The Joint European Disruptive Initiative (JEDI) proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron at a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in September is taking shape.
The Franco-German network of leading figures from research, business and administration aims to bring breakthrough innovations to market quickly. It is modelled after DARPA, the agency of the US Department of Defense that has produced groundbreaking technologies – such as GPS technology and the precursor of the internet – in its 60-year history.
The JEDI program aims to develop dozens of operational prototypes each year. With a proposed annual budget of EUR 1 billion in the medium term, JEDI will reportedly fund 50-70 extremely ambitious projects in areas such as cybersecurity, biotechnology, energy storage, health and aerospace. Fifteen program managers have reportedly already been hired, and three or four project competitions – each with a purse of EUR 10 million – will be announced in the fall.