EU Science Hub

Materials dependencies for dual-use technologies relevant to Europe's defence sector

Abstract: 

To support the European Commission in the preparation of future initiatives fostering the sustainability of strategic supply chains, this study was commissioned to assess bottlenecks in the supply of materials needed for the development of technologies important to Europe's defence and civil industries. The study focuses on five dual-use technology areas, namely advanced batteries, fuel cells, robotics, unmanned vehicles and additive manufacturing (3D printing). This report examines how these technologies could address specific military needs and their differences in relation to civil needs and identified opportunities for future defence research areas that could potentially serve as a basis for the design of research initiatives to be funded under the future European Defence Fund. Moreover, potential opportunities for common policy actions are also identified, notably: to strengthen Europe's position along the selected technologies’ supply chains, to facilitate collaboration between stakeholders, to increase industry involvement with special emphasis on SMEs, to improve existent legislation and increase synergies between civil and defence sectors to speed up progress in promising research areas.