20 Oct 2017

ESIF grant funding to a defence project for the first time

For the first time a fully-fledged defence research project – initiated by the Croatian Ministry of Defence and supported by the European Defence Agency (EDA) – has been awarded EU co-funding under the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).

The funding marks a first as, to date, only ‘dual-use’ projects with both civilian and military applications had been able to secure ESIF funding.

The award of ESIF funding to the project, which seeks to develop a cyber conflict simulator, represents a landmark in EDA’s year-long efforts to open up EU funding opportunities for pure defence research projects, in addition to dual-use projects.

The cyber conflict simulator set to be developed under the Croatian project aims to be fit-for-purpose and usable by MoDs straightaway, including in European and international military exercises.

It will allow for multiple groups in different roles to collaborate or compete within a defined cyber space in order to address potential cybernetic attacks. It will also enable the definition of a cyber terrain consisting of different objects, connections, threats, controls, which will be defined by a set of properties and functions connected in a variety of ways.

The project implementation is led by a Croatian small and medium enterprise. ESIF will fund 80% of the total project eligible costs.

EDA’s Chief Executive, Jorge Domecq welcomed the news, commenting: “The fact that ESIF funding is now also accessible to genuine defence projects is an important signal that should help strengthen the European defence industrial base. The Agency will continue to exploit the benefits of wider EU policies for defence stakeholders and facilitate their access to EU funding possibilities”.

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