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Defence Industry and Space

European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP)

The European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) is an industrial programme of the EU supporting the competitiveness and innovation capacity of the Union’s defence industry.

European Defence Industrial Development Programme calls for proposals 2020

The European Union allocates €158.3 million to 26 projects as results of the 12 calls released in 2020.

Results of the EDIDP 2020 calls show an increased interest in the programme and correspondence to the Programme objectives:

  • Response rate has doubled: the EDIDP 2020 calls attracted almost twice as many proposals (63) compared to 2019, covering all calls and topics published in 2020.
  • In total, 717 entities (with possible duplications) applied. 26 proposals involving 420 entities (with possible duplications) have been selected for funding.
  • Increased defence cooperation in the EU and cross-border cooperation: The proposals selected for funding entail on average 16 entities located in 7 Member States.
  • Wide geographical coverage: the EDIDP projects involve participants from 26 Member States, including United Kingdom.
  • Highly attractive and inclusive for SMEs: SMEs represent 35% of the total number of entities (with duplicates) receiving 30% of total funding from EDIDP.
  • Targeting innovation: 30 out of 63 proposals received address the development of innovative and future-oriented defence products and technologies under the SME open call.
  • Full coherence with other EU defence initiatives, notably the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO): 15 of the selected projects are also addressed within the PESCO framework.
  • Contribution to the EU’s strategic autonomy: proposals consistent with the key capability priorities agreed by Member States at European level through the Capability Development Plan.
  • Open programme: 10 entities controlled by third-countries or third-countries entities involved in proposals proposed for funding (India, Israel, Japan, Oman, Switzerland and United States).


More information

European Defence Industrial Development Programme calls for proposals 2019

The 2019 calls for proposals and outline of the 9 categories and topics.


The Commission received 40 proposals covering all calls published in 2019. In summer 2020, the Commission awarded 16 selected projects from 2019 calls and for the first time ever, Union budget was used to co-fund collaborative development of defence technologies and products. The results showed success. EDIDP is genuinely a European programme, with a very broad geographical coverage.


Direct award

The EDIDP Regulation foresees solutions to award projects through direct award if there is not any other competitive consortia in the EU. In the EDIDP work programme, due the high strategic importance of the two projects, ESSOR (European Secure Software defined Radio) and MALE RPAS (European Medium-altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft system) were identified.

These direct award projects will be managed by OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d'Armement) based on the contribution agreements between the Commission and OCCAR signed on 20 November 2020.

Two major capability development projects with high strategic importance receiving €137 million grants as direct awards under the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP):

  • MALE RPAS (Eurodrone), supporting the development of a medium-altitude and long-endurance drone.
  • ESSOR, to boost the EU’s armed forces interoperability trough the development of a European standard in relation cutting-edge communication technologies (software radios).

Both projects are strategic enablers for European defence, are considered flagships for the European strategic autonomy in their respective domains, and are going to be developed in the context of PESCO. Special attention has been paid to inclusiveness and the openness of the supply chain.

Factsheet MALE RPAS
Factsheet ESSOR


Useful links

European Defence Industrial Development Programme established by Regulation (EU) 2018/1092 regulation: Regulation (EU) 2018/1092 on competitiveness and innovation in defence

  • Proposal for regulation establishing the European defence industrial development programme aiming at supporting the competitiveness and innovative capacity of the EU of 7 June 2017