The winner of the European Defence Fund research project competition was a consortium, which included the Estonian defence industry company Cybernetica.
A total of 34 consortia comprised of more than 180 companies participated in the competition.
The lead partner in the consortium that won the competition is Leonardo, a defence industry company with global reach, based in Italy.
Along with Cybernetica and 40 other partners, the project OCEAN2020 is set to begin developing communications systems in support of maritime operations, connecting manned and unmanned platforms and land based control centres in a single system. The project’s budget for a period of two years is EUR 35 million.
Several Estonia defence industry undertakings participated in the application round in question, and their participation was supported by the Ministry of Defence and the Estonian Defence Industry Association.
According to Getter Oper, Chief Scientific Officer in the Defence Investments Department at the Ministry of Defence, the inclusion of Estonian companies in the consortia demonstrates their excellent work and capabilities.
‘Regardless of the intense competition, Cybernetica achieved an excellent result! This confirms that Estonia’s defence industry undertakings and research and development institutions are, in every way, competitive and able to offer innovative and smart solutions,' said Oper.
He added that in order to support Estonian participants a great deal of cooperation took place with industries both within and outside of Estonia, as well as the Ministry of Defence and the Estonian Defence Industry Association.
‘Government support in the backing of cooperation is very important. For our part, we are doing everything possible to strengthen Estonia's defence capability through the development of technology and networking,' said Oper, adding that work is already underway to ensure that Estonian companies are able to make their way into consortia during this year's application round.
According to Oper, the event is unique, since the European Union is supporting research and development within the defence industry for the first time, because the European Defence Fund's pilot programme directed towards scientific research for the period 2017-2019 was only recently implemented.
Estonia’s Ministry of Defence also contributed to the implementation of the programme by the European Commission. ‘We have actively participated in the shaping of regulations, providing content for competition topics, and establishing focus,' specified Oper.
She added that the creation of a so-called permanent European defence research and development programme is also being considered for the European Union’s next seven year budget, for the period 2021 to 2028. ‘This would mean that defence research and development financing would function not only in exceptional cases' said Oper.
Further information: press[at]kaitseministeerium[dot]ee