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Juliette GUILLOT (Nouvelle-Aquitaine Office), Antoine FERAL (ROLLS-ROYCE), Vincent MAZZONE (Nouvelle-Aquitaine Office), Miguel GARRIDO MORENO (Winner of the EDC I), Marie RAOUL (University of Bordeaux), Eric GRIVEL (Bordeaux INP/University of Bordeaux

A day in Brussels with the winners of the I edition of the ASSETs+ European Defence Challenge

Last June 27, the winners of the first edition of the ASSETs+ European Defence Challenge had the opportunity to visit different European institutions and to have interesting and fruitful meetings with stakeholders in Brussels.

Our partners Antoine Feral from Rolls Royce and the team of the University of Bordeaux  -host of the 1st edition of the ASSETs+ European Defence Challenge- met in Brussels on the occasion of a whole day programme with the winners of the 1st edition of the Challenge, Miguel Garrido Moreno and Emre Kursat Kaya, last June 27.

The special programme included visits to several European institutions and different meetings with Vincent Mazzone, EU Policy Officer for Région Nouvelle-Aquitaine; Caterina Avanza, European Parliament Assistant (Renew France), Alessandra Bosini, from the EU Committee of the Regions, and Barry Conroy from the Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space DG DEFIS, European Commission. They also visited the Rolls Royce Office, had lunch with Michel Gary from the Group of French Industries for Land and Air-land Defence and Security GICAT and met with Benedikt Weingärtner, Communication Manager at the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe, ASD.

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 III edition is open and the topic is: “Security – threats identification and defence strategies”. If you want to learn more about this great opportunity for students  to boost their careers and open new horizons, click on the button below.

Now available the video of the seminar “Introduction to cybersecurity: computer threats, network and information security”

This seminar took place at University Carlos III of Madrid, in the framework of the III edition of the  ASSETs+ European Defence Challenge, last June 15.

Speakers:
  • Lorena González, University Carlos III of Madrid (part I)
  • Rafael Estepa, University of Seville (part II)

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 organizer of this edition is Rzeszow University of Technology and the TOPIC is: “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.

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE

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

Participants have to write a one page proposal that must present a new usage or suggest improvements on a new technology. Not only technological, but also socioeconomic, political, ethical and environmental aspects have to be taken into account. A board of experts will select the best papers, that will pass to the second phase.

Students are strongly encouraged to team up in pairs, finding a partner in a different university or country. And they will be welcome to attend several short seminars that will help them to understand the importance of improving security and write good essays.

NEXT SEMINARS

  • Security aspects from the industry point of view, October 10
  • How to write a good report?, October 17
  • Critical Thinking, October 24
  • Literature review methodologies, October 31
  • The role of cybersecurity for defence, November 7
  • Webinar with defence experts, December 12

BENEFITS

-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 three teams and the best essay up to 20 years old.
-Public recognition on the ASSETs+ webpage and social networks

The III edition of the ASSETs+ European Defence Challenge is open. Register now!

A great opportunity for students to boost their careers and open new horizons. Deadline for submission: November 14, 2022.

The ASSETs+ European Defence Challenge (EDC) 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 organizer of this edition is Rzeszow University of Technology and the TOPIC is: “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.

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE

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

Participants have to write a one page proposal that must present a new usage or suggest improvements on a new technology. Not only technological, but also socioeconomic, political, ethical and environmental aspects have to be taken into account. A board of experts will select the best papers, that will pass to the second phase.

Students are strongly encouraged to team up in pairs, finding a partner in a different university or country. And they will be welcome to attend several short seminars that will help them to understand the importance of improving security and write good essays.

SEMINARS

  • Security aspects from the industry point of view, October 10
  • How to write a good report?, October 17
  • Critical Thinking, October 24
  • Literature review methodologies, October 31
  • The role of cybersecurity for defence, November 8
  • Webinar with defence experts, December 12

BENEFITS

-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 three teams and the best essay up to 20 years old.
-Public recognition on the ASSETs+ webpage and social networks

PRIZES

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

You can watch the presentation of the III edition of the European Defence Challenge at the University Carlos III of Madrid below:

RMA Team wins the II edition of the ASSETs+ European Defence Challenge

Interview with the winners of the II edition of the ASSETs+ European Defence Challenge: Andreas Wouters and Nathan Prakopetz from the Royal Military Academy, Belgium (RMA).

We – sub lieutenant KBO Andreas Wouters and adjutant KBO Nathan Prakopetz – decided in November 2021 to participate together in the European Defence Challenge. The theme of this competition was ‘Remote everything? To what extent can unmanned assets interact with humans in the field for defence operations?’.

Despite the fact that RMA is a small community, we were strangers to each other at the start of the competition. The foundation of our cooperation is a shared interest in anti-aircraft artillery. Gradually, we became passionate about the dangers of hypersonic missiles. In the first phase of the competition, we had to write a short essay. In the second phase, the best 25 teams were selected to write a ten-page paper on their respective topic. In total, there were 130 entries from 16 European countries. In the final phase, three finalist teams gave a short presentation on their respective topics. After this, the organisers awarded us the first place, of which we are extremely proud.

What is so special about hypersonic missiles?

