12:22 04 Dec 2023

30 teams of Ukrainian inventors unveil their work for humanitarian demining at Demining Bootcamp

Photo: www.me.gov.ua

During the two-day Demining Bootcamp held in Kyiv on December 2-3, around 30 teams vying for participation in the humanitarian demining innovation support program presented their projects, Rubryka reports, citing Ukraine's Ministry of Economy.

What's the problem?

Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and active combat, the war-blighted country is contaminated with explosive objects. Some analysts consider Ukraine the most mined country in the world. The area contaminated with mines in the de-occupied territory currently stands at approximately 45,000 square kilometers, and upon full de-occupation of Ukraine, it will increase by approximately 190,000 square kilometers.

What's the solution?

Ukraine's capital hosted the Demining Bootcamp acceleration program for humanitarian demining innovation support. Its goal is to implement new solutions into certified products and technologies. The program includes entrepreneurial courses, mentorship from industry experts, and real testing of technologies in the field.

Participants in the program had the opportunity to create an individual roadmap with the guidance of mentors and experts, receive support in developing a business model, and progress from an idea or prototype to a certified product or technology.

How does it work?

About fifty Ukrainian developer teams applied to participate in the acceleration program for humanitarian demining innovation support, which the Ministry of Economy implements in collaboration with the Kyiv School of Economics. Approximately 30 teams presented their developments and ideas during the two-day Demining Bootcamp in Kyiv.

First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of Ukraine Yulia Svyrydenko said, "Our global goal is to return 80% of potentially mined areas to use within ten years… One of the key directions is the application of the most modern technologies in demining. We aim to help our inventors and innovators quickly go from an idea to creating or scaling a product. It will be expert assistance, and if the project is promising, it will get assistance with finding funding, certification, and market entry."

During Demining Bootcamp, innovation teams presented their work to experts in four categories: "Demining Equipment," "Integrated Solutions," "IT Solutions," and "Surveys." An expert group, including representatives from the National Mine Action Authority, the Ministry of Defense, the State Emergency Service, and the Ministry of Economy, evaluated and provided comments and advice on projects that are already working in real conditions and those in the idea stage.

Deputy Minister of Economy Ihor Bezkaravainyi noted that teams whose projects are recognized by experts as the most promising will undergo a four-month acceleration program in the future. In spring next year, testing of ready or improved products will be conducted on test ranges and in real conditions.

Applications for the acceleration program are still being accepted.

In other news, the Ministry of Economy believes that artificial intelligence can aid in humanitarian demining in Ukraine.

In Mykolaiv, the company "Nibulon" has begun building a minesweeper, which will be handed over to the State Emergency Service for demining waterways. 

The Ministry of Energy of Ukraine and the American company Tetra Tech, Inc. have agreed to cooperate in mine action activities.

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