BTA News

European Defence Fund Awareness Day Held in Bulgaria

The European Defence Fund (EDF) is becoming ever more popular and offering ever greater opportunities, Deputy Economy and Industry Minister David Sukalinski said on Wednesday, opening the National EDF Awareness Day. He said the EDF is a programme of the European Union to boost the competitiveness and the innovation capacity of the bloc’s defence technologies and industrial base. It has a budget of almost EUR 8 billion for the period 2021-2027, including EUR 2.7 billion for research and EUR 5.3 billion for defence technology development.

Bulgarian companies and research organizations maintain active relations with the EDF and are quite successful in bidding for funding and implementing projects, Sukalinski said. Between 2021 and 2022, a total of 14 projects involving 11 Bulgarian organizations received EDF grants, putting Bulgaria in 17th place out of 27 EU member states for contributing to EDF-funded projects.

In 2023, Bulgarian organizations shared in 17 project proposals, he said, adding that the European Commission has recognized Bulgaria as the country which achieved the highest annual growth in contributing to the programme. The number of Bulgarian participants doubled in 2023. This shows that the country’s businesses are innovative, high-tech, competitive and able to adapt, Sukalinski said.