More than 120 people from technology clusters, Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), research centers, universities, institutes, regional and national authorities attended the European Defence Agency’s seminar on Smart Specialisation and European Structural Funds (ESF) opportunities for the defence sector on 26 March 2013. The seminar took place in the Naval Academy in Lisbon and was hosted by the Ministry of Defence of Portugal.
Main objective of the seminar was to familiarise the Portuguese participants and similar south European regions, with the Smart Specialisation process and with the application procedures for European Structural Funds (ESF) including the opportunities for defence actors.
EDA working closely with the European Commission is analysing the potential for integrating academia, institutes and industry active in the field of defence and security into the Research and Innovation Strategy of Smart Specialisation for dual-use technologies and to build relations between the civilian and military sectors.
In a financially constrained environment EDA explores the possibility of using European tools, initiatives and instruments such as the ESF, without changing its civilian nature, as an opportunity to support innovation across Europe and to retain a competitive defence technological and industrial base, one better able to meet the defence capability requirements of Member States.
Over the coming weeks EDA is organising similar regional seminars in Bulgaria, Poland and Ireland with the overarching objective to mobilise key stakeholders at regional level in defence and security industries, especially SMEs, but also in academia and research institutes, to encourage collective research and development and to influence better use of European Structural Funds for dual application projects.