European Defence Challenge II edition

The European Defence Challenge is an open competition to attract young talent to the Defence industry and to encourage them to initiate a career in defence-related technologies.

The topic of this second edition of the Challenge is ‘Remote everything? To what extent can unmanned assets interact with humans in the field for defence operations?’

The EDC II Awards Ceremony, will be streamed online through YouTube on May 27th with the presence of highly relevant speakers. Join us and meet the winners of this edition!


16:30 Engagement of talents through the ASSETs+ European Defence Challenge

  • Mateo Burgos, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, EDC II organizer
16:40 Keynote speakers from the European Parliament

  • Michael Gahler,Member of the European Parliament, Subcommittee on Security and Defence
  • Lukas Mandl, Member of the European Parliament, Vice President of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence
16:50 Keynote speaker from the European Defence Agency

  • Daniel Mosquera, Project Officer Air Systems Technologies. European Defence Agency EDA
16:55 Keynote speaker from the Defence Industry

  • Maurizio Betta, Head of Learning & People Development at Leonardo
17:00  Presentation of the EDC II finalists
17:20 Announcement of the winners with participation of the Institutions’ representatives
17:30 Special mention Young Students’ Award
17:40 Final Remarks

  • Gualtiero Fantoni, University of Pisa, ASSETs+ Coordinator


All undergraduate or graduate students from all faculties in European Universities, vocational education and training centres and other institutions dedicated to education.

Participants will be welcome to attend several short webinars focused on helping them to prepare good essays.


The Challenge can be answered individually, but participants are strongly encouraged to team up in pairs and to find a partner from a different university, faculty and even country.

Please, defend your proposal by including not only technological, but also socio-economic, political, ethical and/or environmental aspects.

-Download the guidelines here.

-Download the template here.


– The 3 finalist teams will be announced on our web & social media and will participate in the awards ceremony.

– Meeting with a Human Resources manager of leading defence industries in Europe (CV, job interview)

– Each member of the winning team will receive a technology gadget personalised by our supporting industrial partners.


The best essay from students up to 20 years old will receive a personalised technology gadget and a special mention in our web & social media.


Answer the question by proposing your ideas
A jury of some of the key players in the European defence industry will review the proposals. The best ones move to phase 2.
– NEW DEADLINE: 21 January 2022, for 1-page submission
– 15 February 2022: Pre-selection

Develop your ideas
Submit a 10-page proposal by adding details, figures, graphics to your initial proposal.

-14 April 2022: deadline for 10-page submission
-27 May 2022: Winners announcement


Participants will be welcome to attend several short webinars focused on helping them to prepare good essays


  • Critical Thinking: November 26, 2021 (11:00-13:00 CET)
  • Defence Awareness: December 1, 2021
  • Query Design: December 10, 2021 (10:00-12:00 CET)
  • Writing Reports: December 13, 2021 (14:00-16:00 CET)


  • Webinar with defence experts: March 1, 2022

NOTE: Attending webinars is optional. They are provided as complementary courses for students that are interested in acquiring additional information. The webinars will be recorded and made available for future reference, if desired.

II Edition Launch Event

Engagement of talents through the European Defence Challenge, Liga Baltina & Mateo Burgos

Anne Fort, Head of Unit, Defence Industry and Market Policy at European Commission

The guidelines of the Challenge, Mateo Burgos from the UPM organizer of the II edition

Some tips with the I edition winners Matej Pastir & Radka Fléglová, and Sami Makki, Science Po Lille

Maurizio Ferrante, Head of Training and Knowledge Management at Leonardo.

Vice Admiral Manuel A. Martínez, Director of Engineering & Naval Constructions, Spanish Navy

Andrzej Rybka, Managing Director of the Aviation Valley Association

I Edition

Why a challenge?

What will the students be asked to do?

What is the subject to be adressed?

What is the objective of the challenge?

Awards ceremony:

Winners of the 1st edition:

  • 1st winner team

    Emre Kursat Kaya and Miguel Garrido Moreno from the College of Europe

  • 2nd winner team

    Matěj Pastír and Radka Fléglová from Charles University

  • 3rd winner team

    Marinette Gaillon and Auriane Georges from Science Po Lille