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EDA project aims for multifunctional smart textiles for defence

Wed, 27/05/2020 - 10:31

Smart textiles are a new generation of innovative material offering very interesting multifunctional properties such as being integrable into uniforms and platforms. They therefore have drawn the attention of the defence sector.   

Against this backdrop, EDA has incorporated smart textiles into the so-called Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) of its capability technology group (’CapTech’) devoted to Materials & Structures, and a specific Technology Building Block (TBB) was set up for them. Furthermore, other EDA CapTechs, such as those dealing with CBRN, Human Factors and Ground Systems, have taken initiatives related to smart textiles.  
 

STILE project 

In January 2019, EDA launched a project on “Smart TextILEs in defence: looking at the soldiers of the future” with two participating Member States, Spain and Portugal. The practical implementation of this project, called STILE, was assigned to a consortium led by the Spanish research institute AITEX, in collaboration with two Portuguese organisations, CITEVE and INEGI. 

The objective of STILE is to lay the foundation for a future ‘European Multifunctional Smart Textile’ for defence able to respond to a certain number of requirements in terms of functionality, integration, comfort and weight. More precisely, it was aimed to define a roadmap for developing a system offering several functionalities in a textile substrate, and to come up with a proof of concept that integrates various functionalities with state-of-the-art technologies.
 

Preliminary results  

The initial analysis undertaken under the project confirmed that Europe lacks multifunctional smart textile capabilities in defence. Hence the importance for the STILE project to produce a proof of concept of multifunctional smart textiles able to integrate in a single model all the afore-mentioned features and requirements.  

Preliminary results of the project give already an overview of the current R&T development and technology needs as well as the challenges laying ahead to overcome those needs. The methodology used was based on the technical knowledge of the consortium members and the collection of data coming from multiple sources, including a technology foresight workshop on smart textile technologies organised at EDA, a survey done among the Agency’s ‘Materials’ CapTech experts as well as various meetings with experts.
 

Roadmap 

A medium to long-term technology roadmap was established with a set of actions required to develop an innovative smart textile for future defence applications, including the incorporation of modern design and development methodology by the textile industry. For this purpose, two simulation models were developed to evaluate the main concepts regarding the thermal protection capacity of the garment and the thermal signature under different ambient conditions.  
 

Proof of concept 

As a first step of the roadmap, a multifunctional smart textile prototype - the first of this type and quality in Europe - was produced with the following functions (each of them tested):  

  • signature management: the textile has multispectral camouflage in both static and moving positions 

  • CBR threats monitoring: the smart textile detects the presence of hazardous agents (e.g. H2S, NO2, Cl2) and provides warning to the soldier 

  • improved mobility, using various textile structures as well as seamless technology in body mapping concept 

  • flame retardancy, water and dirt repellence and anti-mosquito solutions 

  • physiological monitoring: the smart textile measures the heart rate and provide info to the soldier 

  • temperature regulation (cooling and heating): the smart textile is able to control the body temperature through monitoring of the ambient temperature 

  • communication: the smart textile provides all parameters, such as the heart rate, to the soldier via an app in the smartphone, embedded in the system. In addition, the data can be transferred to the operating centre, if needed. 
     

Testing in the field 

From June 2020 onwards, the STILE prototype will be further tested in the field to make sure that it fulfills the stringent military requirements. At the end of the project (expected in May 2021) an exhibition centre will be organized to reveal the fully tested STILE model to the European defence and dual use community, reaching out the potential users in the European Ministries of Defence. 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

New project (SPICE) to improve military sensor performance

Fri, 15/05/2020 - 16:23

EDA’s Steering Board has given its green light for the launch of a new project designed to improve the receiver performance of electronic radio frequency (RF) sensors used in military platforms in adverse and heavily contested environments. Dubbed SPICE (‘Superior Performance in Contested Environments’), the project builds on the successful work already accomplished at the Agency in the same critical domain. 

At this stage, the Netherlands and Sweden are participating in this new project which is however open to all Member States. It aims to further develop the excellent results of two previous EDA ad hoc projects on Switched Applications (SWAP) and Switched Applications-Complementary (SWAP-C), local RF power generation and amplification based on switched technology. These projects were focused on narrow band transceivers to improve the performance of radars for naval applications and on wideband transceivers for electronic warfare for combat aircraft. Both of them demonstrated the superior performance of gallium-Nitride (GaN) technology for the transmit path compared to other technologies previously used.
 

