The European Synergies & Innovation Directorate acts as an interface between defence ministries and wider EU policies that have implications for defence. It also promotes and supports innovative research, and, as requested by its Member States works in support of them and the European Commission on the setting up of the Preparatory Action for CSDP-related research. The directorate is also responsible for market & industry policy as well as defence analysis and outlook. The directorate also deals with the Agency’s energy and environmental activities.
EDA has an important task in supporting Ministries of Defence in their interactions with other European institutions whilst ensuring that the specificities of defence are fully reflected in the related work of the European Commission. The European Synergies & Innovation Directorate (ESI) with Denis Roger as director acts as the focal point and the coordinating interface with the European Commission and its various DGs; the directorate is in charge of developing synergies and greater complementarity with existing EU programmes and instruments. EDA for example supports access to European Structural and Investment Funds for defence industry, with special focus on SMEs, engaged in dual-use research to ensure that key technology and industrial priorities – as identified by Member States in the framework of EDA – are maintained or developed in Europe.
Through its work on innovative research the directorate supports EDA Member States in their efforts to cooperate, promote and manage cooperative Research and Technology projects. It identifies dual-use synergies and opportunities with the European Commission and the European Space Agency to enhance civil-military cooperation, interoperability and effective R&T spending.
ESI also works with the European Commission and the Member States to set up the Preparatory Action on CSDP-related research that will pave the way for a thematic research programme on defence in the next framework programme (2021-2027).
The directorate is also responsible for all aspects related to Market & Industry Policy, including SMEs, Security of Supply, REACH regulation, supply chains and access to EU funding (such as European Structural and Investment Funds and COSME). It fosters compatibility and harmonisation of defence procurement procedures and supports Member States in the implementation of the Defence and Security Procurement Directive 2009/81/EC. The directorate also addresses the global aspects of the defence market and supply chains.
Performing defence analysis and providing an outlook on major developments affecting the defence sector is yet another essential task of the ESI Directorate. The directorate releases defence statistics which reveals the main trends of the defence sector on the European and national level.
Finally, the directorate is in charge of EDA’s energy & environment programme. The Programme addresses activities relating to energy efficiency, renewables, knowledge and cultural aspects and overall sustainability and resilience of defence capabilities.