European Defence Challenge

A great opportunity for students to boost their careers and open new horizons

The ASSETs+ 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 challenge invites European students to propose one or more work approaches dealing with topics such as artificial intelligence, sensor technologies, autonomous vehicles, data science, cybersecurity, chip technologies, control, robotics, signal and image processing, and defence-related technologies.

Congratulations to the Winners of the IV edition!


Camille Haaby, from Bordeaux Institute of Technology, & Camille Stephan, from Sciences Po Strasbourg.

Their proposal, “AI-gility, Command and Control Agility through AI-Assisted Decision Makingexplores how AI-gility stands as a pivotal solution to the evolving challenges faced by military decision makers, where adaptability, efficiency, and ethical considerations converge to define the future of command and control in the military.

  • Download the essay here.


Borre Van de walle & Lucie Vandemaele, from UCLouvain – Louvain School of Management, KU Leuven.

Their proposal “Commanding HQ Integrator (CHI)aims to provide a data-driven solution to assist the armed forces in resource management and mission planning. It enables leaders and managers to interact with their assets and to gain useful insights into all levels of operations.

  • Download the essay here.

Filip Kubik & Marcin Krysiak, from Rzeszow University of Technology.

Their proposal “The utilization of artificial intelligence in the process of intercepting rocket projectilesconsiders the creation of a self-contained decision-making system based on previously analyzed data by computer can significantly contribute to more efficient operations in threatening situations..

  • Download the essay here.


Gian Marco Comparini & Pietro del Debbio, from University of Pisa.

Their proposal “PACE: A data-driven framework for decision makingaims to prioritize interventions to enable a more efficient allocation of resources and ensure the success of the intervention.

  • Download the essay here.

IV EDITION ORGANIZER: University of Pisa

TOPIC of the IV edition:

Leading through Complexity: Effective Management in Defence Environment

The proposals address  strategies and approaches to deal with complexity and uncertainty in projects or operations related to Defence Industry, focusing on the following operative areas:

  • Technology Management
  • Data Management
  • Decision-Making Process
  • Risk Management
  • Quality Management
  • Cost Management
  • Battlefield Management
  • Dual-Use Management


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 that will help them to understand the importance of improving security and write good essays.

Write a 1 page proposal (500-600 words) that present a new usage or suggest improvements on a new technology,  and submit it to:

If your proposal is selected for the second stage of the Challenge, you will be asked to expand the description to 10 pages (5000-6000 words) which should be a development of the previously submitted proposal

IMPORTANT: Students are strongly encouraged to team up in pairs, finding a partner in a different university or country. Teams will get an additional point in the final score.

A fresh view is valued. It is required to include not only technological but also economic, environmental, social, ethical and/or political analysis within the proposal.

-Participation in the EDC IV seminars and webinars with industry
-Free access to the courses offered within the ASSETs+ project
-Special awards for the best teams
-Public recognition on the ASSETs+ webpage and social networks
-Certificate of participation

The 3 FINALIST TEAMS will be announced on our web & social media and will participate in the awards ceremony.

SPECIAL MENTION TO YOUNG PARTICIPANTS (the best essay up to 20 years old).

1st position:
– One day visit of EU institutions + meetings with Defence stakeholders in Brussels.
– Meeting with HR manager about CV and job interview.
– Technology related gift
– Diploma

2nd position:
– Meeting with HR manager about CV and job interview.
– Technology related gift
– Diploma

3rd position:
– Meeting with HR manager about CV and job interview.
– Diploma

Young student award:
– Technology related gift
– Diploma

Previous editions:

III Edition (2022-2023)

TOPIC: Security, threats identification and defence strategies.

ORGANIZER: Rzeszow University of Technology


Antoine Lebret & Sarah Joron, from Sciences Po Lille, Master Strategy, Economic intelligence, and Risk Management (SIGR)

Their proposal, SEA-BER. Strengthening European autonomy, Building European resilience”, aims to improve the European response by proposing the development of SEA-BER software to map cables and the damage that can occur. This tool should help to reduce accidents, the main source of cable damage, but also to identify and prevent the threats surrounding the physical materialization of cyber.

