Ministry of Defence to Organise Estonia’s First Defence Hackathon
(Source: Estonia Ministry of Defence; issued June 21, 2018)
The Ministry of Defence, the Estonian National Defence College and the Estonian Defence Industry Association, together with Garage 48, invite experts in the field of defence to participate in Estonia’s first international development marathon in the field of defence.

The Defence Makeathon will be taking place from 28–30 September, in Tartu, and is open to experts, developers, designers, engineers and team leaders from the field of defence.

According to Kusti Salm, Director of the Defence Investments Department at the Ministry of Defence, supporting defence related innovation is very important.

‘The Ministry of Defence has consistently supported new defence-related initiatives and we will also be doing so this time by financing the hackathon taking place at the initiative of the Estonian National Defence College and its good cooperation partners – the Estonian Defence Industry Association and Garage48,' said Salm.

According to Salm, the goal of the hackathon is to find smart and tangible hardware models, which simplify and enhance the ability of soldiers to operate on the battlefield and during training.

‘The strength of Estonia's defence industry lies in its smart products, high-tech products and services. Bringing together the knowledge and skills of experts helps the defence industry to develop even further,’ said Salm. He added that during the hackathon the emphasis will be on finding solutions with the potential for export.

Participants from Estonia, as well as the Baltic Republics and Scandinavia, are awaited at the defence hackathon, which will be taking place in Estonia for the first time.

According to Salm, the event promotes the expansion of the international network associated with the field of national defence and increases the knowledge of researchers in civilian areas, students, engineers and experts regarding the needs and peculiarities of the field of defence.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Sten Allik, Commander of the Centre for Applied Studies at the Estonian National Defence College, it is valuable to the Defence Forces that within a very short period of time the thinking of servicemen and engineers is reconciled and that they are able to find working prototypes for solving real-world problems.

‘At previous development events, inventions were created based on the ideas of servicemen, including, for example, a supporting device for improving shooting training, a battery management system for the large machinery park of the Defence Forces, and a deceptive radio for confusing the enemy,' noted Allik.

He added that arriving at a successful result arouses interest among civilian researchers when it comes to continuing with development activity in the Defence Forces or the defence industry.

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