This year, the Ministry of Defence is supporting six innovative Estonian Defence Industry development projects in the defence industry development project competition.
The supported projects deal with artificial intelligence and machine learning, the development and repelling of various unmanned systems, innovative energy sources, innovative environmentally friendly energy sources on the battlefield, as well as the updating of training equipment.
According to Kusti Salm, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, the defence sector and entrepreneurs will both benefit from the competition.
“The winning companies receive help developing their products from experts in the Defence Forces and are able to perform practical field tests together with the Defence Forces, which creates the best opportunities for developing the product into exactly what is needed in the field,” explained Salm.
He added that the competition gives the Defence Forces the opportunity to familiarise itself with innovative solutions and test new technologies personally, which will also help to ensure Estonia’s defence capability.
“Over the past few years, the competition has served as a powerful impetus for the development of the domestic defence industry, bringing additional money to the domestic economy. New companies have grown out of the programme, along with the emergence of competence in important fields, such as unmanned and autonomous systems and monitoring technologies,” emphasised Salm.
Taking place for the ninth consecutive year, a record number of applications were submitted to the competition this time – a total of 28 applications from 25 companies. “This demonstrates that Estonian companies are aware of their competition and the interest in creating new applications in the field of defence is part of a growing trend,” said Salm.
The total cost of the projects was EUR 3.9 million, total support requested from the Ministry of Defence was EUR 1.7 million.
Descriptions of winning projects
- Sensus Septima OÜ
Development of decision support software based on artificial intelligence and machine learning models, grant EUR 197,696, 45% of the total project cost
- Defforce OÜ
84 mm pyrotechnic training ammunition for the Carl-Gustaf recoilless rifle, grant EUR 80,775, 45% of the total project cost
- Tehnoturg T-Raadiosidekeskus
Universal drone detection platform, grant EUR 160,684, 45% of the total project cost
- Unsinkable Robotics OÜ
Light and modular multi-purpose underwater robot, grant EUR 30,600, 45% of the total project cost
- ELI OÜ
Further development of the 6th generation of the rising pop-up target set ‘Hardy’, grant EUR 41,782, 45% of the total project cost
- PowerUp Fuel Cells OÜ
Hydrogen powered generator, grant EUR 88,463, 22% of the total project cost
Over the past nine years, the Ministry of Defence has supported 41 projects with a total of EUR 2.95 million.
The competition has a budget of up to EUR 600,000. One project can receive a maximum of EUR 200,000 in support. The support of the Ministry of Defence for one development project is generally 25%, but may reach up to 45% of the total project cost, depending on the potential of the project.
The applications were evaluated by a commission consisting of representatives from the Ministry of Defence, the Defence Forces, agencies and business organisations responsible for directing Estonia’s economic development, and foreign experts.
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