For the first time ever, the EU COSME Programme is awarding grants to clusters partnering in the defence and security sector.
Two transnational defence-related cluster partnerships, whose members have been working with EDA, informed the Agency that they have started negotiation of a grant agreement in view of being awarded COSME funding under a European Commission’s call for proposals, managed by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME):
- the “ALLIANCE” (Alliance for International Business Development of Advanced Materials and CoNnectivity for DefenCe and SEcurity Market), whose strategic and technical director is the French defence-related cluster SAFE and is coordinated by the TECHTERA (French Cluster on advanced materials and composites). Other partners are OTIR 2020 (Italian Cluster on technical textiles), CITTA STUDI (Italian Cluster on technical textiles), NIDV (Netherlands Cluster on Defense and Security), SIIT (Italian Cluster on Defense and Security), SCS (French Cluster on ICT and Cyber Security);
- the “EU KETS4DUAL-USE” (EUropean Key Enabling Technologies for Dual-Use worldwide), led by OPTITEC, French photonics & imaging cluster active in the defence sector, partnering with the Estonian Defence Industry Association, CenSec (Denmark) and Minalogic (France).
The European Defence Agency (EDA) has played a precursor and facilitating role:
- in 2016, an EDA preliminary study explored the potential of the EU COSME Programme for defence and was the first to make a clear case for defence-related clusters’ eligibility under this EU funding programme;
- since its start, this study has involved a number of clusters, included the two winning consortia, and showcased their participation on EDA’s “COSME platform”;
- the Commission’s call for proposals makes explicit reference to EDA in order to identify eligible defence clusters;
- EDA organised two matchmaking events addressing this funding opportunity in 2017; several members of the above-mentioned consortia have attended;
- EDA’s recently released “European Funding Gateway” lists COSME grants as opportunities for the defence sector.
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