Ministry of Defence facilitates participation of Latvian companies in the first project of European Defence Fund
Letter of Intent signed by the Ministry of Defence confirms Latvia’s interest in participating in the first project of European Defence Fund. The aim of the project is to research and develop next generation Modular Unmanned Ground Systems (MUGS).
“Participation in this project will give Latvian defence and security industry a unique opportunity to expand cross-border cooperation with the leading global military industry players in Europe and the world, while National Armed forces will benefit from Latvia’s participation in the project by gaining broad access to a whole range of technologies under development. This includes testing and tailoring of products to meet precise requirements of the National Armed Forces,” stressed the Defence Minister Artis Pabriks.
The idea to apply for European Defence Fund project funding came from Estonian company Milrem Robotics which created a joint consortium between a broad range of industries, including communication, driverless solutions, cyber security, command and control, sensors and other innovative technologies, in Latvia, Estonia, Finland Germany, Belgium, France and Spain.
Latvia is represented in this industry consortium with a cluster of business and research organisations lead by Latvijas Mobilais Telefons (LMT).
“It not only is a chance for Latvian companies to raise additional innovation financing, it is also a way to acquire new competencies and international cooperation partners. Development of 4G and 5G mobile technologies has captured the interest of defence sector. Mobile solutions are being considered. Latvia has strong potential here. Latvia ranks among the top three mobile data consumers in the world. Together with our partners we will build a good sandbox platform to support development and testing of innovative security products,” said Juris Binde, President of LMT.
According to requirements of the recently-established European Defence Fund, financing is available to industry consortiums consisting of business or research organisations from at least three EU member states. Another eligibility criterion for such member state consortiums is an agreement between all partner industries specifying common technical standards and responsibility for ensuring additional support for the project, as well as further use of its results.
Signing of the Letter of Intent on Development of Modular Unmanned Ground Systems between defence ministers of Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Belgium, France and Spain mandates Latvia’s Defence Ministry to provide additional support to the industry consortium in the form of co-financing or technical testing of project deliverables.
Specific contribution of the Ministry of Defence will depend on the amount of funding approved by the European Commission for Latvian partners of the international consortium.
In addition to this project, Latvia will also continue to facilitate the participation of Latvian industry players in other projects funded from the European Defence Fund, including projects developed by other local companies.
European Defence Fund was created to support joint EU member state investments in common research, development and manufacturing projects. It also aims to facilitate joint defence procurements. For more information on European Defence Fund projects, go to section ‘For Businesses’ of the Ministry of Defence webpage at: www.mod.gov.lv/lv/uznemejiem/atbalsts-uznemejiem/eiropas-aizsardzibas-f….