New technology solutions for the army: The first International Military Drone Hackathon has started

On August 26, the first international Military Drone Hackathon started in Kyiv.

The event was organized by the Ukrainian Startup Fund (USF) together with the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, DK “Ukroboronprom” and IDI Camp.

The Drone Hackathon aims to develop new ideas in the military-tech industry for the production of drones.

In total, about 300 applications (individual and team participants) from design engineers, radio engineers, drone operators and programmers and other specialists from all regions of Ukraine were received to participate in the hackathon.

Among them, 150 selected participants will work offline for three days (August 26-28) on new technological solutions in the military tech field to overcome war challenges and help the Ukrainian army.

“This hackathon is a unique opportunity to participate in the development of new digital solutions that will help our military. Our common task is to raise the development of production and technical support of drones to a high level. And not only to purchase drones from various companies around the world but also to create them on an industrial scale in our country. It depends on you how we will develop new military-tech projects in this area,” said Mykhailo Fedorov, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, in his address to the participants.

“Today we are looking for those ideas that will make our innovations relevant for the military not in the future, but already today. During these three days, we are looking for a solution together with the military. So that the ideas that the teams come up with at this hackathon are implemented as much as possible at the front. This is the first military-tech hackathon for the Ukrainian Startup Fund. There will be more. It is strategically important for us. This is the priority that the UFS sets before itself,” emphasized Dmytro Shimkiv, a member of the Supervisory Board of the Ukrainian Startup Fund.

On the first day of the Drone Hackathon, participants presented their initial ideas, formed teams, discussed the main challenges of the Hackathon with team mentors and started working on projects in teams.

During the next two days, it is planned to hold lectures for Hackathon participants, consultations with mentors and specialized experts, project teamwork, and pitch preparation.

Hackathon facilitators were representatives of the Ukrainian Startup Fund – Ihor Markevich and Yana Paladiyeva.

The Drone Hackathon will end with a Pitch Day, as a result of which the jury will evaluate the projects according to the following criteria:

  • Satisfaction of the requirements of interested parties
  • Innovative approach to the problem
  • Completeness of the solution
  • Simplicity and scalability
  • Presentation of the final product

The winners will be awarded a monetary reward and gifts from partners.

“In the 21st century, knowledge, intelligence and technology are of great value in war, which give rise to effective and efficient anti-war tools, with the help of which wars are won in the modern world. This is not something foreign to Ukraine. This is our everyday reality. Artificial intelligence, control of drones, chatbots for gathering information, special search systems, satellite communication, space technologies are just a few of the innovative tools that Ukraine resorts to during the war. Nowadays, these words have become part of our daily vocabulary. Six months of military operations on the territory of Ukraine demonstrated how important and decisive such technological weapons could be, significantly strengthening ground forces. Therefore, it is unsurprising that the Military Drone Hackathon aroused lively interest among innovators. It is gratifying that startups are now working to develop their companies and for our joint victory in the war. They strive to strengthen the defenders on the battlefield and hold the technological front firmly, provide defense and counteroffensive,” said Pavlo Kartashov, director of the Ukrainian Startup Fund.

It’s worth mentioning that in early July, the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine and Fundraising platform UNITED24 announced the launch of the Drone Army project. The partner of this project is the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine (SSSCIP). This is a comprehensive program, within the framework of which the system procurement of drones, their repair and prompt replacement, pilot training, as well as training for the R&D industry will be carried out. UAVs have already been contracted for almost UAH 948 million. These include 877 drones that will strengthen the Ukrainian army. The total amount of the fundraising for the Drone Army is approaching UAH 1 billion. The following UAVs have already been purchased: UkrJet, Skyeton, Fly Eye, WARMATE, SKIF, DJI Matrice RTK 300, DJI Mavic 3, Autel evo 2.

The first UAVs purchased with this money have already been delievered at the frontline.

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