A seminar on EU funding for the defence sector co-organized by the European Defence Agency (EDA) and the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Cyprus opened today Wednesday.
The objective is to raise awareness and inform defence-related stakeholders (SMEs, academia and research associations) about existing possibilities to access European Union funding programmes running till 2020, including the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and COSME (EU Programme for Competitiveness of SMEs).
The seminar will focus on ways and means to benefit from dual-use for research and training funding and Enterprise Europe Network free-of-charge services.
It will inform interested parties on how to participate in collaborative EDA programmes/projects and explore Horizon 2020 funding possibilities.
Defence Minister Christophoros Fokaides, speaking to the press, pointed out that the fact that Cyprus hosts for the first time such a seminar reflects, over and above everything else, the enhanced participation of the Republic of Cyprus in European security and defense institutions.
He said that the conference will enable development initiatives and programs that can be financed from European structural and investment funds and is addressed both to researchers, academic institutions as well as small and medium enterprises interested in developing technology projects in the field of dual-use programs, ie programs that can be used for military purposes and for civilian purposes as well.
The Minister underlined that in the last call of the European Defence Agency, two Cypriot proposals out of a total of 30 across Europe have been pre-selected and are currently receiving technical and financial support from the organization in order to be submitted for a final evaluation. If they make it, the researchers will be able to receive very significant funding of millions from the European investment and structural funds.
He also said that the funding can provide opportunities to small businesses in order to create new jobs.
Asked about the importance of such seminars for small countries like Cyprus, the Minister said that small countries can have an enhanced participation and can exploit advantages and opportunities offered by the European institutions in the defense and security sector. He said that opportunities are given to small states to have their voice heard in the European decision making process.