Sikorsky Challenge 2021 Festival: anniversary, special

The festival of innovative projects“Sikorsky Challenge 2021”: Ukraine and the World ", which took place from 12 to 14 August in Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, became the jubilee - the tenth in number. It is symbolic that in time this anniversary coincided with the thirtieth anniversary of the independence of our state, so it imposed a special responsibility on the organizers and participants. Moreover, one of the festival events - the International Defence Investment Forum - was provided by the government's plan of activities to prepare for and celebrate the 30th anniversary of Ukraine's independence. And the festival really became special - both for the much larger than usual number of projects submitted to the competition, and for the very high level of quality of those who made it to the finals.

"It is important that such a festival was born within the walls of the National Technical University of Ukraine" Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute", - said at the opening ceremony of the festival Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Serhii Shkarlet. - I am sure that the university is the centre of association of scientists, business representatives, high-ranking officials, innovators, start-ups, students. After all, young people - students, scientists - who seek change, it is here that they gain some experience, gain knowledge and implement the first projects. Every time I am here, I feel that we are really a high-tech country, we are really a country with talented young people who can change the world. “

Confirmation of these words is, again, the number of innovative projects submitted this year to the start-up competition "Sikorsky Challenge" - almost 320! There could have been even more of them, but some of the authors did not meet the deadlines of application. 

The members of the International Jury, which included representatives of the United States, experts from the United States, Israel, China and Azerbaijan, evaluated the projects both face-to-face and online. The authors presented their projects same way: someone directly on the festival site at the KPI Centre for Innovative Entrepreneurship, and someone - on-line, without leaving their cities.  Representatives of innovative business, investment companies and investment funds also chose the most interesting projects in the same mode. 

31 projects were submitted by our university to participate in the festival. 20 of them became finalists (six of them were noted by the jury, and three more were selected for acceleration). 

Of course, not all the submitted developments reached the finals, but this does not mean that those of them, which were not selected by the Expert Council of the competition this year, are not worth further elaboration.

So, 120 projects and scientific and technical developments that reached the finals were divided into six fields-sections:

- "Defence and Security"; 

- "Industrial high-tech and space"; 

- "Green energy, hydrogen economy, ecology"; 

- "Biomedical engineering and human health"; 

- "Agricultural Engineering";

- "Information technology, digital country, cybersecurity".

Projects in the "Defence and Security" section were evaluated according to the following criteria:

- Practical readiness for serial production;

- Prospects, investment attractiveness;

- Technological readiness of the prototype;

- Export potential of products.

In the other sections, the criteria were as follows: 

- The best idea of the project;

- The best technological solution;

- The best solution to the problems of potential customers;

- The best business model.

The calculation result for each project took into account the points of the preliminary on-line project evaluation on the evaluation website and the points from the members of the International Jury, who evaluated the project directly on the day of the section. You can read more about all the finalist projects.

The "Defence and Security" panel in the list of sections was placed first not accidentally: the theme of defense and development of the relevant purpose occupies a very prominent place at the festival. In addition, innovative developments on this topic and samples of products of state and private enterprises of the domestic defence complex were presented at the site near the State Polytechnic Museum in the open air and attracted public attention on the opening day of the festival. Here you could see samples of armoured vehicles and robotics, combat modules and UAVs, developments of artillery and missile weapons, high-precision ammunition, and other promising innovations of the Ukrainian defence industry. Some of the finalist projects of this section were also presented on the stands in the hall of the Centre for Innovative Entrepreneurship. And in the meeting room of the Academic Council of the University after the official opening of the festival was the International Defense Investment Forum, provided by the action plan for the preparation and celebration of the 30th anniversary of Ukraine's independence, approved by the Government of Ukraine.

The forum discussed a number of important issues for the industry and ways to solve them, provided by the recently developed Strategy for the development of Ukraine's defence industry until 2030.  Among the priorities identified by this Strategy are technical re-equipment of the research and production base of the industry, introduction of the latest technologies, etc. 

The meeting was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Strategic Industries of Ukraine Oleg Uruskyi. The strategic session of the forum started with his speech : "Defence Industry of Ukraine 2030. What awaits the domestic defence industry? “ Among other things, Oleg Uruskyi said that soon the domestic defence industry will be able to create a market business environment that will ensure the effective operation of national arms manufacturers and attract foreign investment in Ukraine, as well as public-private partnership within the country. He also listed the main fields that should be a priority for the defence industry: automated control systems, rocket and space technology, high-precision means of destruction, means of electronic warfare and a number of others. That is, all that the work of the section of the contest "Defence and Security" was focused on.  

