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European Defence Fund – Open call dedicated to SMEs for development of innovative and future-oriented defence solutions – 2021

EDF aims to foster the competitiveness, efficiency and innovation capacity of the defence technological and industrial base throughout the European Union.

36 million euro

Appeal framework

Institution European Commission
Regions European Economic Area, European Union

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Priorities and funded actions


  • To address innovative defence products, solutions and technologies, including those that can improve readiness, deployability and sustainability of EU forces in all spectrum of tasks and missions.


  • Priority 1: To develop innovative, rapid and cost-effective solutions for defence applications;
  • Priority 2: To design ground-breaking or novel concepts and approaches, new promising future technological improvements or the application of technologies or concepts previously not applied in the defence sector;
  • Priority 3: To enhance innovation capacity across Europe by involvement of SMEs that can make a difference in the future;
  • Priority 4: To create potential for future market creation for SMEs, especially by facilitating access of SMEs to defence markets and supply chains;
  • Priority 5: To contribute to the development of European technological and industrial ecosystems and to the strengthening of European defence supply chains.

Among financed actions

  • Studies, such as feasibility studies to explore the feasibility of new or upgraded products, technologies, processes, services and solutions;
  • The design of a defence product, tangible or intangible component or technology;
  • The system prototyping of a defence product;
  • The testing of a defence product;
  • The qualification of a defence product;
  • The certification of a defence product;
  • The development of technologies or assets increasing efficiency across the life cycle of defence products and technologies.

Additional information

  • This call for proposals is an open call for proposals.
  • Initial duration of the action: 48 months.


  • Be a legal person;
  • Be a public or private entity;
  • A consortium composed of at least three entities, established in at least three different EU Member States or associated countries to the programme must be constituted;
  • At least three of those eligible legal entities established in at least two different Member States or associated countries must, during the entire period in which the action is carried out, not be controlled, directly or indirectly, by the same legal entity and must not control each other.
  • Amount of the grant: up to 4 million euro
  • Co-financing rate: up to 100% of the total eligible costs

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