Improving the receivers

Over the next 36 months, SPICE will take this work forward with the aim of improving the performance of the receive channel of the transceiver (dynamic range, linearity, efficiency etc.). This is done in an integral approach over the complete RF chain, while taking into account additional requirements such as cost and other system-imposed constraints (including cooling). The work will start with investigating, defining and specifying concepts with which the linearity and performance of receivers can be achieved. This also includes an assessment of all the technologies currently available. 

As part of an exploration and experimentation phase, the consortium will work on wideband receivers, narrowband receivers and packaging and integration technologies. The consortium involved in the afore-mentioned projects remains the same, contributing to increase the expertise of the European defence industry and create a stable supply chain around key European players.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Jiří Šedivý takes office as new EDA Chief Executive

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 09:38

Following his appointment by the EDA Steering Board on 5 March, Jiří Šedivý has officially taken over on 4 May as the Agency’s new Chief Executive for an initial 3-year mandate, extendable for two additional years. 

“It is a great honour and privilege for me to take up the position of Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency. As European defence cooperation has made significant progress over recent years with the establishment of new EU defence tools, the importance of the Agency has considerably grown. The current global COVID-19 pandemic and its economic, budgetary and security-related repercussions make EU defence cooperation even more indispensable. New challenges notwithstanding, we must preserve the continuity and dynamics in the area of collaborative defence capability development. Therefore, and perhaps more than before, we need a strong, effective and reliable Agency supporting its Member States, enhancing cooperation with all relevant EU bodies and institutions as well as partners”, Jiří Šedivý stated when taking up his duties. 
  

Defence experience 

Mr Šedivý has extensive experience in the defence domain, having served as Defence Minister of the Czech Republic (2006-2007), Deputy Defence Minister (2010-2012), NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning (2007-2010) and Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to NATO (2012-2019). 
 

More information:

 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

New R&T project to improve resilience of cold weather operations

Thu, 23/04/2020 - 17:16

EDA’s Steering Board has green-lit the launch of a new research project aimed at studying ways and means of improving the operational outfit and equipment of Armed Forces operating in extreme cold and icy weather conditions.  

Picture : Austrian Armed Forces

Military missions and operations in cold climate are particularly challenging as they demand from the troops a great deal of physical, operational and mental resilience. Experience from exercises in extreme cold has shown that a considerable number of the soldiers suffer from cold weather injuries (e.g. frostbite, hypothermia, chilblains, immersion foot) and negative energy balance which can highly compromise their performances. An in-depth knowledge of the risk factors for developing cold-related injuries and their impact on the troops’ safety and effectiveness is thus critical to sustain operations in the north.  

Against this backdrop, EDA has just launched a new R&T project to study this problem in greater detail to ascertain consequences and possible countermoves. Under the lead of the Netherlands, three more countries are participating: France, Sweden and Norway (the latter is no formal EDA Member State but has concluded an Administrative Agreement with the Agency). The overall objective is to contribute to improving the European capability of operating in arctic/cold environments by developing tools to reduce the risk of soldiers developing cold-weather-related injuries and enhance war fighter performance.  

The project has a duration of three to four years.
 

New territory

It is the first R&T project in EDA to study Cold Weather Operations on a European level. It will be important to identify the standards and procedures are currently being applied in the various Member States. The project will therefore identify national variations in the regulations and threshold values for body temperature, safe working duration and respective garment requirements and develop an interpretation guide to translate the generic advice of the main existing standard in this field, ISO-11079, and its extension to national clothing & equipment items. It will also review and measure individual variation in thermal stress response and nutritional demands in cold environments. Finally, the intention is also to identify the added value of wearable sensor technologies for improved personalised advice.  

The Cold Weather Operations project is one of several R&T activities under the CapTech CBRN and Human Factors. 
 

More information:
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA launches call for papers on integration of military air capabilities in a changing aviation sector

Thu, 16/04/2020 - 16:44

EDA has launched a first call for papers from defence industry, academia and research institutes on the topic of Integration of military air capabilities in a changing context of the civil aviation sector in the framework of EDA’s upcoming Single European Sky Workshops.

The purpose of the workshop is to provide industry with a deeper insight into the Strategic Context Case (SCC) 10 (Integration of military air capabilities in a changing aviation sector) and develop a common understanding by gathering industry proposals on new R&D and validation activities needed within the Single European Sky (SES) domain.

