The Defence Industry Development Grants Competition organized by the Ministry of Defence decided to award a 48,600-euro grant to the development of an automated cyber defence exercises platform.
The defence industry development committee said the project designed by grant recipient OÜ ByteLife Solutions had major international potential and meshed well with Estonia’s international image.
Held for the third time, the competition drew seven applications, which vied for a fund of up to 275,000 euros.
While in years past, three or four companies were selected as winners, this time only one made the cut. Under Secretary for defence investments Nele Loorents said the bar was now higher and the submitted projects had to be sufficiently well-prepared.
“We definitely expect just as many entrants next year, but we require that the projects be high in quality so that the calibre of development activity remains as high as it has been,” said Loorents.
The defence industry development committee deemed it necessary for the remainder of the grant fund to be routed into specific earmarks for developing the defence industry. “The development of Estonia’s defence industry is important for the country and we certainly wish to encourage entrepreneurs to continue innovation projects to enter solid ideas and well-prepared projects to the competition next year,” said Loorents.
The entries to the Defence Industry Development Grants competition were evaluated by the Ministry of Defence’s defence industry development committee, consisting of representatives from the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, the Defence Forces, the Ministry of the Interior, the Police and Border Guard Administration, Enterprise Estonia, the Patent Office and the Development Fund. The purposefulness of each project was evaluated from the standpoint of national defence and security, and the project’s international competitiveness was also a factor. The project’s profitability, and the capability of the company and other funding sources were also taken into consideration.
The competition is part of the defence industry policy, aimed at establishing a strong, export-capable domestic defence industry. Companies registered in Estonia and developing research and development projects related to the defence sector are eligible to enter.