The Estonian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has launched a new competition for the development of future weapon systems.
The Defence Innovation competition has been designed to encourage Estonian enterprises to come up with new ideas to produce high-export potential weapons systems, ammunition and munitions or other associated products.
In July this year, the Estonian Parliament passed the amendment to the Weapons Act allowing private enterprises in the country for the first time to produce and handle military weapons and ammunition.
The competition has been launched with an aim to promote the amendment to the weapons law and help strengthen Estonia’s defence industry sector.
Estonian Defence Ministry chief defence industry officer Eneli Saabas said: “Our success parameter for the competition is to get at least three to four new and innovative products that can be marketed in Estonia and abroad.”
The competition will see the participation of companies that are registered in Estonia.
The winning firms would receive a government contribution of €500,000 and will be responsible for carrying out product development and testing with the Estonian Defence Forces.
The total budget of the projects is expected to reach more than €1m, while the maximum support for a single project will be up to €200,000 and state support can be a maximum of 45% of the cost of the development project.
The applications for the competition are being evaluated by a committee comprising representatives from the MoD, defence forces, business organisations and outside experts.