This call for papers is part of a broader approach to SCC 10, and aims to initiate and consolidate cooperative projects in the following domains:

  • Military access to airspace, in particular in a Single European Sky context. The aim is to improve, for existing and future manned and unmanned air capabilities, the ability to train and conduct security and defence missions particularly in peacetime, but also in crisis and conflict.
  • Protect the confidentiality of mission critical information and ensure a resilient and robust data sharing network in the changing context of the civil aviation sector.
  • Coordination with civilian aviation authorities and structures, infrastructures and procedures while maintaining military-to-military interoperability to enable the effective contribution to operations in multinational coalitions.
  • The adaptation of Military AIR/SPACE C2 capability and Communication Navigation Surveillance (CNS) capability to the changing context of the civil aviation sector including the deployment of ATM technologies and the development of the U-Space concept.

The responses to this call for papers will drive the ideation of potential project proposals during the second formal workshop which will take place at EDA on 2 December 2020*.

How to submit 

Submissions are sought from a wide range of industries involved in ATM (Air Traffic Management)/SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research). Though responses to all questions in this call for papers are encouraged, submitters may develop answers to specific questions in greater detail based on their area of expertise.

Submissions will be judged on their innovativeness and relevance as well as ability to stimulate discussion on future ATM/SES in a military context. Participation in this call for papers is open to companies of any size as well as academic, research institutes and associations or groupings of industrial suppliers.

*The workshop will be subject to any recommendations put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check the EDA website for any updates.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA to support DIVEPACK PESCO project

Thu, 16/04/2020 - 13:04
The European Defence Agency's Steering Board has approved the launch of a specific EDA ad hoc project which will contribute to  the implementation of a Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) project aimed at developing a Deployable Modular Underwater Intervention Capability Package (DIVEPACK). Bulgaria, which leads a group of three PESCO participating countries involved in DIVEPACK (together with France and Greece), had formally requested the Agency’s support for moving this ambitious project forward.   The DIVEPACK project, part of the second batch of PESCO projects approved in November 2018, aims at developing an interoperable specialised modular asset called “DIVEPACK Unit”. The Unit will provide a comprehensive capability package (both as materiel and expertise) enabling a tailored response to the full spectrum of defensive (non-Special Operations Forces, SOF) underwater divers’ interventions, in expeditionary setting, both at sea and in inland bodies of water, in support of EU missions. It will focus on human centric integration of a wide range of diving and Unmanned Underwater Vehicles materiel, operated by qualified personnel, in a comprehensive capability package.   The capability will be based on an open plug-and-play architecture which will facilitate the versatility of response in the framework of EU CSDP operations and will provide a quick reaction capability, applicable to a broad range of underwater scenarios, both at sea and in inland bodies of water, except for special forces missions.  

 

Launch support  

EDA’s specific Category B project will serve as a preparation phase for the DIVEPACK PESCO project and deal with harmonisation of requirements, in particular the development and endorsement of the Common Staff Targets (CST), Common Staff Requirements (CSR), the Business Case (BC) and other relevant documents necessary to allow for a smooth acquisition phase afterwards. EDA will thus act as a facilitator and manager of the launch phase of the project.  

EDA’s Acting Chief Executive Olli Ruutu said: “EDA is delighted to take this ambitious and innovative PESCO project forward and to support its Member States. As the European hub for collaborative capability development, the Agency has the required expertise to help Member States in the implementation of their PESCO projects. The development of underwater control capabilities which contribute to resilience at sea and are based on new technologies such as unmanned systems, is one of the European Capability Development Priorities agreed in 2018. The DIVEPACK project will contribute to this priority”.  

Bulgaria's Deputy Defence Minister Atanas Zapryanov said: “The DIVEPACK is the first joint project in the PESCO context coordinated by Bulgaria, which makes us proud and also ambitious. Its core purpose is to build up a range of specific defence capabilities, which will be fully aligned with the European Capability Development Priorities. The DIVEPACK units will be capable of executing versatility of underwater missions and tasks as part of EU CSDP and NATO operations. The first phase of DIVEPACK will be implemented within EDA’s  framework as a Cat B project and we believe that the Agency’s competences and experience in facilitating collaborative defence initiatives will provide indispensable support for the successful completion of the project. In pursuing coherence on EU level, we intend to submit a part of the DIVEPACK activities for funding under the Commission’s European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP).”

 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Preparatory Action on Defence Research: Projects selected following 2019 calls

Tue, 07/04/2020 - 13:56

Following calls for proposals launched by the European Defence Agency (EDA) in 2019, seven new defence research projects have been selected for funding under the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) for a total of more than €19 million.  

The seven selected projects focus on technologies with a high disruptive potential in the defence sector such as artificial intelligence and quantum technologies, as well as critical defence technologies for electronic warfare and interoperability standards for military unmanned systems.

