- Brave1 platform was presented in Kyiv as a means to enforce the cooperation of the state and the military with the startup ecosystem
- It is a joined initiative of Ukraine’s six state offices
- The mission is to create a mutually beneficial environment where startups can get help with their development as the Ukrainian military can get access to cutting-edge tech
This April saw the presentation and launch of the BRAVE1 platform. It is a joint initiative by the six top-tier state institutions of Ukraine: The National Security and Defense Council, the General Staff of the Armed Forces, the Ministry of Digital Transformation, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Strategic Industries, and the Ministry of Economy. The platform is meant to serve as the link between the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the startup ecosystem in order to fasttrack the implementation of defense tech innovation.
While Ukraine, as well as the rest of the world, was shocked and taken aback by the Russian attack on February 24 2023, the country and its Armed Forces have revealed unprecedented resilience. Tech warfare and ‘smart war’ play a critical part in the ongoing war, and Ukrainian defense tech companies have made an invaluable contribution to the nation’s resilience.
Tech Innovation to Ensure Ukraine’s Security Long-Term
‘Ukraine values the life and health of our defenders. Therefore, building innovative potential and attracting talents, developing engineering solutions, testing non-standard approaches, and effective use of resources are the conditions thanks to which Ukraine will win and gain an advantage,’ says BRAVE1’s Head and COO Nataliya Kushnerska. She is convinced that this will ensure long-term protection of the country and leadership in the field of defense tech at the global stage.
Drones, robotic systems, situational awareness centers, artificial intelligence, cyber security, communication systems, satellite data, are only several examples of such defense tech innovations. BRAVE1’s mission is to serve as the touchpoint for cooperation between defense tech companies, the government and the military, as well as investors, volunteer funds, the media, and everyone who helps to bring victory closer through technology.
Accelerating the Implementation of Defense Tech Solutions
Major General Volodymyr Koval, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine calls on manufacturers, scientists and the military for fruitful cooperation on the development and implementation of new technologies that will help the Armed Forces of Ukraine to effectively perform combat tasks.
‘The intensification of joint work will increase the efficiency of providing the Armed Forces of Ukraine with high tech weapons, military and special equipment and ammunition in accordance with the urgent needs of our troops. It will introduce an effective mechanism for the implementation of innovative projects for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The innovations we implement today will define the future for our Victory and our Independence,’ Major General Koval stated.
BRAVE1 platform presupposes five lines of work:
- Platform itself – Uniting all industry stakeholders in one place;
- Investment – Providing grants to developers prioritized for security and defense needs;
- Inventing – Looking for effective solutions to the problems determined by the security and defense forces;
- Showcasing – Providing defense tech innovators with maximum exposure to the military;
- Boosting – Supporting priority projects that are of great importance to defense forces and security.
According to Ukraine’s Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov, his office is interested in mature developments that could be implemented quickly. He expects BRAVE1 to bring initiatives to the appropriate level of maturity where the Ministry of Defense can pick up and lead through all the intricacies, to the international codification and NATO registers.
‘Technological advantages are not only the requirement of time or modern military art for conducting network-centric warfare with a high level of automation, the use of air, ground, surface or underwater drones. Technologies are the lives of our people and our country. The Ministry of Defense, as a state customer, is responsible for the administration of all stages of the process related to new samples of anti-aircraft weapons: starting from its assessment to the commissioning decision,’ Mr Reznikov adds.
Ms Kushnerska specifies that each of BRAVE1’s co-founding institutions has its own role in the process:
- The Ministry of Digital Transformation performs the task of consolidating the platform and communication.
- The General Staff determines the needs and performs technical expertise of the projects.
- The Ministry of Defense places the needed solutions in operation and deploys them on the frontline.
- The Ministry of Strategic Industries assists with the scaling.
- The Ministry of Economics helps attract investments and patent the developed solutions
- The National Security and Defense Council develops the strategic vision of the Ukrainian defense development and its needs
Ukraine’s Defense Tech after the War
Ukraine’s Minister of Economy Yulia Svyrydenko believes that after Ukraine’s victory, the defense tech’s huge potential will remain and become a leading driver of Ukraine’s economic growth. She reminds that Jeep, Ray-Ban Aviator, Motorola, and many other leading corporations and brands worldwide were created during wartime or based on military technology.
‘Without a doubt, our ‘incubator’ can also produce products and brands that the whole world will discover over time. The Ukrainian defense industry complex is already drawing increased attention from potential investors. Our task is to increase the attractiveness of investmenting in the industry and accelerate project implementation,’ Ms Svyrydenko sums up.
‘Ukraine has to become a country that is rapidly developing, learning and actively using technology. Especially in the military sector. Launching of the BRAVE1 is one of the important steps in this direction. Our goal is to build a system with a quick launch of defense tech projects. To make bold decisions and create better conditions for the development of companies that create military technologies,’ Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhaylo Fedorov concludes.
Kostiantyn is a freelance writer from Crimea but based in Lviv. He loves writing about IT and high tech because those topics are always upbeat and he’s an inherent optimist!