[BELSPO] Royal Higher Institute for Defence: Defence-related Research Action (DEFRA): Call for proposals 2022

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 second call of the DEFRA program was launched on the 1st of March 2022, covering four research themes:

Space weather for security and defence applications: 1.600k€

2 COMMUNICATION: 5/6G for military, security and crisis applications: 1.600k€

3 ENERGY: Sustainable and "green" energy applications for military use: 1.600k€

4 HEALTH: Preventive medicine for improved soldier fitness: 1.600k€

 Proposals must be submitted by a network composed of at least one public research institute - receiving at least 10% of the project budget - and one private company. Both types of organizations can act as the coordinator. Private non-profit research centres can participate as a partner but cannot coordinate a project.


It is envisaged to fund 1 or 2 projects for each of the themes.

All projects have a duration of 2 to 4 years.

All projects will start in December 2022.

A Steering Committee is required at the start of the project and is composed of the project managers of the partners and the domain manager of Defence.


Budget rules:

Belgian defence will finance a 100% for public research institutes and private non-profit research centres and 65% (or a maximum of 80%) for private companies.

The following categories will be financed:

-Staff: real wages of identified staff, otherwise fixed wages. Tax-free scholarships are not allowed!

-General operation costs: daily, usual supplies/products, documentation, workshops/meeting…

Maximum of 15% of the overall staff budget for the coordinator and maximum 10% of the overall staff budget for other partners.

-Specific operation costs: specific costs needed for the execution of the project (analyses, testing, maintenance and repair equipment…)

-Overheads: 10% of the total staff and operating costs

-Equipment: needed for the implementation of the project

-Subcontracting: maximum 25% of the total budget of the partner


The call is organised as a two-steps procedure using the DEFRA on-line submission platform. 


The deadline for the submission of pre-proposals is 26 April 2022.

-Title and acronym of the project

-Coordinates of all partners

-Description of the project

-References of the partners

-Names of 4-6 scientific experts capable of assessing the project

-Optionally 2 non-grata scientific experts



The pre-proposals shall be evaluated by an internal evaluation committee of the Belgian Defence within 4 weeks after the submission of the pre-proposals.

For each theme maximum 5 pre-proposals will be invites to submit a full proposal.


Full proposals must be submitted on 28 June 2022.

! Changes in the partnership are only allowed after the approval by Defence.


Belspo organises and coordinates a scientific peer review evaluation of each proposal.

After this evaluation a panel evaluation will be organised. A panel will be composed of the members of the Scientific Expert Committee of Defence. Interviews will be held with the applicants of the full proposal.


The final selection decision will be approved by the Board of Directors of Defence.


All information on this call is available on the DEFRA website.


For further questions regarding the submission, please contact vlaams-federaal@ugent.be

If you have questions regarding the DEFRA research themes or military useful research (“dual-use research”) in general, please contact Vincent Eechaudt (MeldpuntDU@ugent.be).

For Ghent University’s policy on dual-use research check the website: https://www.ugent.be/intranet/en/research/ethics/dual-use

March 21, 2022, 10:41 a.m.