The consortia that submitted the selected proposals consist of 65 leading-edge European system integrators, original equipment manufacturers, high-tech MidCap and SMEs and research institutes located in 15 EU Member States. EDA will now start Grant Agreement preparations with the consortia of the top-ranking proposals. The Grant Agreements are foreseen to be signed in the second half of 2020.

Background  

PADR implementation is run by the European Defence Agency following the mandate of a Delegation Agreement between the European Commission and EDA signed on 31st May 2017. By this agreement the Commission entrusts EDA with the management and implementation of the research projects to be launched within the PADR. The first PADR calls for proposals were launched in 2017 for 25 M€, followed by calls in 2018 for 40 M€ and subsequently in 2019.

The Preparatory Action on Defence Research is a concrete step aimed at assessing and demonstrating the added value of EU supported defence research and technology (R&T). The relevant results are expected to further deepen European defence cooperation, addressing capability shortfalls, and to strengthen European defence stakeholders.

More information

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Call issued for EDA Defence Innovation Prize 2020

Thu, 26/03/2020 - 12:27

The European Defence Agency today issued a call for applications from parties interested in participating in the 2020 edition of the ‘EDA Defence Innovation Prize’ contest rewarding companies and research entities who come up with innovative and ground-breaking technologies, products, processes or services applicable in the defence domain.

This year’s contest will reward innovative defence-related ideas addressing the area of innovative solutions/technologies for the countering of swarms of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), specifically on the protection of static and dynamic land facilities and platforms.

Applicants are expected to propose ideas which, if implemented between now and 2030, would contribute to enhance Member States’ defence capabilities specifically related to:

  • the detection and identification of swarms of small drones (many units acting in a coordinated manner); 
  • mitigation measures incorporating the capability to intercept, disable and neutralise hostile vehicles;
  • and the minimising of collateral damage.

The winning idea/concept will be worth 30,000€.
 

Reaching out to non-traditional defence innovators 

The contest is not only open to dedicated and specialised defence companies but to ALL types of industries and research institutions in Europe. The objective is to reach out to the widest possible spectrum of innovative developers and producers - especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) - as well as research organisations and universities which are usually not (or not directly) involved in traditional defence R&D activities. Applications from dual-use and civil/commercial innovators and researchers are even particularly encouraged.

The deadline for submissions is 4 September 2020 (5pm Brussels time).

The rules of the contest and the criteria for participation are available here. Information on how to apply can also be found in the contest documentation under the link above.

The prize winners will be notified not later than October 2020. The Defence Innovation Prize award ceremony is scheduled to take place at the EDA Annual Conference 2020, early December, in Brussels.
 

Background

EDA organises its Defence Innovation Prize since 2018. The previous editions rewarded the most innovative ideas or applications related to: - the integration of multi-robot swarming concepts in support of future defence capabilities in the area of Guidance, Navigation and Control (first part of 2018 call); - autonomous detection, identification and monitoring/sampling/analysis through sensor and platform networking in the area of CBRN protection technologies and techniques (second part of 2018 call); - the use of Artificial Intelligence in defence (2019).
 

More information

 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA’s Annual Report 2019 is out!

Mon, 23/03/2020 - 10:48

The year 2019 was another busy and productive year for the European Defence Agency, one worth to be looked back at. The 2019 Annual Report, published today, provides a good overview of the work accomplished in EDA’s various activity domains throughout the past year.   

The report reflects the progress made in the wide spectrum of the Agency’s activities, from its central role in the implementation of the EU defence initiatives (CARD, PESCO, EDF) and the increasing number of defence research and capability development projects and programmes, to the launch of new enablers and incentives for defence cooperation and EDA’s growing interface role towards wider EU policies. 

The PDF version of the 2019 Annual Report can be downloaded here.

 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA-supported defence R&T project co-funded by EU Structural Funds

Thu, 19/03/2020 - 09:42

Co-funding worth some 5 million euros from the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) has been allocated to an EDA-supported defence research project aimed at developing protective clothing for Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD). Proposed by the Romanian Ministry of Defence, the ‘Active Protection Costume EOD’ project benefited from EDA’s dedicated expertise in its successful ESIF application.  

Front-line EOD operators face severe risks when identifying, disabling or dismantling explosive devices, be it in military operations or in a civilian context (terrorism, unexploded ammunition in former conflict zones, etc). To provide them with best possible protection, the ‘Active Protection Costume EOD’ project is developing a special protective suit based on innovative materials and numerical simulations for structures.   

