First call of the DEFRA (Defence-related Research Action) programme

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Deadline 22 april 2021


Organisation: the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) and the Royal Higher Institute for Defence (RHID)

In order to maintain the Belgian Defence military and technological edge to face current and future security challenges, scientific and technological research in the domain of security and defence is key.

To further develop its capabilities through collaborative research with external partners, the Royal Higher Institute for Defence (RHID), in collaboration with the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO), will launch open calls for proposals within the frame of the Defence-related Research Action (DEFRA). The RHID is in charge of managing the DEFRA research programme, the funding and the follow-up of the selected projects. BELSPO is in charge of the organisation and the management of the call for proposals. 

The first call of the DEFRA programme was launched today, 1 March 2021, covering three research themes: 

Research theme Indicative budget (k€)
1. NEET: Employment of NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) for Belgian Defence 200
2. SEHS: Small Energy Harvesting systems for Defence applications 400
3. SPACE: Space technologies for Defence applications 400


The call is open to Belgian public and private non-profit research institutes and private companies preferably in a triple helix composition where academia and industry work together to foster technological and employment development for Defence.

The call is organised as a two-steps procedure.  The tentative deadline for the submission of pre-proposals is 22 April 2021. Full proposals must be submitted on 30 June 2021. 

An information session will be held on 8 March (14h00 - 16h00).
Registration is required and can be done through the website