Rzeszow University of Technology

European Defence Challenge III edition

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

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 challenge asks 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.

Join us on the Awards Ceremony!

Online, MS Teams. March 28, 11:00-12:10 CET.

The III edition contestants have already presented their final proposals addressing security – threats identification and defence strategies. The jury has now the difficult task of selecting the winner teams that will be announced during the Awards Ceremony. The opening of the IV edition of the Challenge and the topic will also be announced.

11:00 – Security threats from the point of view of the young generation – what brings ASSETs+ European Defence Challenge (EDC)

  • Dorota Stadnicka, Rzeszów University of Technology ‐ EDC III organizer

11:10 – Security from Defence Industry point of view and the benefits of the challenge for industry – Airbus

  • Andreas Schweiger, system architect, Airbus Defence & Space

11:25 – Presentation of the EDC III finalists and representatives of their universities

11:35 – Announcement of the winners and presentations of their works

11:50 – Young Student Award

11:55 – Opening of the IV edition of the Challenge and announcement of the topic

  • Irene Spada, University of Pisa- EDC IV organizer

12:05 – Final Remarks

  • Gualtiero Fantoni, University of Pisa, ASSETs+ Coordinator

Add to your calendar

TOPIC of the III edition:

Security – threats identification and defence strategies

Threats in the areas of: defence industry, intellectual property theft, military equipment, auxiliary equipment, information flow, data protection, military operations, border surveillance and others, in the context of security and cybersecurity.

The last day for submitting 2nd phase proposals was February 14th. We will meet the winners on the Awards Ceremony on 28 March 2023, 11:00-12:00 CET.


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 before midnight CET December 2, 2022 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, and submit it before midnight CET February 14, 2023 to:

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.

  • Download the guidelines here.
  • Download the template here.

-Participation in the EDC III 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 place:
– 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 place:
– Meeting with HR manager about CV and job interview.
– Technology related gift
– Diploma

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

Young students:
– Technology related gift
– Diploma

“Security aspects from the industry point of view”. October 10, 2022 – 11:00-13:00 CET

  • Massimo Scalvenzi, Chief Technology and Innovation Office, Leonardo S.p.A.
  • Kennet Alexandersson, Senior Security Analyst Saab Group Security, Saab

“How to write a good report?”. October 17, 2022. 5:00 PM CET

  • Eric Grivel, Bordeaux INP (France)
  • Mateo Burgos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Spain)

“Critical Thinking”. October 24, 2022. 11:00-13:00 CET

  • Robert Jakubowski, Rzeszów University of Technology (Poland)
  • Filippo Chiarello, University of Pisa (Italy)

“Literature review methodologies”. October 31, 2022. 15:30 CET

  • Mohamed El Yafrani, Aalborg University (Denmark)

“The role of cybersecurity for defence”. November 8, 2022. 11:00 CET

  • Commander Enrique Pérez de Tena, Spanish Cyber Command (Spain)
  • Lorena González, Charles III University Madrid (Spain)
  • Jose Maria de Fuentes, Charles III University Madrid (Spain)

Webinar with Defence Experts. December 12, 2022. 10:00-11:15 CET



  • Jean-Luc Migot, Head of Operational Excellence Training Development Programs at SAFRAN. “Aviation and cybersecurity”.
  • Colonel Marcin MazurPolish Space Agency (POLSA) Vice-President. “Threats in space and challenges in space technologies”.
  • Colin Topping, Cyber Incident Director at Rolls-Royce“Threats in cyber from supply chain management point of view and diversity perspective”.
  • Melanie Veron-Fougas, European Policy Manager at GICAN (French Maritime Industry Group). “Threats and defence strategies from maritime industry point of view”.

Webinar with experts. Dec 12, 2022

Launch event. October 3, 2022

Inauguration. June 15, 2022

Seminar Introduction to cybersecurity: computer threats, network and information security

Madrid, June 15, 2022

Previous editions:

II Edition (2021-2022)


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)

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