The 40 000 000€ deal bad smell



Not long ago ended EDF (Europe Defence Fund) calls.

In one of them – the EDF-2021-AIR-R , for next generation vertical take-off and landing systems with the 40M EURO budget participated also UAB PB GROUP consortium with innovative VTOL model JETCOPTER.

The call scope was research on future VTOL technologies and the future operating environment (FOE) and future operating concepts (FOC) of military VTOL-systems. – new concept of military VTOL as helicopters need to be replaced soon. This means EU defence is looking for other VTOL concepts rather than helicopters .

The PB GROUP for a long time developed novel tiltrotor and it looks like it was the most experienced participant there. While having a few pending patents on novel tiltrotor construction , JETCOPTER also took part in US AGILITY PRIME and HS VTOL for SOCOM OPERATIONS by the USAF, collected significant knowledge in the programs.

There is no other company in the world that took a part in the same High speed VTOL concept programs both in the US and the EU. By the way, US future VTOL programs have limited access to participation for industrial giants as they look for “innovative” approach to the problem.

The EDF call task was :

To provide an executive summary and a detailed presentation of your (future VTOL) project. 

Evaluation info : Both will be crucial for the evaluation.

After 8 (!) month we got the EDF answer :

Having examined your proposal, we regret to inform you that – on the basis of the information you provided – it is unfortunately inadmissible, since it does not contain all parts and mandatory Annexes and supporting documents.

This simply means that they didn’t even read the application

JETCOPTER developer uploaded 8+ annex forms together with the most important Part A, Part B. European Commission (EC) named annexes only as “FORMAL” requirements , but EDF clerks have the own opinion. 8 months passed for studying annexes (or options to find the reasons for the JETCOPTER application rejection ) instead of reading the main material ? This way EU defence will go farway…

EDF calls applicants deserve to get the fair evaluation for their application. Competition must be fair, products or services must fairly compete for the best to win.

But things shows EDF motto ” to support competitiveness and innovations ” is nothing more than a FAKE.

EDF clerks use their most effective weapon as always – bureaucracy and annexes. Annexes serve as a formidable barrier against innovations, works perfectly, stops and pushes out competitiveness where they don’t want to.

Annexes – a secondary appendix documents , accounting notes , declarations of honour or balance sheets with a number EDF clerks have no problem getting from the EC.EUROPE funding portal – all about any company they wish.

Now let’s think of such bureaucracy isn’t a form of stagnation in EDF ?

The EDF idea – to foster an innovative and competitive defence. But reality seems to be different – no innovations will break through, no competition into the important defence areas will appear , large funds will continue to flow where many years before. The bones like developing some sensors , cables , apps , transceivers , meters and other trifle will be dropped to some SME’s , but not more.

Could it the reason EU’s defence is far behind the world leaders ? Very likely .

Do you imagine same situation in the US? When Department of Defence speaks to inventor – “your novel weapon system is very good , but you missed 1 line in the annex balance sheet , so we are sorry we won’t consider it , try next year”…

The innovators for EDF to become a statists, just to create the vision of “competitiveness”. The reality is different – looks like EDF clerks won’t let throw “the other” applications.

And also very important point to the all inventors – who can assure the information were uploaded to EDF won’t be passed to the “industry” as free “know how”.

Who can deny the winner was known in advance ?

The AIRBUS Helicopters with Leonardo Helicopters jointly ( what a coincidence – the grant will go to the winner only) submitted a proposal for a 40m euro grant for the Next Generation Rotorcraft (NGRT) project. Despite EU commission specified to EDF calls participants – there are no needs to make consortiums such as the Christmas trees (large and too many companies), the large consortium of 23 industry companies were presented by AIRBUS helicopters .Few of them were approached before by JETCOPTER with the offer to participate in startup consortium , but with no success.

Info from defence blog: Leonardo and Airbus Helicopters, two giants with first convincing experiences in the VTOL segment. The first tried the adventure with the AW609, a platform whose entry into service has not yet  taken place nearly 20 years after its flight. The second had progressed somewhat a decade ago with the experimental X3 gyrodine, before entrusting the only copy to a museum.

The “innovative” winner , will take the funds again and one more time to the several previous will try to invent the EU future VTOL concept…

So what chances at EDF programs for startups  ? Zero ! Despite loud EDF declarations about competitiveness and innovations supports.

The innovations must not lose against bureaucracy and disappear, the innovations turn the world around, but very often can’t break throw the clerks and their stagnation boundaries.

The world Innovators and inventors against stagnation !

In the name of all world innovators
JETCOPTER inventor
Don Skulski