The European Commission is taking steps to open research funds for ‘dual-use’ technologies. In this regard, the data show that European countries have increased the share of investments in R&D with military applications.
Thus, compared to 2021, the share of EU member states’ investments in projects under the European Defense Agency (EDA) increased by €50 million and amounted to €420 million.
Last year, the EDA presented 46 new research projects. Most of the projects related to the following areas:
- artificial intelligence,
- land systems,
- robotics and automation,
- innovative materials and electronic components
EDA chief executive Jiří Šedivý: “2021 has brought to the forefront the crucial topic of defence innovation and emerging disruptive technologies and their decisive role in bolstering Europe’s security and defence clout.”
The approved program to improve European security by 2030, “Strategic Compass,” signaled, and the EDA report signaled increased interest in increasing investment in defense research and innovation.
Shift in the policy due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine
Despite the military conflict near the European borders, the EDA has not yet announced the need for new investments in defense R&D.Despite this, many experts suggest a shift in the focus of national governments on increasing military spending in budgets.
As part of the Horizon Europe program budget, European countries have agreed to allocate €95.5 billion to civil topics. At the same time, the possibility of shifting the priorities of the European Commission to the EDA is not rejected. This controversial step, in any case, will not happen shortly. However, something similar had happened before, when the Commission used money from Horizon to launch the Chips Act and the health emergency research authority (HERA).