Friday, June 14, 2024

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Investing in DeepTech

The development of dual-use technologies is supporting the Polish economy and security.

The Ministry of Development and Technology has summarized the IDA Technology Companies Accelerator Program – the Innovative Dual-Use Technology Accelerator, designed for innovative entities registered in Poland that want to start cooperating with the defense sector and address the challenges that affect the security of the Baltic Sea region.

NATO, as well as European institutions, see a strong need to transfer technologies developed in the civilian market to the armed forces. The war in Ukraine has shown that the ability to rapidly deploy civilian solutions makes it possible to compensate for disparities in forces or gain a tactical advantage. That is why the IDA Bootcamp program was created, which aims to develop technological solutions from companies registered in Poland that have the potential to be rapidly scaled and implemented on the market within 6-9 months. 

“We want to actively participate in the creation of dual-purpose technologies. We are aware of their relevance for the times we live in. The inspiration of NATO, as part of the DIANA program, which contributed to the IDA initiative carried out jointly with the Ministry of Defense and the PFR, is extremely important to us. Today, a roadmap will be presented that deals with the promotion of technologies with dual-use potential. I hope that during its presentation we will receive many suggestions that we can use. We want start-ups working in this field to be co-authors of this map,” said Deputy Minister of Development and Technology Waldemar Sluvocki at the opening of the conference in January. 

In the pilot edition of the IDA Bootcamp, 49 teams responded to the challenge “Digital Baltic – Enhancing Critical Infrastructure Security.” Fifteen of them were selected to participate in the Bootcamp, a series of workshops and business meetings between innovators, the military, VC funds and defense companies. The Bootcamp included companies with technologies such as unmanned helicopters, autonomous water vehicles, artificial intelligence systems that optimize protection, and drones and swarms of drones. By participating in the Bootcamp, they built credibility from the perspective of the Polish Armed Forces and defense companies and achieved significant business and technological benefits. Participating companies have established a foundation for R&D work on the development of autonomous vehicles. The program partner, PGZ Naval Shipyard, has acquired new contacts, technologies and solutions that can be used, for example, in the Swordfish program. 

“We completed the first pilot project in Poland based on the open innovation model in the defense sector, where we accelerated, together with partners, companies with technologies with dual-use potential. One of the outcomes of the pilot was the formation of a consortium to build and test an autonomous maritime patrol vehicle to enhance the security of critical infrastructure in the Baltic Sea. We are planning further activities of this kind. It was particularly important for us to summarize the experiences and conclusions of the many discussions in a roadmap, which sets the direction for the development of the ecosystem of support for technologies with dual-use potential in Poland,” said Eliza Kruczkowska, Director of the Innovation Development Department at the Polish Development Fund.

Erol Dzhelik
Erol Dzhelik
I think we can overcome global challenges with mutual understanding, international cooperation and diplomacy. We offer you this insight at Poland Weekly.