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The European Defence Research Runway – Part I - PADR-STF-01-2017
Deadline: 21 Sep 2017   CALL EXPIRED

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Specific Challenge:

The current time period is characterised by rapid changes in many domains – geopolitical, economic, environmental and technological – which have huge effects on the global security situation. For the EU and for EU Member States it is therefore essential to continuously perform strategic technology foresight analyses so as to gain understanding of important trends and their defence and security implications. Essential parts of strategic technology foresight analysis are Horizon Scanning and Technology Watch (HS&TW): the signalling of emerging threats, the identification of emerging technologies and potential opportunities combined with a broad analysis of relevant technological developments. Performing a strategic technology foresight is challenging, not only because it is an activity aimed at a “moving target”, but also because it is not easy to identify and track the wide range of relevant technologies to be addressed in view of:

  • the added value of a common European approach in properly covering the full range of technologies and sources;
  • the need to build a common understanding of future technology and its impact on defence trends in order to plan and coordinate accordingly our actions;
  • the need for an innovative approach with respect to the way these activities traditionally are conducted;
  • the growing relevance of the civil technologies for defence and the need to include the developments in the civil sector in the exercise;
  • identifying new technologies.

Scope:

This action should aim to support strategic technology foresight in the defence domain of individual Member States and of the EU as a whole by performing joint technology foresight activities supported by methodologies such as horizon scanning, technology watch, scientometric tools, expert consultation activities. The action should focus in particular on identifying emerging defence research areas for potential exploration in the next Multi-annual Financial Framework. The action should propose and validate a methodology and process for strategic technology foresight activities to be carried out cyclically. Such a methodology should take into account similar activities conducted in EDA, NATO and other military and/or civil organisations. Activities that should be considered could include, amongst others:

  • Collection of information (national sources, EU research programme, occidental and non-occidental sources);
  • Analysis (geopolitical trends, defence and security trends, technology, industrial trends);
  • Engagement with European industry trade bodies;
  • Evaluation/assessment for defence and security (future scenario-based evaluations such as Disruptive Technology Assessment Games, consultations of technology and military experts, input from “unconventional” groups with an outside view, more creative thinking, …);
  • Defining and setting up strategic trends for the medium and long term;
  • Management and controlled dissemination of results (secure web-based access with public and restricted dissemination).

The strategic technology foresight should be coupled to a process and method for scoping EU-funded defence research based on scenarios to illustrate potential future conflicts.

Proposals should include elements to ensure continued monitoring and updating beyond the action's lifetime.

The European Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 0.8 to 1.0 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

No more than one action will be funded.

Expected Impact:

The action should allow to

  • underpin coordination of defence research activities at the EU and national level;
  • prepare the long term agenda for defence research in the EU;
  • explore themes for a future European Defence Research Programme;
  • underpin coordination of agendas and optimisation of synergies between the EU defence and civil research activities under the next Multiannual Financial Framework;
  • test the approach through proposing topics for the Future Disruptive Technologies technology area in the last year of the PADR.


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