aeronautical Sciences and Political and Military Sciences from Federico II University in Naples, and Midwestern State University (USA). He also has Masters in International and Military’s Strategic Studies (Rome), Public Management (MSU-USA) and National Security Strategy (National Defense University-USA) and a doctor title in International and Diplomatic Sciences from the University of Trieste.

More information  
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Field trial held to populate future European Terrain Database

Mon, 28/03/2022 - 09:24

EDA is working on the establishment of a European Terrain Database (ETDB) which will include a vast selection of images taken from across Europe to be made available to Member States’ Armed Forces for multiple military purposes. To this end, a Multinational Field Trial Exercise was held on 23/24 March at the land test centre of the Italian Armed Forces (Centro Polifunzionale di Sperimentazione) in Montelibretti near Rome. 

More than 30 experts from military test centres based in Italy, Sweden, Greece, Spain, the Netherlands, France and Portugal participated in the exercise co-organised by EDA and the Italian Secretariat General of the Defence and National Armaments Directorate - Technological Innovation Department. The first part of the event took place outdoor, in the wider area of the test centre, and was aimed at acquiring images with several cameras working in different spectral regions (visible, long wave Infrared, short wave Infrared) under diverse configurations (mounted on a drone or grounded). A large number of pictures of different terrain landscapes were taken, with and without a specific target. During the second part of the exercise, all these images were uploaded onto the prototypic software platform of the future European Terrain Database which will be installed on EDA servers in the coming months, ready to be populated by users from different participating Member States with unclassified images in different spectral regions (visible, Infrared wavelengths and microwave). The stored pictures will also include information and metadata deemed necessary or useful for their military usage in test and/or research activities.

Once established and fully accessible, the database can be used, for instance, for target recognition, the assessment and improvement of camouflage effectiveness, the testing and enhancement of sensors in different terrains, the generation of synthetic images or the support of modelling and simulation activities. 

The exercise participants came from different expert communities with an interest in the ETDB, particularly scientists and technicians specialised in Optronics and Radar sensor design (including materials) and performance prediction, design, development and testing of new camouflage, visible and infrared signature and Radar Cross Section mitigation solutions. The future dataset can be employed by the Ministries of Defence of all participating Member States for R&T initiatives as well as for operational and training purposes. The multinational field trial was therefore an excellent opportunity for those experts to meet and explore potential cooperation opportunities among European defence test centres.

The event was organised in the framework of EDA’s Defence Test & Evaluation Base (DTEB) initiative, which was launched in 2010 to collect, share and harmonise defence test & evaluation standards and procedures at European level. In the meantime, the DTEB has developed into a dynamic and useful network, not only of European Military Test Centres, but also of companies, universities and public/private research centres operating in the sector of defence technologies.

 
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