Understanding the Forces Influencing EDA Innovation

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Fostering innovation is key to strengthening Europe’s defence capabilities. This has been stated in the EU Global Strategy (EUGS) and its implementation plan, as well as in the European Commission’s European Defence Action Plan, which emphasises the multidimensional role of innovation in defence.

Innovation can be perceived as the creation of new technologies, products, processes or services, as well as the application of existing technologies to a different problem or domain. In this regard, innovation in the defence sector should aim at enhancing military capability.

The European Defence Agency (EDA) has launched a new project aimed at understanding the different forces influencing innovation. The initiative represents a first attempt at identifying the ways and means by which innovation activities could be more systematically managed in order to create additional value for the EDA and its stakeholders.


As part of the new EDA project, RAND Europe will be carrying out a study to address and analyse the innovation strategy environment, identify best practices and propose appropriate organisational structures for an EDA-led innovation platform for defence. The objectives of the study are to:

  • Analyse current defence research innovation strategies and identify best practice in terms of organisational structures, supporting policies and incentives for research innovation management.
  • Analyse stakeholders, the environment and specific defence requirements related to innovation and identify appropriate organisational structures applicable to defence.
  • Identify candidate technologies for innovation injection and prepare scenarios for a follow on proof of concept.


The study will involve a combination of desk research, literature review, expert interviews, stakeholder workshops, technology horizon scanning and roadmapping.