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Military research: calls for proposals on naval drones, "force protection" and technology foresight
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The EU's 'Preparatory Action on Defence Research' (PADR) is moving ahead with three calls for proposals recently published seeking "enhanced situational awareness in a naval environment" showing the "added value of unmanned systems"; "Force Protection and Soldier Systems" and "strategic technology foresight". The PADR is supposed to be pave the way for a full-blown military research programme from 2021 onwards that the European Commission thinks could be worth over €5 billion annually.

See: 2017 calls for proposals published for PA on Defence Research (EDA, link):

"The three calls cover the following domains:

A technological demonstrator for enhanced situational awareness in a naval environment that shows the added value of unmanned systems in enhancing situational awareness while operating alongside and communicating with other manned and unmanned systems. The deadline for submitting proposals is 5 October 2017;

Research in technology and products in the context of Force Protection and Soldier Systems. This topic focuses on future generic open soldier system reference architecture and can include technology advancements in tailor-made blast, ballistic and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) protection of military personnel as well as novel developments in active and passive military camouflage methods. The deadline for submitting proposals is 21 September 2017;

Strategic technology foresight. Proposals will need to develop and validate a methodology and/or process to gather data for foresight activities to prepare, among others, the long-term agenda for defence research in the EU. The deadline for submitting proposals is 21 September 2017."

And see: Commission and EDA sign Delegation Agreement for Preparatory Action on Defence Research (EDA, link):

"The European Commission Director-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Lowri Evans, and the Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency (EDA), Jorge Domecq, today signed a Delegation Agreement by which the Commission entrusts the EDA with the management of the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) to be launched in early June. The signing was attended by Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska, Deputy Director General Pierre Delsaux (DG GROW) as well as Jean-Eric Paquet, the Commission's Deputy Secretary-General. "

Background: €25 million for military research includes investigation into "swarming" naval drones (Statewatch News Online, 24 April 2017) and: Military might: Commission proposes €5.5 billion per year for defence research and equipment (2 December 2016)

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