Feb 07, 2020 / linn

Connections built between the military and the industry in Defence Makeathon 2020

In addition to protecting and securing the country's independence, the defence industry is important for the economy as a whole. Like all other industrial activities, it is required to deliver increased efficiency in order to provide value for money for its customers and, at the same time, protect its shareholders’ interests. At the end of January, The Ministry of Defence of Latvia, Latvian National Armed Forces, Federation of Security and Defence of Latvia, RTU Design Factory and Garage48 joined forces to innovate and build for the Baltic states and for the whole of Europe!
It's the second time for Garage48 to be part in organizing the defence oriented event in the Baltic states. Now in Riga, the event gathered direct interest from more than 160 people while keeping many more in the waiting list. This shows that even though it is a highly regulated field with great responsibility, it should be developed further involving civilians, especifically business minds, developers, engineers, designers and all other skill sets which we usually have in Garage48 hackathons and makeathons.


“We need the connection between people who have some ideas, who innovate and people who will implement and track. This type of event is something that could support that approach,” said the Minister of Defence, Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Artis Pabriks. The Minister of Defense emphasized that Latvia is a small country and in order to protect its values, freedom and independence, it must constantly be in development and growth. "This means that Latvia needs efficiency, innovation and must put it into practice as soon as possible.” Mr. Mārtiņš Mežulis, Head of the Industry and Research Support Section in the Ministry of Defence of Latvia added that it's about creating an ecosystem: “We can address the issues we have in the military and the other way around - have new ideas from the industry side which we can expose to the military.”

35 innovative ideas were presented on the first evening, such as conceptual bullet deflection mechanism, infrared camera for long-distance and low visibility surveillance, solutions for secure voice and data transmission for protection and rescue services, and more. “Totally 14 teams qualified for the finals - five of them are purely military focused. I believe that those ideas were technologically improved during this event and we can see them in military use,” said Lieutenant Colonel Aleksandrs Holmanovs, Head of CIS (J-6) Department, Latvian National Armed Forces Joint Headquarters.



“I have seen great teamwork, lots of great and also crazy ideas. The 48h process has been a journey for everybody,” commented the member of the jury and one of the mentors Konstantins Popiks (UAV Factory Manager, Chief Tech officer Management, Unmanned aerial vehicle design and manufacture, R&D).


Here are the WINNERS of Garage48 Defence Makeathon 2020


Winner

Radio Silence - Optical sound/cable communication device.

Prizes: UAV Factory visit; trip to Eurosatory in Paris; VIP membership of Latvian Land Force military exercise; certificate for participation on StartUp session Industry Day NBS.


Runner-up

Terminator Turret - remote control anti-tank robot

Prizes: 300€ prize from UAVFActory; trip to Eurosatory in Paris; certificate for participation on StartUp session Industry Day NBS.


Runner-up

Command & Control and Analysis - software for pinpointing enemy and analyzing it.

Calculates enemy positions.
Prizes: 300€ prize from UAVFActory; trip to Eurosatory in Paris; certificate for participation on StartUp session Industry Day NBS.


Lifesaver award

Freeze Dry Plasma
Prizes: VIP membership of Latvian Air Force helicopter crew; certificate for participation on StartUp session Industry Day NBS.


Special Innovation Award

Physically secure server / Tankify - shell that protects data against physical attacks.

Prizes: UAV Factory visit; trip to Italy by Energolux; certificate for participation on StartUp session Industry Day NBS.


Special commercial award

New ID System

Prizes: UAV Factory visit


Best technical gear

RFID4Inventory - Automated military equipment storage management system offering digital check if soldier has full composition before leaving to the field.

Prizes: 1000 EUR from SRC Brasa to buy tactical gear.


Navy special prize

Boat grid - Grid of drone boats, network of interconnected devices sharing data.

Prize: VIP membership of Latvian Navy ship crew



“We are very happy for the turnover for the event - more than 160 people applied and more than 100 turned up. What is important is that these people are the ones we do not necessarily encounter in our everyday military lives. We have participants all over Baltic’s - regional cooperation is very important for us. And as far as I know, the industry supporters are also really happy - we couldn’t survive only in one market,” concluded Mārtiņš Mežulis, “We see this event as a stepping stone for the industry and for the projects presented here - we have a defence innovation competition initiated by the Ministry, and we hope best teams will continue so they could be supported in more elaborate ways,” he adds.


“This is an interesting event to pick out these potential ideas for a larger market, not only for one country - if you solve some problems in and for Latvia for example, then you are most likely to solve it for the whole Baltics and maybe also for NATO,” concludes Priit Salumaa, co-founder of Garage48, the host of Defence Makeathon 2020.  


We in Garage48 are definitely ready to host a new Defence Makeathon anytime soon. With partners like the Ministry of Defence of Latvia, Latvian National Armed Forces, Federation of Security and Defence of Latvia and RTU Design Factory - great things can be done!


Big thank you goes to all the participants and mentors helping to bring the innovation into the Defence sector.


Thank you Commander Māris Polencs, Lieutenant Colonel Aleksandrs Holmanovs, Lieutenant Colonel Aivars Krjukovs, Lieutenant Colonel Oskars Kudlis, Lieutenant Colonel Aivars Spriedējs, Niks Ozols, Captain Igors Sičiks, Jaanus Tamm, Joel Burke, Kristiāns Brēdermanis, Konstantīns Popiks, Aleksandrs Guks, Agnis Jakubovičs, Miķelis Caunītis, Sandis Kondrāts, Kārlis Krēsliņš, Indrek Rebane, Kristofer Turmen, Henrik Rank, Karel Nappus, Pēteris Sala, Kristofers Celms, Gundars Miezitis, Jānis Lapsa, Ilmārs Bērziņš, Toms Mūrnieks, Kristens Račevskis, Sofija Jākobsone and Priit Saumaa - the host!









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