2018 Calls for proposals on Preparatory Action on Defence Research

The European Defence Agency (EDA) has published three calls for proposals for the EU’s Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR). 

It includes 3 topics:

  • Strategic technology foresight, tackling the issue of the critical defence technological dependencies for the EU
  • European high-performance, trustable (re)configurable system-on-a-chip or system-in-package components for defence applications;
  • European high power laser effector

Below you will find extracts of the calls for proposals. Read more details on the calls here.



Future defence capabilities rely on emerging key enabling and cutting edge technologies, which today often are of “dual-use”. Securing the supply of these technologies has become a challenge, both for industry as for national defence administrations. The requirement of non-limited access and availability makes some of these technologies defence-critical, leading to a need for joint/ coordinated action at national and European level. Rapidly evolving technological innovation calls for a mechanism to identify key trends and developments.

The Preparatory Action will therefore include actions to develop a sustainable strategic technology foresight methodology. In view of the reform of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), an important part in this area would be to launch a stocktaking exercise on critical defence technologies components and materials, with focus on ITAR related components in Europe’s armament systems, including in future technologies.

In the context of the development of the future EU-funded defence research programme, these analyses should suggest potential roadmaps, themes, and business models, to be implemented and funded at national, multilateral or EU level, as appropriate.

In this call,

The project should aim to provide an effective way for tackling the issue of the critical defence technological dependencies for the EU regarding current and future systems and capabilities:

(a) Mapping of the ITAR and other non EU sourced components and materials in the systems developed by the EU industry and used and to be used by the EU armed forces;

(b) Identify critical technology building blocks and possibly components for future systems and disruptive capabilities for which European technology non-dependence will be crucial;

(c) Develop a methodology to assess the supply risk of technologies and components of point a) and b) and their criticality for armed forces and the defence industry. Such methodology should be established in consultation with ministries of defence and the defence industry;

(d) Prepare technology roadmaps, ideally including cost substantiated predictions, and suggest business models for selected technologies, taking into account supply risk and criticality.



Modern defence capabilities are increasingly depending on complex electronic technologies. With few EU-based suppliers, urgent action needs to be taken to ensure strategic autonomy and security of supply of such critical defence technologies. Setting up a European supply chain for specific, critical electronic design technologies will contribute to lift these limitations. (Re-)gaining leadership in these domains will moreover enable to capture business opportunities to Europe.

In this call,

Proposals should design and validate a SoC/SiP (System-on-Chip/System-in-Package) and as such make a substantial contribution towards the development and manufacturing of European high-performance, trustable (re)configurable SoC/SiP suitable for multiple defence applications


Directed energy systems, and in particular laser systems, are potential game changers in future military activities. They are capable to engage rapidly and precisely with agile targets at a low operational cost per shot and with a reduced risk to certain types of collateral damage. This makes them particularly attractive to counter a variety of threats, ranging from asymmetric threats such as incoming, low cost unmanned vehicles to Rocket, Artillery, Mortar (RAM) or missiles which conventionally would require expensive countermeasures such as guided missiles. Laser systems also face a number of limitations, in particular their sensitivity to absorption and scattering which lead to decreased beam quality under adverse atmospheric conditions and hence reduce the circumstances in which the system can effectively be used.

In this call,

European high power effectors should deliver an output power of well beyond 100 kW (in continuous mode) and operate at a high duty cycle. The output wavelength, the beam quality and the optical systems (including at least fast steering mirrors, and adaptive optics if deemed necessary) should be able to cope with variable atmospheric conditions, ranges which can be expected in specific scenarios and environmental safety constraints (to limit collateral damage, e.g., when used in densely populated urban areas).

Graduated responses by varying the output power at the level of the source without beam quality degradation should be explored. The effector(s) could be integrated in current and future compact laser systems to be mounted on mobile (sea, land or air) platforms.

Therefore, appropriate attention should be paid to reduced energy consumption and lower cooling requirements in accordance with the expected volume and power available for each platform. Solutions to lower the weight while keeping the design sufficiently rugged should be explored. Wall plug vs. optical efficiency of the laser effector must be clearly estimated. The duty cycle can be optimised for each type of platform due to integration constraints. Damage and lifetime predictions of the components of the effectors should be covered as well as simulations and modelling capacities.

Proposals need to include (a) a R&D assessment, including a technology roadmap, (b) acriticality mapping and deliver (c) R&T activities based on this assessment and mapping exercise.

Info & Brokerage Day on 12 April

EDA and the European Commission will organise an Infoday on 12 April 2018 in Brussels. Registration will be possible as of 21 March 2018 here

The event aims at providing industry, research entities and other interested defence stakeholders with first-hand information on the 2018 PADR calls for proposals published.

EDA and Commission experts will provide attendants with detailed explanations on the 2018 PADR topics as well as the rules and conditions for participation in the calls for proposals. Furthermore, in the afternoon, a brokerage session with b2b meetings will allow participants to exchange views with potential future consortia partners.

Credit photo: @European Defense Agency, Banner  PADR Info day 2018

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