"The state can be proud of such a platform as the Sikorsky Challenge," he said in a comment to the media. "Ukraine can be proud that our youth - its future - is manifesting itself in new technical developments.” 

The jubilee festival of innovative projects in general attracted the attention of the highest-ranking government officials. So they took part in almost all sections of the start-up competition.

After the forum, the competition of finalist projects actually started: within the section "Defence and Security" there were pitch presentations and poster presentations of developments, as well as communication between the authors and members of the International Jury, investors and representatives of defence companies. The meeting of this section was chaired by Yurii Gusev, General Director of Ukroboronprom, and moderated by Vitalii Pasichnyk, Vice-Rector for Research. 

The organizers of the festival did not forget about the youngest innovators and inventors: an exhibition of projects of schoolchildren-researchers of the Small Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and participants of the competition "Eco-Techno Ukraine” was presented in the corridors of the building №1 of the university .

And in the evening of August 12, i on the opening day of the festival, a 48-hour marathon of ideas from participants representing business, technology, IT, etc., started in our Scientific-Technical library - Hackathon Sikorsky Hack. This hackathon also became part of the festival, and its participants sought solutions to help adapt to post-quarantine reality and transform and rehabilitate the economy in the areas of "Industrial Hi-Tech", "Green Energy, Hydrogen Economy, Ecology", "Human Health", "IT in the agricultural sector "," Information technology in business ". 11 teams took part in this tournament, which included 42 persons - they worked on 8 topics. These topics were suggested by business representatives, so they were the ones that the business needs.  

According to Kateryna Milyutenko, a member of the team of hackathon organizers and project manager of PM Partners, after 48 hours of work they had to present to the jury products that can be further tested and made available to users. Decisions were evaluated by the following criteria: presentation, visualization, operation of the product and the possibility of its further development and bringing to a state suitable for launch. Other goals of the hackathon, she said, were to create a platform for its participants to communicate and connect, solve real business problems and find sponsors and organizers of potential candidates for further work in their teams. 

The second day of the festival began with a panel discussion "Ukraine's opportunities for innovative breakthrough in industrial high-tech and space", chaired by First Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine, co-chair of the International Jury of Start-ups Mykola Kyzym, and exchanged representatives of high-tech companies representatives of investment and venture funds, as well as city and regional innovation clusters "Sikorsky Challenge Ukraine". 

However, the main events were, of course, competitions for startup projects in the sections: "Industrial High-Tech and Space" (chaired by Volodymyr Taftai, Head of the State Space Agency of Ukraine), "Green Energy, Hydrogen Economy, Ecology" (chaired by DTEK Innovation Director Emanuele Volpe) and "Biomedical Engineering and Human Health" (chaired by Deputy Director General for Surgery of the Heart Institute of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine Vitalii Demyanchuk). In the breaks between the sections, the jury members and investors talked to the authors of the poster presentations, which were presented in the hall of the Centre for Innovative Entrepreneurship of the University Innovation Holding "Sikorsky Challenge".   

On the closing day of the festival there were competitions in the last two sections: "Agrarian Engineering" (Chairman - Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine Taras Dzioba) and "Information Technology, Digital Country, Cyber Security" (Chairman - Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine Oleksandr Bornyakov). 

So the three days of the jubilee X Festival of Innovative Projects "Sikorsky Challenge" were crowned with rich meetings, forums, panel discussions and, of course, competitions in all thematic sections. All projects and scientific and technical developments admitted to the final were presented in the formats of pitch presentations and poster presentations, and the authors presented their developments not only directly in the hall of the KPI Centre for Innovative Entrepreneurship, but also in other cities and even countries by means of video-conferences.  

Also, on the first day of the festival there was a meeting of university officials with a delegation of the Ministry of Innovative Development of Uzbekistan, and on the last day a protocol of intent to cooperate in a wide range of areas was signed: advanced training and retraining, development of innovation, joint developments and projects in priority areas. In addition, on August 14 at the end of the section "Agricultural Engineering" a memorandum of cooperation was signed between Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute and the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine. The document was signed on behalf of the university by Rector Michael Zgurovsky, and on behalf of the Ministry by Deputy Minister Taras Dzioba. 

At the closing ceremony of the festival, the names of thirty winning projects which were determined by the International Jury were announced (five in each section). Their authors were awarded diplomas and prizes. The absolute winners in each of the fields also received the traditional prize-mascot of the festival - "Sikorsky's hat"! 

