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European Defence Fund – Artificial intelligence – 2021

The European Defence Fund (EDF) is the Commission's initiative to support collaborative defence research and development, and to foster an innovative and competitive defence industrial base.

18.5 million euro

Appeal framework

Institution European Commission
Regions European Economic Area, European Union

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Priorities and funded actions


  • To develop new Artificial Intelligence methods that are able to make use of less training data than current state-of-the-art deep learning algorithms while maintaining similar performance;
  • To provide better control over the output space in order to ensure a more consistent behaviour;
  • To limit the development efforts when adapting systems to new data.


  • Cutting-edge research on transfer learning;
  • Zero or infrequent learning;
  • Active learning;
  • Domain adaptation;
  • Hybrid AI.

Among financed actions

  • Activities that aim to create, underpin and improve knowledge, products and technologies, including disruptive technologies for defence, which can achieve significant effects in the area of defence;
  • Design of relevant military use cases where trustworthy and frugal AI algorithms are needed (i.e. targeting specific tasks for which data-greedy algorithms are currently outperforming other methods), and for which representative data can be collected and performance can be measured in an objective way;
  • Development of new methods for reducing the need for data and supervision to train and adapt AI systems (and simultaneous monitoring of the state of the art);
  • Development of new methods for improving robustness guarantees by design;
  • Implementation of benchmarking experiments on the use cases to demonstrate the advantages and drawbacks of the proposed methods.

Additional information

  • This call for proposals is an open call for proposals.
  • Initial duration of the action: maximum 4 years.


  • Be a legal entity (public or private);
  • Be established in one of the eligible countries.
  • Amount of the grant : 18.5 million euro
  • Co-financing rate : up to 100% of the total eligible costs

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