Strengthening European Defence: Exploring the European Defence Fund (EDF)

For project experts passionate about contributing to the advancement of European defence capabilities, the European Defence Fund (EDF) offers a valuable opportunity. The EDF is a significant funding instrument established by the European Union (EU) to enhance cooperation, innovation, and efficiency in the defence sector.

Strengthening European Defence: Exploring the European Defence Fund (EDF)
August 15, 2023 3:22 pm | Last Update: July 16, 2023 7:24 am


For project experts passionate about contributing to the advancement of European defence capabilities, the European Defence Fund (EDF) offers a valuable opportunity. The EDF is a significant funding instrument established by the European Union (EU) to enhance cooperation, innovation, and efficiency in the defence sector. In this article, we will explore the European Defence Fund (EDF), focusing on its goals and priorities, the range of topics eligible for project proposals, and the process of submitting proposals, empowering project experts to prepare impactful project proposals.

Understanding the European Defence Fund (EDF)

The European Defence Fund (EDF) is an EU initiative designed to strengthen Europe’s defence capabilities by fostering collaboration, innovation, and competitiveness in the defence industry. It aims to support the development of cutting-edge defence technologies, enhance research and innovation, and promote a more integrated and efficient defence industry across EU member states. The EDF offers financial assistance to support collaborative defence projects and facilitate the development and acquisition of defence capabilities.

Priorities and Goals of the EDF

To align your project proposal with the European Defence Fund (EDF), it is important to understand its key priorities and goals. The EDF focuses on the following objectives:

Boosting Defence Research and Development: The EDF aims to stimulate defence-related research and development activities across Europe. It prioritizes projects that contribute to technological advancements, innovation, and the acquisition of state-of-the-art defence capabilities.

Promoting Defence Industrial Cooperation: The EDF seeks to enhance industrial cooperation within the EU’s defence sector. It encourages collaboration among defence industry players, research institutes, and universities to foster a more integrated, competitive, and resilient European defence industry.

Strengthening European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB): The EDF aims to reinforce the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base, ensuring Europe’s strategic autonomy and self-sufficiency in defence capabilities. It seeks to support projects that contribute to the development and maintenance of critical defence technologies and capabilities within the EU.

Topics for Project Proposals

The European Defence Fund (EDF) invites project proposals addressing various areas within the defence sector. While specific topics may vary depending on the call for proposals and funding priorities, potential areas for project proposals include:

Research and Technology Development: Projects focusing on defence-related research, technological development, and innovation. This could include advancements in areas such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, space technologies, or military equipment and systems.

Capability Development and Acquisition: Initiatives aimed at enhancing defence capabilities and addressing capability gaps within the EU. This could involve projects related to the development and acquisition of advanced defence equipment, technologies, or platforms, including land, sea, air, or space systems.

Defence Industry Collaboration: Projects promoting industrial cooperation and collaboration among defence industry players. This could encompass initiatives fostering partnerships, joint ventures, or consortiums to enhance industrial capacity, increase competitiveness, and improve supply chain integration.

Dual-Use Technologies: Projects focusing on technologies with both civilian and defence applications. This could involve research and development activities related to dual-use technologies such as sensors, materials, communication systems, or manufacturing processes.

Submitting a Project Proposal

To submit a project proposal to the European Defence Fund (EDF), project experts can follow these general steps:

Identify Relevant Calls for Proposals: Stay updated on the EDF’s funding opportunities by regularly visiting the EU’s funding portals, such as the “Funding and Tender Opportunities” portal. Identify the calls for proposals that align with your project’s focus area.

Understand the Application Requirements: Familiarize yourself with the specific guidelines and eligibility criteria outlined in the call for proposals. Pay attention to the deadlines, required documentation, budget considerations, and evaluation criteria.

Develop a Comprehensive Project Proposal: Craft a well-structured proposal that clearly defines the project’s objectives, methodology, expected outcomes, and potential impact on defence capabilities. Highlight the innovative aspects, technological advancements, and collaborative nature of your project.

Prepare Supporting Documentation: Gather all necessary supporting documents, including a detailed budget, work plan, consortium agreements (if applicable), CVs of key project personnel, and any other requested materials. Ensure that your proposal meets the submission requirements.

Submit the Proposal: Complete the application form and upload all required documents through the designated submission platform within the specified deadline. Keep a record of the submission confirmation and any reference numbers provided.


The European Defence Fund (EDF) offers project experts a valuable opportunity to contribute to the advancement of European defence capabilities. By aligning project proposals with the EDF’s priorities and goals, project experts can leverage funding to drive innovation, foster collaboration, and enhance Europe’s defence technological and industrial base. Topics eligible for project proposals within the EDF span various areas of defence research, technology development, capability enhancement, and industrial cooperation. By following the submission guidelines, preparing a comprehensive proposal, and highlighting the project’s potential impact, project experts can increase their chances of securing funding and playing a vital role in shaping Europe’s defence capabilities for a secure and resilient future.


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