In December 2022, Frontex challenged the industry to propose innovative and cost-efficient solutions to detect, track and identify low flying objects. In reply to our Prize Award Contest, we received 21 unique proposals that have been evaluated for their conceptual content. Today, we reveal 10 laureates of this first – out of three – phases. The competition continues – the successful proposals will be now assessed for their technical capacity.
Launched on 19 December 2022, this initiative is Frontex’ first Prize Award, and it aims to encourage the development of innovative concepts and technological solutions to detect, track and identify low flying objects (LFO) crossing EU borders. These include a broad set of aerial platforms that operate in low-level airspace from piloted ultralight and conventional aircraft to remotely piloted aircraft systems. The additional challenge was to propose new cost-efficient, scalable, and integrated capabilities, aligned with the needs and requirements of the European border and coast guard community.
A total of 21 proposals were submitted to the contest’s first phase, originating from 11 EU countries: France, Germany, Greece, Sweden, Poland, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Lithuania, Estonia, Croatia, Netherlands. At this initial stage, the participants furnished a white paper outlining their proposed concepts, accompanied by a description of technological solutions for detecting LFOs at the EU land borders.
Overall, the submitted proposals met and exceeded the evaluation criteria defined in the Rules of Contest, presenting comprehensive innovative multi-layer and multi-sensor architectures, with various active and passive detection systems that, when combined, have the potential to detect various types of LFOs.
After careful consideration and assessment by the Evaluation Committee, we are pleased to present, the top 10 best-ranked proposals which were submitted by the companies below, listed in in alphabetical order:
- Advanced Protection Systems S.A.
- CS Group
- DAT CON d. o. o.
- Dedrone GmbH
- FLIR Systems AB (Teledyne FLIR)
- Hemeria Airship
- Marduk Technologies
- Naval Group SA
- OPTIX JSC
- Technofita Adria d. o. o.
Each of the laureates is awarded a prize of EUR 10 000 and an invitation to the second phase of the contest.
The race for the main prize continues
For the laureates who accept the invitation to phase two, the proposals will be assessed for technical capacity. The top five proposals of the second phase will be eligible to receive a prize award of EUR 50 000 each while the top three will be invited to phase three consisting of operational trial. In the finals, the three competitors will prepare, deploy, and operate their proposed technological solutions for three weeks of operational testing in Estonia, scheduled for autumn 2023.
Frontex congratulates and commends all participants for their efforts and innovative proposals. We are looking forward to seeing how the proposals take more and more tangible shape in the next phases.
For more information, please visit Frontex’s Prize Award Contest on the Detection of Low Flying Objects webpage.