The consortium in charge of the development encompasses STIMPEX S.A., a Romanian SME, the Romanian Scientific Research Center for CBRN Defense and Ecology as well as the National Institute for Research and Development for Non-Ferrous and Rare Metals. 

The successful ESIF application of this project is testimony to EDA’s important role in helping defence project access EU funding opportunities. After a number of successful pilot cases, the Agency now actively facilitates access for all defence-related stakeholders (MoDs, industry, R&T organisations, academies, labs, etc.) to available funding at European level, with the help of its online "IdentiFunding" tool: a user-friendly and customised software application which allows interested parties to search for eligible EU funding for their specific defence projects and activities.
 

More information 

 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA Statement: New measures related to COVID-19

Fri, 13/03/2020 - 13:47

The European Defence Agency (EDA) takes additional precautionary measures to those announced on 4 and 6 March, in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. The measures are in line with advice received by the Belgian national authorities on 12 March and considering the approach taken at EU level.  All measures have been communicated to staff and point of contacts in the Member States.

The following measures are currently implemented and are constantly reviewed: 

  • All meetings and events planned to be hosted by the Agency until 8 April included will be postponed to a later date.
  • As of 16 March, all EDA staff in non-critical functions will telework, until further notice. Colleagues who ensure critical functions will continue to be present at the Agency.
  • Any person with symptoms is asked to stay at home and self-isolate.
  • Hygiene measures are systematically being reinforced and staff have been asked to observe them meticulously.
  • All non-essential travel arrangements are to be cancelled until 8 April included.  

The European Defence Agency is monitoring the situation closely and stands ready to review or introduce further measures if required. 

 

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

First Energy Consultation Forum project to receive EU funding

Tue, 10/03/2020 - 16:41

‘RESHUB’, a Slovenian-led project increasing reliable and sustainable energy in the defence sector, has been selected to receive technical support thanks to funding from the EU’s Structural Reform Support Programme (SRSP). EDA assisted the Slovenian Ministry of Defence in applying for the SRSP.

RESHUB”, which stands for ‘Defence RESilience Hub Network in Europe’, is a project conceived and led by the Slovenian Ministry of Defence under the Consultation Forum on Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS) which is currently in its third phase. Other participating countries in the project are Austria, Belgium, Germany and Hungary.  

The aim of RESHUB is to help build a renewable energy harvesting and hydrogen (H2) energy storage capability and to facilitate cross-Europe transportation, which will lower CO2 emissions and contribute to energy sustainability in the EU defence and security sector. EDA was instrumental in helping participating Member States in preparing and drafting the RESHUB application following a call under the SRSP issued by the Commission. 

Throughout phase III of the Consultation Forum, EDA will continue to support participating Member States’ Ministries of Defence (MoDs) to tackle energy security challenges including via energy efficiency and buildings performance, renewable energy solutions and the protection of defence-related critical energy infrastructure. In this context, EDA will help MoDs to develop defence energy-related project ideas and identify available funding opportunities through its “IdentiFunding” tool. Furthermore, EDA will continue to provide the most mature energy projects with tailored support in their application for  funding at European level. 

The successful application is important as it demonstrates that the Consultation Forum, a European Commission funded initiative managed and run by EDA, is the appropriate forum at the EU level where practical defence energy projects can be initiated and brought to the next level.  
 

Background 

CF SEDSS is a European Commission funded initiative managed by EDA. This project was established in 2015 with the primary scope to create a defence energy-related community to share relevant information and best practices to reach sustainable energy objectives. Building on the successful outcome of the previous two phases (CF I: 2015-2017, CF II: 2017-2019), the European Commission and EDA launched the third phase (CF III: 2019-2023), which is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 882171. 
 

More information: 
  • Access to EU funding for Defence.

  • Access to “European Funding Gateway for Energy in Defence”.    

  • CF SEDSS.

  • CF SEDSS: defence energy-related project ideas.

  • EDA Chief Executive and Slovenian MoD’s talks on EU defence cooperation.  

  • Structural Reform Support Programme

  •  

     

    Categories: Defence`s Feeds

    EDA Statement: COVID-19 Update

    Fri, 06/03/2020 - 13:25

    The European Defence Agency (EDA) confirms that two additional staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. Both staff members have been at home in self-isolation since 2 March and have thus not returned to the Agency since symptoms appeared.

    Given that both staff members had been in close contact with the first staff member who has tested positive, the Agency, while awaiting test results, has proactively taken additional precautionary measures to those already outlined in its statement of 4 March.

    The additional precautionary measures include: 

    • EDA has personally informed all individuals who were in close contact with the two colleagues four days prior to the appearance of symptoms;
    • EDA has asked its staff members in close contact to self-isolate themselves for 14 days as a precaution.

