Skip to main content
EU Defence Innovation Scheme (EUDIS)
Innovation Test Hubs


Innovation test hubs

EUDIS aims to enable the establishment of Innovation Test Hubs across the European Union by allowing consortia selected under the European Defence Fund (EDF) to finance innovative SMEs and start-ups without necessarily having previous experience operating in the defence sector. This will be done by adding funding for the Financial Support to Third Parties (FSTP)/cascade funding to the EDF grant.

The EDF grant beneficiaries will be required to provide Financial Support to Third Parties (FSTP) in accordance with the conditions set out in the EDF call text.

In the EDF Work Programme 2024, there is one Research Action in the Simulation & Training category on the topic Methods for bridging reality gaps, where up to 16% or EUR 2 400 000 of the total call topic budget may be allocated as FSTP. 

  • Angle Arrow

Rewards & Benefits

  • Easier access to EDF funding: Cascade funding simplifies and streamlines the funding application process for SMEs. It eases and improves access for smaller market players into the EDF. 

  • Benefit from industry expertise: SMEs can connect with various industry stakeholders and benefit from activities that can solely be offered by consortia.

  • Arrow Lined Down - Hackathon
  • Blank
  • Blank

How does it work?

For the European Defence Fund’s in 2024, a consortium in receipt of an EDF grant which includes also funding for FSTP/cascade funding will be required to organise up to two distict calls to third parties, targeting a minimum of 10 and maximum of 20 entities per call, depending on the industrial landscape of the targeted domain. Each third party may be supported with up to EUR 60 000 for a maximum 6-months’ acceleration programme that encompasses the associated tasks as described in the EDF call text.

FSTP/cascade funding must target in priority SMEs, including start-ups. Participation of entities other than SMEs can only be accepted where no SMEs are available to demonstrate the capacity or expertise needed for the project during its lifetime.

When consortia will organize a cascade funding call for a start-up companies?

For the current EDF 2024 calls for proposals, it is envisaged that the successful consortia will receive a grant in the second half of 2025. The consortia that will implement the EDF project will organize cascade funding call(s) for SMEs and startups during the project implementation.

For example, if the project implementation will take place for 36 months, i.e., from 1 December 2025 – 30 November 2028, the consortium will organize one or two cascade funding calls for third parties, being SMEs and start-ups, during that time. It is up to the EDF consortium to decide on the precise timing. This call is carried out under the guidance of the European Commission.

The EDF consortium will advertise, select, award SMEs or start-ups and provide a set of support services.

Information on the 2024 Call:

Methods for bridging reality gaps - EDF-2024-RA-SIMTRAIN-BRG-STEP


Information on the 2023 Call:

The EDF 2023 round of call for proposals is now closed. The results of the evaluation are expected to be announced by the end of the second quarter of 2024.



Frequently Asked Questions on Innovation Test Hubs