At the event of the Information Day on European Defense Fund issues, where the Bulgarian Minister of Economy and Industry Nikola Stoyanov gave the opening speech, it was understood that this year Bulgarian companies will be able to apply to the European Defense Fund for financial support of 1.2 billion euros.
Of these funds, 72 million euros are allocated to projects belonging to small and medium-sized enterprises, and 41 million euros to pilot technology projects.
“Within four years, 11 projects of a Bulgarian company, in consortium with foreign partners, to develop products and technologies in the field of defense, worth about 130 million levs, were entitled to be subsidised,” the minister said. Stoyanov added that in terms of the number of organizations that receive financial support from the European Defense Fund, our country ranks 14th out of 26 countries. “This is a clear sign that our companies and research institutions are innovative, high-tech and competitive at the European level and should make the most of the opportunities available within the framework of EU programs and initiatives,” the minister said.
According to Stoyanov’s statement, there are a number of tools for creating a more competitive defense industry and a more open European market at the EU level. “We are at a historic moment for our defense industry. We have all the prerequisites and opportunities to make the necessary transition to increase production of products in accordance with NATO standards and technological innovation in this sector, but further action is needed by companies and scientific research institutes,” he stressed.
The event also discussed the Ammunition Production Support Resolution (ASAP), which is expected to be adopted this summer and take effect by mid-2025. The program has a budget of 500 million euros and will provide grant support to European companies. “This car is a serious opportunity for the industry to develop new capabilities, increase or restructure existing production lines,” Stoyanov explained.
The European Defense Fund has a budget of around 8 billion euros for the period 2021-2027, of which 2.7 billion euros is allocated to scientific research and 5.3 billion euros to the development of defense products and technologies. The fund’s budget for 2023 alone is €1.2 billion. This year’s calls for project proposals will open for project applications on 15th June 2023. The deadline for submitting project proposals is 22nd November 2023.
Today’s event was attended by the European Commission General Representative for Defense Industry and Aerospace Kristio Preslavsky, Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry Irina Otunova, Director of the Ministry of Economy and Industry Stanislava Yalimova, and representatives of the public sector, business sector and research sector. and academic institutions.
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