Dual-use research

Sep 12, 2016

Start Date08/2011
Type of activity: workstrand
Participating Countries: All

By promoting dual-use research, EDA intends to identify those areas of research with strong civil-military synergies. There are numerous examples where defence research has led to spin-offs  for the civilian world, but equally so can technologies developed by funding schemes from civilian research programmes bring benefits to cutting-edge defence systems. A large number of technologies are generic, i.e not specific to a certain application. Consequently, they are dual-use in nature. Research for new materials, nano-electronics, IT, photonics and automation are just a few examples where the research results can be used for multiple applications. EDA works with the European Commission to identify the areas of mutual benefit, coordinate the research work and develop activities to promote the synergies.


Project goals

  • Develop proposals to stimulate research for dual-use technologies, mainly in the area of
    • Key Enabling Technologies
    • Synergies in the area of nano-technologies
    • Research for dual-use technologies eligible for funding through the Structural and Investment Funds
  • Coordination of the research of EDA with the research under Horizon2020
  • Coordination with activities of the Joint Research Centre (JRC)

Detailed description of the project 

EDA and the European Commission explore areas where the duality of research can be identified. EDA’s roadmap for dual-use technologies consists of the following elements: identifying and supporting dual-use Key Enabling Technologies (KETs), the development of nano-technologies through the JU ECSEL and the research for dual-use technologies eligible for funding through Structural and Investment Funds.

KETs are the building blocks of advanced products and underpin traditional, high-tech European value chains. These advanced products are essential for the defence systems of today and the future. The high-level group on KETs prepares an implementation plan to improve the security of supply of KETs with dual-use applications and EDA has worked within one of the high-level working groups to promote the development of dual-use KETs components. The main areas of interest are nanotechnologies, advanced materials and nano-electronics. The high-level group advises the European Commission to establish a strategy to boost industrial production of KETs-based products and investments will also bring dividends to defence systems.

The ECSEL Joint Undertaking co-funds nationally-funded cross-border projects in the area of nano-electronics. EDA and the ECSEL JU are exploring the extent to which EDA-generated cross-border projects in the area of components could benefit from the ECSEL co-funding scheme and have to that purpose signed a Letter of Exchange on 24 July 2014.

The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) may be a source of funding for dual-use research projects. A first project in the area of maritime security research was supported by the Portuguese MoD and successfully funded in 2013. EDA’s role is to raise awareness in the MoDs about the ESIF’s potential and support the development for project ideas and project proposals.




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Participating Member States

  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Czech
  • Germany
  • Estonia
  • Ireland
  • Greece
  • Spain
  • France
  • Croatia
  • Italy
  • Cyprus
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Hungary
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Austria
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Finland
  • Sweden
  • UK