The Estonian Defence Forces Defence Hackathon 2020 saw participants working to create exciting solutions in 48 hours, all with the same goal – to increase Estonia’s defence capabilities. MedKiosk was chosen as the winner from among the 11 participating teams. Additionally, one team will also be able to finalise their idea at ADM’s monthly Big Friday event.
ADM group has always been a supporter of the EDF Defence Hackathons since we believe that a strong and well-protected country needs the support of each citizen and organisation. This time around, we decided to also involve our good partner Datanor to be able to contribute even more together. Together, we formed a team of mentors, which included CEO Riho Pihelpuu and IT producer Anti Ainsar and Indrek Ott from Datanor.
This year’s EDF Defence Hackathon was won by the MedKiosk project, which makes it easier for soldiers to turn to medical centres. The ID-Sõidupäevik (ID Driver’s Diary) project, which decreases the amount of paperwork involved with the Defence Forces’ vehicles by hundreds of hours a year. The third place was taken by OSÜÕ aka “optilise side lahendus üle õhu” (Over the Air Optical Communications’ Solution), which can be used instead of radio or other types of communications technology to transmit messages.
ADM’s Big Friday prize was awarded to Virtuaalne sõduripäevik (Virtual Soldier’s Diary), which tackles an issue that was presented to the participants by the Defence Forces. The goal of the Virtual Soldier’s Diary is to simplify the training process for soldiers by decreasing the amount of unnecessary activities involved, paperwork that needs to be filled by hand, and also things like saving the number of targets hit during firearm training.
“For us, protecting our country is an obvious and extremely important thing to do and that is why we have been supporting the EDF Defence Hackathons as well as participated in them for years. Although this year, the hackathon took place virtually, 11 teams still participated, and the general level was very high. Together with the Cyber Command, we picked the Virtual Soldier’s Diary as the project to support, which we will be doing soon by inviting them to take part in ADM’s development day Big Friday. The competencies that ADM and Datanor have from their relevant fields are ideal for helping these young people take the next step in product development and after some final touches, for seeing the product actually implemented in the Defence Forces as well,” said Riho Pihelpuu, the CEO of ADM Group.
The Virtual Soldier’s Diary, or ViSP for short, enables soldiers to save the number of targets hit during firearm training with a smartphone instead of pen and paper, which ensures that all results are also automatically saved and sent to the relevant database. In a few more years, ViSP could be the soldiers’ everyday tool, which they could use to see what they are having for lunch on a given day, when the next class starts as well as what the results of their tests and completed exercises are. ViSP could also be useful for platoon leaders who could use it to get a better overview of their platoon.
The CEO of Datanor Indrek Ott also praised the teams’ high level of technical skills and how well the hackathon was organised, “EDF Defence Hackathon 2020 was the first time for me to participate in something like this and it was a very positive experience – in 48 hours, so many great ideas were born and multiple projects were either completed or nearly completed, all of which are definitely very useful for the Estonian Defence Forces and our country. Hackathons with such a clear national defence goal should be organised more frequently since technology forms an increasingly more important part of soldiers’ lives.”
ADM’s IT Producer Anti Ainsar also emphasised the hackathon’s high level of organisation – the crash course in presentation, the involvement of business representatives, the virtual mentorship opportunities etc.
“In terms of organisation, the hackathon was very well organised, and I would really like to thank the organisers for that. It was so good to see that our youth is motivated and willing to find solutions that actually help make the life of our defence forces and soldiers better, all for the good of their country. The winning team (MedKiosk) was incredible in that in a very short amount of time, they were able to create a working prototype that could essentially be implemented tomorrow. Projects that still need further development will also continue to be worked on – for example, during ADM’s Big Friday – to ensure that all of the good ideas that came from the hackathon could also finally become full-fledged products and fulfil their main goal of serving a stronger country. I would also like to thank all the mentors who were willing to contribute their free time to the project and to share their knowledge with the participants and the audience,” said Ainsar.
11 teams participated in EDF Defence Hackathon 2020 where they had eight mentors: Peeter Marvet (Zone), Marily Hendrikson (Startup Estonia), Aigar Käis (Telia), Tarmo Aia (EDF), Indrek Ott (Datanor), Riho Pihelpuu (ADM), Anti Ainsar (ADM), Siim Reinaas (Milrem Robotics).
The next EDF Defence Hackathon will take place in Spring 2021.