European Defense Fund to finance 9 projects with Estonian participation

  • 2024-05-20
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Nine international projects with Estonian participation have secured funding in a defense research and development project competition of European Union, receiving a total of 241 million euros from the European Defense Fund.

Secretary General of the Estonian Defense Ministry Kusti Salm said that the results of the European Defense Fund's previous year's call for proposals showed that the Estonian defense industry is more competitive than average in Europe.

"Our participants possess good knowledge and high-quality preparation to be successful in the European Union's defense research and development cooperation," Salm was quoted by spokespeople for the Defense Ministry as saying. He added that the success of these companies is also important for the Estonian state, as the involved funding aids in advancing capabilities critical to Estonia and increases the export potential of the defense industry.

There were 54 projects with a total cost of 1.031 billion euros among the winners of the previous year's European Defense Fund project competition. Estonia is participating in nine international projects supported by the EU with a total funding of 241 million euros. 11 Estonian partners are involved in the successful projects -- Wayren, Cafa Tech, Cybernetica, CR14, Rantelon, SkudoTech, Kappazeta, Krattworks, Defsecintel, Sorainen, and Marduk Technologies.

The Estonian Defense Ministry also supported the successful projects. Out of the nine projects with Estonian participation, four are supported by the ministry with letters of intent and co-financing amounting to 600,000 euros, with a fifth being a lead project from Estonia with additional financial support. The total cost of these international projects is approximately 170 million euros.

The AIDA (Artificial Intelligence Deployable Agent) project, led by Estonia and funded in this call, aims to develop a unified European framework to create a next-generation cyber agent-based tool for performing autonomous and semi-autonomous operations in the cyber incident management chain.

Other projects involving Estonian companies aim to develop new solutions in the context of land and naval propulsion, European unmanned aerial systems, improving situational awareness in cyberspace, next-generation tank management software and platform, a cyber-secure micro/nano-device for satellite and UAV communication enhancement, technologically advanced interactive sensor networks in digital structures, and a novel concept of operations for tackling and deceiving swarms of autonomous systems.

The European Union is investing approximately eight billion euros in defense research and development through the European Defense Fund from 2021 to 2027. The program helps reduce the fragmentation of weapon systems in the EU and contributes to increasing Europe's competitiveness and cooperation in defense research and development.

The following projects are being developed with co-financing from the Defense Ministry:

Artificial Intelligence Deployable Agent (AIDA) -- this Estonian-led project aims to create a next-generation cyber agent-based tool for performing autonomous and semi-autonomous operations in the cyber incident management chain. The project is led by CR14 Foundation from Estonia, with additional involvement from Sorainen. Participants include Austria, France, Slovakia, Belgium, Romania, Norway, Italy, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Spain, Portugal, Finland, Greece, and Poland.

GNSS-free navigation (BADB) -- a new approach to GNSS-free navigation to meet the growing need for affordable and lightweight GNSS-free solutions. The project is led by Krattworks from Estonia, with additional participation from Kappazeta.

European Cyber Situational Awareness Platform (ECYSAP EYE) -- this project aims to improve European cyber situational awareness by creating a new platform. Cybernetica AS from Estonia is part of the consortium.

European Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (E-CUAS) -- this project advances the technological solutions of European unmanned aerial systems. Marduk Technologies from Estonia is part of the consortium.

Main Armored Tank of Europe (MARTE) -- this project explores and designs a new tank management platform to address current and future threats and needs. Cafa Tech OU, Rantelon, and Wayren from Estonia are part of the consortium.