EDF: The European Defence Fund


The European Defence Fund incentivises and supports collaborative, cross-border research and development in the area of defence. The Fund will increase the EU’s technological edge and develop the capabilities that are key for the strategic autonomy and resilience of the Union and its Member States and the protection of its citizens. About 8 billion Euro from the EU budget is dedicated to the European Defence Fund for 2021-2027. The EU will become one of the top 3 defence research investors in Europe.

Complementing and amplifying Member States’ efforts, the Fund promotes cooperation among companies and research actors of all sizes and geographic origin in the EU. In doing so, it will integrate further the European defence technological and industrial base, develop industrial skills and competencies as well as the innovation potential of Europe’s industry

The European Defence Fund is a key enabler for a more secure and competitive Europe

  • by supporting innovative technologies and enhancing the competitiveness of the European defence technological and industrial base, Member States will get state-of-the-art equipment meeting their defence needs.
  • by pooling resources and defragmenting the EU defence industrial market, Member States will get better value for their investments and develop technologies and equipment that would be out of reach working independently.
  • offering support all along the research and development parts of the lifecycle to make sure that the results of research are not lost due to the lack of funding for developing prototypes and testing the technology

Projects will be defined along priorities set with Member States aiming at contributing to the security and defence interests of the Union, in line with defence capability priorities agreed by Member States within the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy and particularly in the context of the Capability Development Plan, and taking into account, where appropriate, priorities from other regional and international organisations (e.g. NATO).

The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) is the National Focal Point (NFP) for the European Defence Programme.


The essentials in brief

Program Owner / Sponsor EC - European Commission BMLV - Federal Ministry of Defence
Project type
Submission with a proposal process
Target group All actors with scientific, technological or innovative skills in the subject areas of the EDF are addressed. SMEs, but also industry, universities and research institutions are particularly highlighted. The Fund will incentivise the cross-border participation of SMEs by providing higher funding rates and favouring projects by consortia which include SMEs
What is being funded The Fund supports competitive and collaborative projects throughout the entire cycle of research and development for a bigger impact on the European defence capability and industrial landscape. In general only collaborative projects are eligible, with at least 3 participants from at least 3 different Member States or associated countries. For disruptive technologies, eligible projects should be composed at least from 2 participants from at least 2 Member States.
Min. / max. funding >20 %, depending on the type of activity / <100%, depending on the type of activity
Which costs are eligible for funding? The Fund finances up to 100% of the total eligible costs of awarded projects, in particular through grants, including up to 35% of possible bonuses. Research activities could be funded up to 100% while development activities have different funding rates complementing Member States’ or industrial investments, between 20%-80% from prototyping to certification. However, the Fund does not cover the acquisition phase.
Availability from 01.01.2021 - 31.12.2027


Nationale Kontaktstelle EDF

T 0043577554201