    All three EDA staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19 are at home and have not reported any adverse change in their health.

    EDA will continue to closely monitor the situation and remain in close contact with the responsible health authorities (Belgian health authorities as the host nation, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the EU Inter-Institutional Medical Board and the World Health Organisation) in order to strictly follow their guidance.

     

    Categories: Defence`s Feeds

    Jiří Šedivý appointed as new EDA Chief Executive

    Thu, 05/03/2020 - 18:35

    The EDA Steering Board today appointed Jiří Šedivý, former Czech Defence Minister, as new EDA Chief Executive upon recommendation of the Head of the European Defence Agency Josep Borrell. He will take office in April 2020.

    Jiří Šedivý has extensive experience in the defence domain, having served as Defence Minister of the Czech Republic (2006-2007), Deputy Defence Minister (2010-2012), NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning (2007-2010) and Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to NATO (2012-2019). He also was Deputy Minister for European Affairs of the Czech Republic (2007). On 1 September 2019 (and until today), Mr Šedivý was appointed by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs as special representative for resilience and new threats.

    “Jiří Šedivý’s ministerial and diplomatic experience as well as his deep practical knowledge of the European and transatlantic security and defence realm make him the ideal candidate to lead the European Defence Agency in the coming years. We need a strong and supportive European Defence Agency to ensure coherence and focus on agreed joint priorities in the implementation of our defence initiatives. I am certain Jiří Šedivý will provide this leadership”, Josep Borrell said.

    Mr Šedivý has a distinguished academic background. He is a graduate of Charles University, Prague, where he earned a PhD in Political Science, and of King’s College, London, where he earned an MA in War Studies. From 2004 to 2006 he was Professor of Security Studies at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, lecturing on such topics as defence sector transformation, civil-military relations and national strategy making.

    Between 1999 and 2004, he was Director of the Institute of International Relations in Prague, Assistant Professor of International Relations at Charles University, Prague, and Professor of European Security at New York University, Prague Centre. As an expert, he played an important role in the Czech Republic’s accession to NATO. It was during this period that he also served as external adviser to President Václav Havel.

    More information

    • CV Jiří Šedivý  
    Categories: Defence`s Feeds

    EDA Statement : Confirmed case of COVID-19

    Wed, 04/03/2020 - 12:58

    The European Defence Agency (EDA) confirms that one staff member has tested positive for COVID-19. The staff member tested positive and is currently at home in self isolation since symptoms appeared on Saturday evening (29 February 2020). The individual has reported very light symptoms and not returned to the Agency since.

    The staff member promptly informed the Agency and since then EDA has taken several steps:

    • EDA is in close contact with the Belgian health authorities as the host nation, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the EU Inter-Institutional Medical Board and the World Health Organisation (WHO);
    • EDA has personally informed the few staff members who were in close contact with the colleague concerned four days prior to the appearance of symptoms;
    • EDA has asked these staff members to self-isolate themselves for 14 days as a precaution;
    • EDA has taken as a precautionary measure - based on guidance received by the EU inter-institutional medical board - the decision to cancel all meetings to be held at its premises and organised by EDA outside its premises until 13 March 2020 inclusive. Additionally, no EDA staff members will attend any external meetings until after 13 March 2020;
    • EDA has already carried out a disinfection of the office and relevant meeting facilities of the staff member concerned.

    The staff member had recently travelled to Italy (Milan and Cortina) and returned to Brussels on 23 February. The Agency also wishes to address reports in the media, that the impacted staff member attended a meeting with 30 officials from other EU institutions, as incorrect.

    EDA will continue to closely monitor the situation and remain in close contact with the responsible health authorities in order to strictly follow their guidance.

    Categories: Defence`s Feeds

    New project to improve biological detection, identification & monitoring equipment

    Thu, 27/02/2020 - 16:26

    A new phase in EDA’s testing and evaluation project of biological detection, identification and monitoring (DIM) equipment was launched on 26 February at a kick-off meeting at the Agency. Dubbed ‘T&E Bio DIM Phase 2’ (2020-2023) the project aims to deliver improved testing and evaluation capabilities to ensure the performance of biological DIM systems at the development and procurement stage. It follows up to the project’s first phase which prepared the ground and set the framework for further action in this domain.   

    Five EDA Member States (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands) as well as Norway (which has signed an Administrative Agreement with the Agency) are participating in T&E Bio DIM Phase 2.

