[EU] European Defence Fund 2024: research calls published

European Defence Fund?

The EDF finances research on defence technology and technology with benefits both for civil and defence applications (‘dual-use technology’). The new annual call for proposals has been published on 30 March 2023, and the submission deadline for proposals in EDF is 5 November 2024. There is a € 1.1 billion budget for R&D in the following 16categories:


1. Defence medical response, Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN), biotech and human factors (Defence medical countermeasures Alliance)

2. Information superiority (AI-based aperture and transceivers, communication standards, UAS and RPAS)

3. Advanced passive and active sensors (advanced radar technologies, multi-sensor integration for autonomous drone navigation)

4. Cyber

5. Space (satellite image analysis)

6. Digital transformation (Automated structural modelling for effect prediction)

7. Energy resilience and environmental transition

8. Materials and components (electronic components)

9. Air combat

10. Air and missile defence

11. Ground combat

12. Force protection and mobility

13. Naval combat

14. Underwater warfare

15. Simulation and training

16. Disruptive technologies (quantum technologies and an open, more accessible, non-thematic, research action)

1/3rd of the budget goes to Research Actions (up to TRL 5/6), which are the ones most interesting for universities. 2/3rd of the budget goes to Development Actions (TRL 5-8).


Applying for funding requires the creation of a consortium consisting of at least three Member States or associated countries (currently only Norway). Calls for disruptive technologies allow smaller consortia (at least two entities from two Member States or associated countries).


Recipients and subcontractors must be EU-based, with their executive management structure in the EU. They should not be controlled by a non-associated third country, with exceptions possible through approved guarantees. Entities from non-associated third countries can participate, but under conditions ensuring the EU security and defence interests, without receiving EDF funding. 


Are you interested?

Please find more information on the 2024 EDF call:



Contact EU-team@ugent.be for administrative and financial support of your proposal.


Ghent University Policy

Important! All research under the EDF must adhere to Ghent University's policy on dual-use research. Ghent University does not engage in research of an exclusive military nature. However, given the benefits at the civil level, dual-use research (which is useful both for civil as well as defence applications) may be conducted at Ghent University, under the following conditions:

1. Exploitation of the research results for civil applications is not made impossible.

2. The partner is not involved in serious human rights violations and the research results cannot be misused for human rights violations.

3. Measures are taken to ensure research security and prevent misuse of military useful research results at a later stage. This means that collaborations with certain partners and countries are not allowed, that researchers working on the project should be screened to avoid a security risk, and that physical and digital security measures might be necessary. 

All collaborations with, or funding from, the military or organisations that develop defence technology, including the EDF, have be reported in advance to the Dual-Use Contact Point with a view to an ethics approval by the university’s Committee on Human Rights Policy and Dual-Use Research. For more information on the university’s dual-use policy and the reporting obligation, please have a look at our website.


Tailored information session?

If your research group or research department would like more information on the EDF or other funding opportunities for dual-use research, don’t hesitate to ask the university’s Dual-Use Contact Point to visit your faculty for an information session for a 1 hour meeting on the subject. Please email MeldpuntDU@UGent.be.

March 23, 2024, 9:17 a.m.