So, the winners of the Competition of innovative projects of the anniversary X Festival "Sikorsky Challenge 2021: Ukraine and the World “ became: 

Defence and Security Section

- Practical readiness for serial production - project № 70 "Ecopybook tactical";

- Prospects, investment attractiveness - project № 312 "Hemostatic sponges";

- Technological readiness of the prototype - project № 264 "Paints and screens for protection against electromagnetic radiation (EMR)";

- Export potential of products - project № 231 "Design and experimental study of radiometric complex X, Ka and W bands for all-weather and high-precision detection of UAVs".

 Section "Industrial high-tech”

- The best start-up solution to the client's problems - project № 323 "MICRO - a group of microsatellites for remote sensing of the Earth of high spatial diversity";

- The best technological solution of the start-up - project № 292 UNITRAC "Universal machine on air-rail travel";

- The best idea - the project № 210 "Water drone";

- The best business model - project № 134 "MadClockmaker. Production of author's watches from a tree ".

Section "Green energy, hydrogen economy, ecology"

- The best technological solution of the startup - project № 48 "Obtaining biohydrogen from waste of various origins";

- The best startup solution to customer problems - project № 267 "Environmentally friendly packaging material";

- The best idea - the project № 188 "Complex for early detection of forest fires based on non-energy tethered UAVs";

- The best business model - project № 265 "ECO-Houser.

Section - "Biomedical engineering and human health"

- Best idea - project № 281 "Elomia - a virtual psychologist based on artificial intelligence, with whom you can talk to get emotional support";

- The best start-up solution to client problems - project № 221 "Non-invasive lung ventilation device SIPAP VENTURA";

- The best technological solution of the start-up - project № 47 "Broadband acoustic ear echo spectrometer";

- The best business model - project № 84 "Blood clotting activator to effectively stop bleeding".

Section  "Agricultural Engineering"

- The best business model - project № 273 "Mr. Seaweed. Organic growth stimulant for plants made with the seaweed of the Sea of Azov ";

- The best idea - project № 258 "Automated laser irradiator for incubation of poultry eggs";

- The best start-up solution to customer problems - project № 97 "Production of humic-organo-mineral fertilizers of the new generation";

- The best technological solution of the start-up - project № 94 "Information and telecommunication system of monitoring and irrigation management" IPoliv ".

Section "Information technology, digital country, cybersecurity".

- The best idea is the  project. № 95 "New Age Data Compression to Protect privacy and compress digital images ";

- The best start-up solution to customer problems - project № 248 "Cnd. Creating a holographic teacher's assistant ";

- The best technological solution of the start-up - project № 212 UNITRAC "MARKOBot - robotic machine based on Arduino UNO microcontroller";

- The best business model - project № 143 "UnderPalm".

Opportunity to receive a grant for project development in the amount of $ 25,000 from the Science and Technology Park in Lublin (Poland) received projects:

- project № 1 - "DIASAFELIFE - a platform for patients with diabetes";

- project № 8 - "Eco-potters";

- project № 279 - "ProWeldEnergy - universal combined power supply";

- project № 281 - "Elomia - a virtual psychologist based on artificial intelligence ...";

- project № 248 - "HoloSchool - holographic teacher's assistant".

Innovative holding "Sikorsky Challenge" has selected the following projects for acceleration:

- project № 79 - "ProWeldEnergy - universal combined power supply";

- project № 24 - "Economic electric motor";

- project № 48 "Obtaining biohydrogen from waste of various origins";

- project № 18 "Development of technology for utilization of organic waste to obtain environmentally friendly products";

- project № 82 "Technology of obtaining fire-resistant textile materials";

- project № 145 "Creation of metal lightweight structures";

- project № 204 "Ultrasonic technology of combustible gas production". 

After the ceremony of announcing and awarding the winners, the finalists and members of the organizing team were traditionally photographed near the monument to the man whose name is immortalized in the name of the festival - Igor Sikorsky (pictured).

Dmytro Stefanovych

As for the general results of "Sikorsky Challenge 2021", for the readers of "Kyiv Polytechnic" they were briefly formulated by the rector of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, Academician of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine Michael Zgurovsky: 

"Tenth anniversary festival of innovative projects" Sikorsky Challenge 2021: Ukraine and the World "united nineteen regions of our state, five countries of the world and, of course, the best inventors not only of Ukraine, but also a number of other countries in Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute . It became a stage in the realization of our dream to create an island of innovative breakthrough, which will ensure the transformation of Ukraine from a low-tech raw material country to a high-tech, economically prosperous, safe and protected in every sense! “

The X Festival of Innovative Projects Sikorsky Challenge 2021: Ukraine and the World is over. This year, the festival had a record number of startup projects.

The Jury determined 30 winners under the festival results. Six winners have become the absolute champions, each in their section.

Investors have already chosen their favorite startups. They are ready to sign a memorandum of agreement and discuss the details of cooperation.