“Development of the Lithuanian defence industry is a national security interest. For that reason, we seek more development, improvement and international market access opportunity for Lithuania companies in defence area,” noted Vice Minister Greta Monika Tučkutė on June 3 at the European Defence Fund (EDF) information event held in Vilnius at the Defence Materiel Agency by initiative of the Ministry of National Defence. At the event, representatives of the Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space (DEFIS) of the European Commission and the Defence Materiel Agency under the MoD presented to Lithuanian defence industry companies and scientific research institutions the European Defence Fund programs and initiatives, as well as the opportunities to take part in it.
EDF programmes receive the annual over EUR 1 billion. In total, the European Commission dedicates over EUR 8 billion for the period 2021–2027.
Established in the summer of 2021, the main mission of the European Defence Fund is to foster technological innovation and cooperation in EU defence research and technology. The EDF provides financing to for project proposals formed by defence industry business consortiums representing at least three EU member states. Small and medium-sized companies and scientific institutions are encourage to join as well.
The event hosted by the Defence Materiel Agency addressed not only the conditions for EDF project funding but also the MoD initiatives for spurring the Lithuanian defence industry.
“The private-public sector cooperation is vital in stimulating development of the defence industry. We must ensure that defence innovation meets the national security needs and integrates in the supply chains. Events like this one are mutually beneficial in seeking a closer cooperation between the stakeholders, and thus promoting national defence and security,” says G. M. Tučkutė.
Lithuanian companies already take part in EDF activities, to name but a few: BPTI (Baltijos pažangių technologijų institutas), Aktyvus Photonics, FTMC (Fizinių ir technologijos mokslų centras), EKSMA Optics, Nanoavionics, Astrolight, ELSIS PRO, Neurotechnology, etc.
The Ministry of National Defence organizes different events creating contact opportunities for Lithuanian defence industry and foreign partners on a regular basis. In addition, this year the Lithuanian Armed Forces opened up for testing Lithuanian defence industry products.
Photo credit: MoD/ A. Pliadis