The Role of Technology in Ensuring National Security

September 25, 2023 Автор: Natalia Kushnerska, Chief Operations Officer, defence tech cluster Brave1

For the past 10 years, IT Arena has been gathering technology leaders in Lviv. Traditionally, the focus has been on four tracks – business, technology, products, and startups. However, this year, there have been significant changes: a full-scale war has turned the lives of Ukrainians upside down and has prompted everyone, including the tech industry, to join in the effort to achieve victory. Today, hundreds of Ukrainian teams are actively working on innovative developments and solutions for the military. Therefore, IT Arena, Startup Depot Business Incubator, and the defense technology development cluster Brave1 have introduced a special category for defense tech startups that will participate in the Startup Competition.

Our enemy possesses an advantage in terms of resources and capabilities. To defeat them, we must take unconventional actions and employ asymmetric responses. It is technology that allows us to be more effective and agile, and most importantly, to preserve the lives of our military personnel. Furthermore, technology is the key tool in ensuring national security today and in the future.

Currently, the most progressive countries in the world are closely observing Ukraine – studying our experience and monitoring innovative breakthrough projects that emerge in the midst of a significant war and limited resources.

Despite being driven by necessity, the field of defense technology is rapidly advancing in Ukraine. Today, substantial resources, engineering talents, and expertise are being channeled into various types of drones—ground-based, aerial, and maritime—that have become essential tools in network-centric warfare. Additionally, significant attention is being given to the development of cyber weaponry and Electronic Warfare (EW) systems capable of defending our infrastructure against attacks. It is evident to all how satellite communication and situational awareness have a profound impact on timely decision-making and the overall effectiveness of operations.

After the Second World War, the world mainly dealt with only local conflicts, making our experience exceptionally instructive for countries seeking paths for the development and modernization of their military capabilities.

We are already witnessing a keen interest from foreign and Ukrainian investors and venture funds, which are driving the market and significantly influencing its development. Several global defense corporations have announced their entry into the Ukrainian market. Among them are British BAE Systems, German Rheinmetall, Turkish BAYKAR MAKINA, as well as international defense tech companies like Palantir, Recorded Future, Internet 2.0, and CyberCare.

In April 2023, thanks to the close collaboration of six key government agencies responsible for security and defense – the Ministry of Digital Transformation, Ministry of Defense, General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, National Security and Defense Council, Ministry of Strategic Industries, and Ministry of Economy – the defense tech cluster Brave1 was established. Its purpose is to facilitate cooperation among all participants in the defense technology sector by providing them with organizational, informational, and financial support for the development of innovative projects.

In the four months of the Brave1 cluster’s existence, over 530 developments have been registered on the portal, with more than half of them having already undergone military expertise, and over 220 have received BRV1 status. Fifteen of these projects have become semi-finalists and are participating in the Startup Competition under the newly created defense tech category. Among the innovative developments are:

  • Compact digital radio station for communication within military units, secured with encryption and protection against Electronic Countermeasures (ECM).
  • A complex of direction-finding equipment for communication, ECM, and UAVs, featuring secure communication channels and autonomous operation.
  • Acoustic systems with Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) for detecting airborne targets.
  • Stationary and tamper-resistant drone sentry that can operate for 24 hours without recharging from an autonomous ground station.
  • Intelligence data collection, processing, enrichment, analysis, and delivery system.
  • Comprehensive analysis system for pyrotechnic contamination.
  • Mobile training application for various types of weapons.
  • Mine-searching drone.
  • Artificial Intelligence-based platform for real-time monitoring, analysis, and event forecasting in the information space.
  • Interactive reconnaissance online map focused on military operations during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
  • Complex of autonomous tactical-level UAVs for strike missions.
  • Compact seismic sensors that determine the source of noise by capturing acoustic waves.
  • Pocket-sized radio reconnaissance device for detecting drone movements with headphone alerts.
  • Armored wheels with an innovative design for maintaining mobility in combat conditions and on debris-strewn roads.
  • Remote-controlled robot for anti-personnel and anti-tank mine clearance

Are you interested in these developments and want to learn more about the development teams? Come to IT Arena and get to know the startups that, thanks to their technological solutions, are helping us bring victory closer.

The exchange of knowledge and ideas is an incredibly important factor in the development of innovations in the field of defense technology and, consequently, in strengthening national security and enhancing the country’s innovative potential. This will enable us to confront challenges and ensure the stable growth of the industry, economy, and defense capabilities.

The Brave1 cluster’s strategic goal is for Ukraine to be among the global defense technology market leaders. To achieve this, we are building an architecture for effective collaboration among all stakeholders in the defense technology ecosystem so that in the future, we have a powerful industry that develops innovative products for the reliable protection of the country, generates income for the economy, attracts significant foreign investments, and creates an environment for the development of engineering talent in Ukraine.