European Defence Fund 2024 now open for applications

Are you working on innovative technologies of interest for defence domains? Then the European Defence Fund (EDF) may offer opportunities for you. The European Commission supports research and development of advanced defence technologies and equipment through the EDF. The EDF is also open to developing technologies suitable for other purposes, such as cyber security, medical countermeasures or renewable energy technology. The European Defence Fund is open for applications until the 5th of November 2024.

EDF grant for research and development projects

The European Defence Fund (EDF) 2024 consists of 8 different calls, consisting of 32 different topics. Research and development projects within these topics are eligible for funding. To be eligible, your project must meet several conditions:

  • A consortium must consist of at least 3 companies and/or knowledge institutions from at least 3 EU Member States;
  • For disruptive technologies, smaller consortia are also possible. Then the condition for at least 2 participants from different EU Member States applies;
  • Norway may also participate in the EDF as the only associated country. A company or knowledge institution may therefore be based in Norway.

Budget of the EDF

The European Defence Fund (EDF) runs from 2021 to 2027, with a total budget of € 8 billion. This budget is distributed as follows:

  • € 2.7 billion goes to joint defence research;
  • € 5.3 billion goes to  joint capability development projects to complement the national contribution from the Netherlands.

Grant contribution

Within the EDF, a distinction is made between research and development activities. For research activities, 100% of the costs are compensated. For development activities, this varies between 20% and 90%.

National co-financing in the Netherlands for development activities

To reduce the funding gap in development activities, the Dutch government makes additional co-financing available. This will enable Dutch entrepreneurs with development activities to submit an EDF application. Co-financing is available from two modules:

Module A

Module A supports SMEs in positioning themselves for participation in a consortium for an EDF call. Participation often involves legal matters for which SMEs do not have their staff. They can receive compensation of up to € 5,000 through this module for engaging an external consultant. In 2024, € 250,000 is available for this purpose and application is possible until 15 October 2024.

Module B

Module B supports development activities that fall outside the 100% funding possibilities of the EDF itself. Think of activities such as prototyping, certification, qualification, and testing. The co-financing is up to 25% for large enterprises, up to 35% for medium-sized enterprises and up to 45% for small enterprises. In 2024, the budget within module B is € 5 million and the maximum amount per application is € 1.5 million. Applications can be submitted until 29 October 2024.

Interested in EDF?

Are you currently working on projects focused on innovative technologies for defence domains? Or would like to receive more information about the European Defence Fund or apply for national co-financing? Hezelburcht specialists will be happy to help you. Feel free to contact us at or call us on 088 495 20 00.

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