13 Jul 2017

Polish SME secures ESIF co-funding for R&T

The European Defence Agency has awarded access to funding to a Polish small and medium-sized enterprise, that will enable a Research and Technology project to progress.

The funding comes in line with defence R&T priorities identified within its CapTechs and is enabled via the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). It will provide some €2M to fund research into tropospheric radio-wave propagation to extend the range of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) operations.

The funding has been awarded following an EDA procedure, which invited Member States’ Ministries of Defence to identify and propose R&T projects. The EDA could then look at supporting them through ESIF funding. The Polish Ministry of Defence submitted this project to EDA, and the project has been awarded the full amount it had applied for, approximately two thirds cost.

The project is the fifth to be supported by the EDA in this way. Areas benegfitting from ESIF funding include energy, naval, robotics, components and modules, radio-frequency sensors, aerial, advanced materials and structures, communication Information Systems.

EDA Chief Executive Jorge Domecq stated: “EDA will continue to act as a facilitator to exploit wider EU policies for the benefit of defence and, based on Member States’ prioritisation, to recommend the allocation of EU funding to projects and programmes”.

He continued on to say how impressed he was that all five projects are being led by SMEs, which falls in line with the European Council’s call to work on fostering investments in defence supply-chains, with a particular focus on SMEs.

In order to promote the supply chain and encourage SME engagement, the EDA has launched a number of initiatives, including: a free-of-charge assistance process focusing on access to the second main fund among ESIF, the European Social Fund (ESF), in support of key skills and competencies for defence (KSC). And an ‘ESIF web-platform’ providing potential defence-related stakeholders with interactive mapping on sources and calls for proposals, as well as respective contact details for ESIF managing authorities.
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