    Detection, identification and monitoring of biological material are critical to enhancing situational awareness in a timely manner, supporting decisions, and enabling military commanders to take the most appropriate decisions in a recognized chemical and biological environment. Despite the importance of biological DIM, Europe still lacks coordination and harmonisation of the technical requirements for Member States’ test and evaluation (T&E) equipment. This makes it difficult to compare and exchange T&E results both within and between European countries as well as NATO members. It also causes duplication of effort and reduces the cost-effectiveness of both national and international military and civilian T&E efforts, e.g. by limiting the burden-sharing and cost-reduction potential that could have been realised. 

    In Phase 1 of the project, a general framework (in the form of a set of commonly defined requirements and criteria) was developed for T&E of biological DIM equipment. Based on this framework, Phase 2 is set to deliver improved testing and evaluation capabilities.
     

    T&E Bio DIM Phase2 kick-off meeting at EDA on 26 February 2020
     

    European Bio Defence Laboratory Network 

    Moreover, another related EDA project is under preparation, the European Bio Defence Laboratory Network (EBLN Phase II), which will aim to strengthen EU preparedness by establishing a fully characterised collection of biological agents and a closely collaborating laboratory network at EU level in order to rapidly identify biothreat agents. Participating Member States in EBLN II are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden.

    The two projects are part of EDA’s long term research efforts to enhance Member States’ bio defence capabilities and thereby, improve Europe’s overall ability to respond to emerging biological threats.

     

    Categories: Defence`s Feeds

    Maximising EU defence tools’ impact on national planning

    Fri, 21/02/2020 - 15:53

    The EU’s defence tools - Capability Development Plan (CDP), Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), European Defence Fund (EDF) - will only have the desired effect on enhancing the coherence of Europe’s defence landscape and boosting European defence cooperation if they are fully embedded and used by Member States in their national defence planning.  This was the core message conveyed today in Brussels at a seminar co-organised by EDA and the Croatian EU Presidency. 

    The objective of the event, which took place in the Agency’s premises, was to exchange views among government representatives on how to practically embed the EU defence initiatives into national defence planning processes and thereby maximise their benefits in support of Member States’ efforts. It was the first time senior national defence planners met to discuss the conceptual and practical implications of the new EU defence initiatives on national defence planning processes and practices.

    In his opening statement, EDA’s acting Chief Executive Olli Ruutu said the implementation process of the initiatives was now at a key moment. “CARD is more than halfway through its first full cycle with a final report to be presented to Defence Ministers in November this year. PESCO is moving ahead with the third batch of projects approved and a strategic review also scheduled  towards the end of this year. Preparations for the EDF are entering a decisive phase. Hence, this is the right moment for a check-up of what has been achieved so far and to listen to Member States’ views in order to maximise the benefits for them. Member States’ ownership through embedding the EU defence tools into their national defence planning processes is crucial for their success”, stated Mr Ruutu.

    Representing the Croatian EU Presidency, Dunja Bujan, the acting Defence Policy Director at the Croatian Ministry of Defence, stressed the need to increase the coherence between the EU defence initiatives and national defence planning. “In the foreseeable future, we will continue to pull our strength and ability to act from national armed forces and budgets. No EU defence initiative will be able to compensate that. If we want the EU defence initiatives to succeed, we need to keep them in line with this reality” and thus embed them into national planning. “The sooner we start to do that, the greater will be the chance to avoid any potential future discrepancies”, she stated.
     

    Panel discussions

    The keynote speeches were followed by two panel discussions. The first featured Major General Eric Charpentier (France’s National Capability Director), Rear Admiral Juha Vauhkonen (Finland’s military representative to EU/NATO), Lieutenant General Jaromir Zuna (Czech First Deputy Chief of General Staff) and Colonel Jorge Farre (Head of EU Department in Spain’s MoD). It mainly focused on the questions of whether the initiatives have already impacted national defence planning and to what extent the wider EU perspective is being taken into account in Member States’ decision-making.

    The second panel looked at practical steps towards improving the implementation and usage of the tools in national processes. This panel was composed by Major General Jorge Côrte-Real Andrade (National R&T Director and Deputy Director of the Directorate-general of National Defence Resources at the Portuguese MoD),  Brigadier General Ludy Schmidt (Deputy Capability Director at the Dutch Ministry of Defence) and Colonel Markus Kohlweg (Head of Unit, Multinational Defence Planning, at the Austrian MoD). 

