The European Defence Agency launched today an online R&T Projects User Guide, an easy-to-read tool that aims at provide support during the preparation of collaborative R&T Projects in the framework of the Agency.
This tool, developed in house, addresses the full scope of preparation of R&T projects, from its establishment, the commitment of Member States to manage and fund a specific Project, to the letting of a contract to the entity which will perform the work.
The Guide is especially designed for Member State experts and industry representatives and represents a major effort towards administrative transparency. It will also facilitate project generation, a core goal of the Agency. At this occasion, the R&T Director, Christian Bréant, recently appointed, explains the tool, its goals and his own expectations.
EDA has launched today an online User Guide, to help Member States representatives in their planning efforts regarding Research & Technology investment planning. How did you come to this point?
The need for a guiding tool to support those involved in the launching of cooperative R&T activities, both in Member States and at EDA, was something identified already some years ago. For the new comers or even the experienced ones, there is always a question on a procedure or a legal aspect that may become relevant before proceeding to a next step.
EDA Member States certainly wanted some supporting material and were engaged with R&T when a couple of years ago we thought of making available an e-learning tool. Further work and discussions showed that having a guide was more suitable for the purpose.
Is this Guide connected to the Fast Track projects initiative?
The guide links with all instruments and ways of working in collaborative R&T, including fast track projects.
Who will use this Guide? For which purposes?
The users and beneficiaries are R&T experts, CapTech experts from Member States, members of management committees for projects, research providers - industry, SME, academia… and even EDA staff members.
Accordingly to EDA data, Research and Technology (R&T, including basic research, applied research and technology demonstration, leaving out expenditure for development continues in a decreasing trend, amounting in 2010 to about EUR 2 billion. How do you see it?
There is no question the economic and financial crisis has affected the commitment of EDA Member States into research and technology (R&T). In 5 years (2006-2010) the Member States investments in R&T has decreased by 22% when their equipment procurement was increased by 18%. This is another reason to make it easy to cooperate in the EDA framework and use the efficient tool we have been developing in the recent years (joint investment programme, innovative partnership with industry, etc.).
The online R&T Projects User Guide is another way to facilitate the cooperation in our framework and we expect that Member States will recognise that there is an absolute need to join efforts to continue delivering technologies to face more and more demanding threats (Security and Defence). R&T has been trying to be imaginative in the use of available funding instruments making them flexible and adaptable to the needs of specific EDA Member States, namely the sensitiveness of collaborating on certain technologies and domains.
Which are your expectations?
We expect the R&T Guide to become a real facilitator and a sort of reference tool providing, through an easy search navigation, all that people preparing and using EDA R&T collaborative instruments need to know. It is a compilation of definitions and description of way of working, supported by legal references. It will be a R&T projects’ ‘do-it-yourself’.
R&T will update permanently the information in case procedures or rules are changed or we are requested to improve the content.