Hypersonic missiles are guided missiles that are very worrying because of two characteristics. On the one hand because of their hypersonic speed – higher than Mach 5. On the other hand because of their unpredictable trajectory in the atmosphere. These two characteristics together make it impossible for existing air defence systems to stop this type of missile. At the start of this research, this hypersonic technology was somewhat futuristic. The European Defence Agency classified it as an Emerging Disruptive Technology in 2021. However, on March 18, 2022, Russia for the first time used a hypersonic missile in operation, as part of their war in Ukraine. This first deployment in operation underlines the need for a modern air defence system to protect European airspace against modern, complex air threats.

What is the solution?

Bringing modern air defence systems up to the hypersonic level requires hardware and software upgrades. Increased autonomy plays a crucial role in minimising the time between the detection of an enemy hypersonic missile and firing an intercepting missile. However, we must not forget that technological advances take place in a multidimensional context. In the realisation of new technology, legal, ethical, sociological and economic aspects, among others, must be considered.

What made us a successful team?

For a multidimensional problem, a multidisciplinary team is the solution. We both follow a totally different academic track. Nathan is a student of the 174th Polytechnics (=Engineering) Promotion. With his academic knowledge of the exact sciences, he took care of the technical side of the research. Andreas is a pupil of the 158th Promotion in Social and Military Sciences. During his academic career, he has studied a broad spectrum of human sciences. This allowed him to analyse the impact of increasing autonomy in air defence systems on our society. As a team, we complemented each other perfectly. By bringing together the knowledge of both faculties, we outdid ourselves. This was the ‘secret’ ingredient for our victory.

Where there is a will, there is a way!

Our cooperation was not easy. Andreas spent the second semester at the United States Military Academy of West Point. Because of this, we always had to take into account the six-hour time difference when scheduling a video call. Nathan was our spokesperson on the home front, liaising with the RMA professors. During our weekly video calls, there was always a short debriefing of our individual progress. Throughout the process, we were supported by both our academic and military staff. We would like to explicitly mention Colonel Johan Gallant, professor in the department of weapon systems and ballistics.

Next year another European Defence Challenge will be organised. We hope that our success story will motivate other students to sign up and experience for themselves that an inter-faculty & multi-disciplinary project is enriching in all respects.

Eager to serve, willing to learn!
Andreas and Nathan

  • Download their proposal here.
  • Watch their presentation here.

Meet the winners of the ASSETs+ European Defence Challenge II edition!

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

In this II edition of the Challenge, 130 registered students from 16 different countries were asked to share their vision on the topic ‘Remote everything? To what extent can unmanned assets interact with humans in the field for defence operations?’.

The EDC II edition Awards Ceremnoy took place last Friday, with the presence of highly relevant speakers from the European Commission DG Defence Industry & Space, the European Defence Agency, the European Parliament, and universities and industry partners of the ASSETs+ consortium.

It is a pleasure to announce that the winners of the EDC II edition are…

WINNING TEAM

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.

FINALISTS

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.

FINALISTS

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. 

SPECIAL MENTION TO YOUNG STUDENTS

In this edition there has been also a special mention to the best essay from students up to 20 years, and the winners are:

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.

Congratulations!

You can watch the full Awards Ceremony below:

We invite you to join us for the next edition EDC III. The topic will be announced soon.

Stay tuned!

Download the press release here.

The ASSETs+ European Defence Challenge 2nd edition enters its final stretch

The European Defence Challenge II edition (EDC II) contestants have already presented their final proposals addressing innovative uses of unmanned technology for defence. The jury has now the difficult task of selecting the winner teams that will be announced during the Awards Ceremony, to be held online on May 27th, 16:30 CET, with the presence of highly relevant speakers.

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.

This edition topic is: Remote everything? To what extent can unmanned assets interact with humans in the field for defence operations?

AGENDA May 27th.

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

  • Mr Michael Gahler,Member of the European Parliament, Subcommittee on Security and Defence
  • Mr 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

Now available the European Defence Challenge Webinar with Experts. Watch now!

If you couldn’t attend our last webinar with Defence experts, don’t worry! You can watch it below:

This webinar marks the beginning of the second phase of the European Defence Challenge, a key part of the ASSETS+ project, that aims to engage young talent in the European defence industry.

Deadline extension of the European Defence Challenge: January 21st

It has come to our attention that some students are struggling to meet the deadline for Phase 1 of the challenge, due to its proximity with the exam period and the end of the Christmas break.

Accordingly, the deadline has been extended by one week, until January 21st .

Please note that the webinar with defence experts has also been reallocated to the 1st of March.

Don’t miss our #EuropeanDefenceChallenge next webinars!

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.

This edition topic:

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

Students have to write an essay that must present a new usage or suggest improvements on a new technology. Not only technological, but also socio-economic, political, ethical and environmental aspects have to be taken into account.

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.

Who can participate

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

The contest is organised in two selection phases, with a highly professional jury.

Timeline

PHASE 1:
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.
– 14 January 2022: deadline for 1-page submission
– 15 February 2022: Pre-selection

PHASE 2:
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

Online seminars

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

PHASE I

  • 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)

PHASE II

  • Webinar with defence experts: February 25, 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.

Awards

– 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.

SPECIAL MENTION TO YOUNG PARTICIPANTS:

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.