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European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) 2019-2020

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

The European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) is an industrial programme of the EU aiming to support the competitiveness and innovation capacity of the union’s defence industry. EDIDP is the first ever EU grant programme targeting capability development and a precursor programme of the European Defence Fund



EDIDP Objectives

  • To foster cooperation between undertakings and Member States, in the development of defence products or technologies.
  • Supporting the competitiveness of the European defence industry on the internal market and the global marketplace.
  • To support and leverage cross-border cooperation between undertakings, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and middle capitalization companies (mid-caps), throughout the Union.
  • To foster better exploitation of the results of defence research and prepare the development window of the EDF from 2021 onwards.


EDIDP Scale and scope:

  • The programme, with a financial envelope of €500 million for 2019-2020, is co-financing the joint development of (new and upgrading of existing) defence products and technologies.
  • Types of eligible actions are from feasibility studies to certification and standardisation, while financing rates for actions prior to and beyond to the prototype phase are up to 100% and for prototype phase up to 20%.
  • Supporting SMEs: Special incentivizes are foreseen to stimulate SMEs participation, cross-border cooperation and opening up supply-chains by providing higher financing rates and favouring projects by consortia, which include SMEs.
  • Higher priority has been put for the projects established under the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) framework. PESCO projects eligible under the Fund may receive higher EU co-funding rate (10%).
  • The programme is implemented, except in the case of direct awards, under direct management by the Commission through annual calls for proposals (published in 2019 and in 2020). The calls for proposals based on a 2-year work programme defined in close cooperation with the Member States, adopted by the European Commission on 19 March 2019.
  • Calls were defined along priorities set with Member States in line with defence capability priorities agreed by Member States, taking into account other regional and international organisation priorities if not affecting the EU and its Member States security.



  • Only collaborative projects, involving at least three eligible entities from at least three Member States may receive funding.
  • Participation of entities from other countries is subject to conditions defined to ensure the security and defence interests of the EU and its Member States. They also guarantee the freedom of action of Member States in the use and export of resulting defence equipment.


European Defence Industrial Development Programme calls:

Dedicated call for SMEs (in 2019 and 2020 with an overall budget 17,5 M€, call “Innovative and future-oriented defence solutions”) wasnaiming to encourage SMEs participation and to promote innovation capacity.

Calls for proposals 2020

Award decisions are expected in summer 2021.

Factsheet outlining the 12 categories.

Calls for proposals 2019

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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


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Awarded projects:


















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, two projects, ESSOR (European Secure Software defined Radio) and MALE RPAS (European Medium-altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft system) were identified that could be awarded with direct award. These projects will be managed and implemented by OCCAR (Organisation conjointe de coopération en matière d’armament) based on the contribution agreements between the Commission and OCCAR signed on 20 November 2020.

Direct awards projects evaluation is ongoing and award decisions are expected in summer 2021.

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