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EU nations to mull options for new innovation hub within European Defence Agency

The European Union (EU) intends to create a defence innovation hub within the European Defence Agency (EDA) to accelerate the joint research, development, and testing of new military capabilities among the agency's 26 member nations (all EU countries except Denmark).

Crucially, the hub would be closely linked to the EDA's Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), which aims to herd the countries' national defence planning in the same direction.

CARD focuses on six capability areas in which Europe's defence ministries seek enhanced co-operation: a main battle tank, soldier systems, European patrol class surface ships, anti-access/area denial and counter-unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) capabilities, defence in space, and military mobility.

“This is extremely important,” EDA chief executive Jiří Šedivý told the European Business Summit in Brussels on 18 November. “The hub would increase our profile as an intergovernmental entity for dealing with defence capability and innovation, while offering industry greater opportunities for co-operation [on multination defence research and capability development].”

On 12 November Šedivý told Janes that the hub could result in the EDA conducting more innovation monitoring, launching more projects and information exchanges, and “connecting more systematically” to research and development and innovation hubs across the member states. “We see options for moving the hub from just a platform for information to establishing an actual lab for the testing and experimentation of innovation. There would be a price tag attached to that, of course, but first we need to consolidate and systematise what we are currently doing,” he said.

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