    Seminar co-organised by EDA and the Croatian EU Presidency

     
    Categories: Defence`s Feeds

    NADs discuss prioritisation and EU defence tools

    Thu, 20/02/2020 - 14:18

    Member States’ National Armaments Directors (NADs) met on 20 February at the Agency for their biannual Steering Board meeting under the chairmanship of Bulgaria’s Deputy Defence Minister Atanas Zapryanov. 

    Acting Chief Executive Olli Ruutu updated NADs on the progress made on a wide range of EDA projects, programmes and activities. Directors discussed the state of play and next steps to be taken on the Strategic Context Cases (SCC) through which the revised European Capability Development Priorities are being implemented. They were also briefed on the development of the Overarching Strategic Research Agenda (OSRA) as well as on the Agency’s work on the Key Strategic Activities (KAS). 

    The state of play and the Agency’s role in the implementation of the EU defence initiatives (CARD, PESCO, EDF) were also presented and debated with the participation of representatives of the European External Action Service including the EU Military Staff,  and the European Commission (DG Defence Industry and Space). On CARD, Directors were informed that the Aggregated Analysis will be sent to Member States in May. Following further discussions, including at NADs level, the final CARD report will then be presented to Ministers in November. Directors were also briefed by the PESCO Secretariat on the progress made so far this year which will be particularly important given the  ongoing PESCO Strategic Review.

    Directors were also provided with an update on EDA’s cooperation with the Commission and a briefing by the new Commission DG Defence Industry and Space (DG DEFIS). The Directors were also briefed on the cooperation with the Commission DG Environment in the area of Circular Economy.  

    The Steering Board was also briefed by the EDA and NATO on EU-NATO cooperation and the progress made in the implementation of the Joint Declaration.

    Categories: Defence`s Feeds

    Second Staff Exchange between EU Cybersecurity Organisations

    Wed, 19/02/2020 - 10:07

    Experts met in Brussels to intensify co-ordination against cyber threats and staff-to-staff relations.

    After a successful first edition at Europol in June 2019, the second iteration of the Staff Exchange initiative between the four Parties to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) – the European Defence Agency (EDA), CERT-EU, the EU Cybersecurity Agency (ENISA) and Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), took place from 17 to 20 February 2020. 

    As part of the MoU partners’ Roadmap 2020-2021, this programme seeks to promote a better mutual understanding of respective priorities, practices and to deepen the working relationships across the respective organisations. Hosted jointly by EDA and CERT-EU in Brussels, the experts focused on strategic developments in cyber defence, trained in threat hunting and met with industry representatives. 

    Olli Ruutu, EDA Chief Executive (ad interim), said: “The staff exchange is an excellent opportunity to share views and knowledge and further improve our common understanding of the work done by our respective entities. It is also a special moment for thinking outside the box with like-minded colleagues. There is a lot to be taken away from these Staff Exchanges which fully reflect the collaborative spirit of the Memorandum of Understanding we concluded in May 2018 to leverage synergies between our four organisations and promoting cooperation on cyber security and cyber defence.”

    Saâd Kadhi, the Head of CERT-EU, said: “This second Staff Exchange builds on the achievements of the one before. It will continue to improve the mutual understanding and cooperation between our organisations, ultimately leading to better collective cyber defence.”

    Juhan Lepassaar, ENISA’s Executive Director, said: “The EU Cybersecurity Agency welcomes the Staff Exchange initiative hosted by EDA and CERT-EU and sees this as a fruitful, knowledge-sharing exercise that fosters increased collaboration between the signatories.”

    Fernando Ruiz, Acting Head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre said: “The close cooperation and knowledge sharing between our entities contribute to building a robust European cyber defence. This Staff Exchange initiative, hosted by the European Defence Agency and CERT-EU, will strengthen the capabilities of our experts to effectively tackle the cyber threat and protect EU citizens, businesses and organisations.”
     

    More information:
    Categories: Defence`s Feeds

    Cloud computing security workshop: call for industry input

    Mon, 10/02/2020 - 12:08

    On 21 April 2020, EDA will host a workshop on Cloud Computing Security, co-organised with the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) and the Computer Emergency Response Team for the EU Institutions, Bodies and Agencies (CERT-EU). To prepare this workshop, EDA issued today a call for papers inviting industry to join the debate and provide input.  

    The workshop will take into account the industry contributions which will help to determine the final programme and setting.

    Interested parties have until 23 March to submit their contributions.  

    The papers should be no longer than 1,500 words and not contain commercially sensitive information. They should focus on one or more aspects of cloud computing security and assess security challenges based on the contributor’s experience and propose potential solutions to specific problems.  

    More details about the call and the conditions attached can be found here.

    Categories: Defence`s Feeds

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