  • Download the essay here.
  • Watch their presentation here.


Stefan Ursu & Jan Beuchel, from RWTH Aachen University.

Their proposal, The European Reconnaissance Space-based Infrastructure: ERSI-1”, is a concept project for a European early threat detection project which proposes the usage of innovative nanosatellite technology. Framed within the context of previous projects and the necessity of the improvement of defense satellite technology, they argue that possession of a modern fleet of resilient satellites will allow the EU to efficiently address threats and generally improve its security capabilities.

  • Download the essay here.
  • Watch their presentation here. 


Antonio Ferrándiz & Jesús Eguino , from Centro Universitario de la Guardia Civil – Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

Their proposal, The use of statistical methods and big data to fight organized crime”, aims to introduce a software which classifies the information in terms of danger and which is able to be configurable for different organizations. It should be capable of analysing general and specific searches, that way the users have infinite
posibilities in terms of being provided with information for all the different cases.

  • Download the essay here.
  • Watch their presentation here.


Abigail Machaj & Alicja Siekanowicz, from Rzeszów University of  Technology.

Their proposal, Securing messages using heat”, wants to introduce an idea of the concept for encrypting messages using heat. Such idea can have a significant impact on the future safety of the military as well as civil facilities. The purpose is to keep the message flow in check, protecting society from injustice they don’t deserve.

  • Download the essay here.
  • Watch their presentation here.

Awards Ceremony

March 28, 2023

Webinar with experts

December 12, 2022

Launch event

October 3, 2022


June 15, 2022

Seminar Introduction to cybersecurity I

Madrid, June 15, 2022

Seminar Introduction to cybersecurity II

Madrid, June 15, 2022

II Edition (2021-2022)

TOPIC: Remote everything? To what extent can unmanned assets interact with humans in the field for defence operations?

ORGANIZER: Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM)


Andreas Wouters & Nathan Prakopetz, from the Royal Military Academy (Brussels).

Their proposal, “Autonomy in Air Defence Systems”, analyses the problematic characteristics of hypersonic missiles and how these missiles manage to evade air defence systems.

  • Download the essay here.
  • Watch their presentation here.


Susanna Hein & Emilien Maquaire, from Sciences Po Lille (France).

Their proposal,  “Human-Robot teaming Research Initiative for a Combat Aerial Network (HURRICANE)”, outlines the opportunities and challenges that robotics and artificial intelligence technologies offer for future air combat by indicating how we can gain an advantage through human machine teams.

  • Download the essay here.
  • Watch their presentation here.


Anaëlle Salamon from Sciences Po Lille (France) & Sinan Bekka from University of Edinburgh (UK).

Their proposal is a three-step development program of European Defensive Autonomous Submarine Systems (EURO DASS) which will follow strict principles and hopefully will set a precedent for the making of unmanned systems in defence operations.

  • Download the essay here.
  • Watch their presentation here. 


Carlos Daniel Farias, from the University of Cadiz (Spain), & Carlos Thurn, from Nordakademie (Germany).

Their proposal “Can I trust you? An AI for secure, authenticated communication” aims to create a method of secure communication between two or more individual parties in order to allow interaction of human and machine for the application in the defence field. In order to achieve this, a combination of encryption and identity authentication will be implemented.

  • Download the essay here.
  • Watch their presentation here.

Awards Ceremony:

Webinar with experts:

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 (2020-2021)

TOPIC: Which technologies and technology bricks are particularly relevant for Europe’s sovereignty in defence and security?

ORGANIZER: University of Bordeaux

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 POSITION

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

  • 2nd POSITION

    Matěj Pastír and Radka Fléglová from Charles University

  • 3rd POSITION

    Marinette Gaillon and Auriane Georges from Science Po Lille