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September 3, 2021 | International, Autonomous systems (Drones / E-VTOL)

Bordeaux Technowest et Airbus Développement lancent un concours « Challenge Innovation »

Bordeaux Technowest et Airbus Développement lancent un concours « Challenge Innovation », dans le cadre du salon UAV SHOW qui aura lieu les 19, 20 et 21 octobre à Bordeaux. Ce concours vise à mettre en lumière les projets innovants portés par les startups de la filière drones, selon 4 thématiques : impact environnemental, innovation technologique, service au territoire, intelligence artificielle et data & communication. La clôture des candidatures est prévue le 1er octobre.,up%20de%20la%20fili%C3%A8re%20drones.

On the same subject

  • Lancement de Blast, un programme dédié aux start-up de la défense et de l’aérospatial

    November 27, 2020

    Lancement de Blast, un programme dédié aux start-up de la défense et de l’aérospatial

    November 26, 2020 Imaginé par l’Onera, Polytechnique, la SATT Saclay et l’accélérateur Starburst, ce programme ambitionne d’accompagner 20 start-up par an. Blast. Explosion, en anglais. C’est aussi l’acronyme de « Boost and Leverage Aerospace and defence Technologies », le nom d’un nouveau programme français d’accélération, spécifiquement destiné aux start-up de l’aéronautique, du spatial et de la défense dont les idées, innovations et briques technologiques intéressent ces industries de souveraineté. À lire aussi :L’armée française sécurise une pépite de la tech convoitée par la CIA À l’origine de cette initiative, un constat en forme de paradoxe. La France ne manque ni d’ingénieurs, ni de laboratoires, ni d’universités, ni de centres de recherche au meilleur niveau mondial, et pourtant cette force de frappe peine à engendrer des start-up en grand nombre. De même, la France dispose d’une industrie aéronautique, spatiale et militaire de classe mondiale mais qui n’a pas toujours la ligne directe pour se connecter au monde des start-up. Et il n’existe pas de programme spécifique pour faire grandir les jeunes pousses du «deep-tech», les innovations de rupture utilisant des technologies avancées, dans ces trois domaines. Lire à partir de la source….

  • Air Force To Pump New Tech Startups With $10M Awards

    February 26, 2020

    Air Force To Pump New Tech Startups With $10M Awards

    The Air Force's new investment strategy is designed to "catalyze the commercial market by bringing our military market to bear," says Roper. By   THERESA HITCHENS   PENTAGON: The Air Force will roll out the final stage in its commercial startup investment strategy during the March 13-20 South By Southwest music festival, granting one or more contracts worth at least $10 million to startups with game-changing technologies, service acquisition chief Will Roper says. The first-of-its kind event in Austin, called the Air Force Pitch Bowl, will match Air Force investment with private venture capital funds on a one to two ratio, according to a presentation by Capt. Chris Benson of AFWERX at the Strategic Institute’s Dec. 4-5 “AcquisitionX” meeting. So, if the Air Force investment fund, called Air Force Ventures, puts in $20 million, the private capital match would be $40 million. AFWERX, the Air Force’s innovation unit, has one of its hubs in Austin. “This has been a year in the making now, trying to make our investment arm, the Air Force Ventures, act like an investor, even if it’s a government entity,” Roper explained. “We don’t invest like a private investor — we don’t own equity — we’re just putting companies on contract. But for early stage companies, that contract acts a lot like an investor.” The goal is to help steer private resources toward new technologies that will benefit both US consumers and national security to stay ahead of China’s rapid tech growth, Roper told reporters here Friday. The Air Force wants to “catalyze the commercial market by bringing our military market to bear,” he said. “We’re going to be part of the global tech ecosystem.” Figuring out how to harness the commercial marketplace is critical, Roper explained, because DoD dollars make up a dwindling percentage of the capital investment in US research and development. This is despite DoD’s 2021 budget request for research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) of $106.6 billion being “the largest in its history,” according to Pentagon budget rollout materials. The Air Force’s share is set at $37.3 billion, $10.3 billion of which is slated for Space Force programs.  “We are 20 percent of the R&D is this country — that’s where the military is today,” Roper said. “So if we don’t start thinking of ourselves as part of a global ecosystem, looking to influence trends, investing in technologies that could be dual-use — well, 20 percent is not going to compete with China long-term, with a nationalized industrial base that can pick national winners.” The process for interested startups to compete for funds has three steps, Roper explained, beginning with the Air Force “placing a thousand, $50K bets per year that are open.” That is, any company can put forward its ideas to the service in general instead of there being a certain program office in mind. “We’ll get you in the door,” Roper said, “we’ll provide the accelerator functions that connect you with a customer. “Pitch days” are the second step, he said. Companies chosen to be groomed in the first round make a rapid-fire sales pitch to potential Air Force entities — such as Space and Missile Systems Center and Air Force Research Laboratory — that can provide funding, as well as to venture capitalists partnering with the Air Force. As Breaking D broke in October, part of the new acquisition strategy is luring in private capital firms and individual investors to match Air Force funding in commercial startups as a way to to bridge the ‘valley of death’ and rapidly scale up capability. The service has been experimenting with ‘pitch days’ across the country over the last year, such as the Space Pitch Days held in San Francisco in November when the service handed out $22.5 million to 30 companies over two days. Roper said he intends to make “maybe 300 of those awards per year,” with the research contracts ranging from $1 million to $3 million a piece and “where program dollars get matched by our investment dollars.” The final piece of the strategy, Roper explained, is picking out the start-ups that can successfully field game-changing technologies. “The thing that we’re working on now is the big bets, the 30 to 40 big ideas, disruptive ideas that can change our mission and hopefully change the world,” Roper said. “We’re looking for those types of companies.” The Air Force on Oct. 16 issued its first call for firms to compete for these larger SBIR contracts under a new type of solicitation, called a “commercial solutions opening.” The call went to companies already holding Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards. The winners will be announced in Austin. If the strategy is successful, Roper said, the chosen firms will thrive and become profitable dual-use firms focused primarily on the commercial market. “The, we’re starting to build a different kind of industry base,” Roper enthused. “So, we’ve gotta get the big bets right. Then most importantly, if you succeed in one of the big bets, then we need to put you on contract on the other side, or else the whole thing is bunk.”

  • Panel wants to double federal spending on AI

    April 2, 2020

    Panel wants to double federal spending on AI

    Aaron Mehta   A congressionally mandated panel of technology experts has issued its first set of recommendations for the government, including doubling the amount of money spent on artificial intelligence outside the defense department and elevating a key Pentagon office to report directly to the Secretary of Defense. Created by the National Defense Authorization Act in 2018, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence is tasked with reviewing “advances in artificial intelligence, related machine learning developments, and associated technologies,” for the express purpose of addressing “the national and economic security needs of the United States, including economic risk, and any other associated issues.” The commission issued an initial report in November, at the time pledging to slowly roll out its actual policy recommendations over the course of the next year. Today’s report represents the first of those conclusions — 43 of them in fact, tied to legislative language that can easily be inserted by Congress during the fiscal year 2021 budget process. Bob Work, the former deputy secretary of defense who is the vice-chairman of the commission, said the report is tied into a broader effort to move DoD away from a focus on large platforms. “What you’re seeing is a transformation to a digital enterprise, where everyone is intent on making the DoD more like a software company. Because in the future, algorithmic warfare, relying on AI and AI enabled autonomy, is the thing that will provide us with the greatest military competitive advantage,” he said during a Wednesday call with reporters. Among the key recommendations: The government should “immediately double non-defense AI R&D funding” to $2 billion for FY21, a quick cash infusion which should work to strengthen academic center and national labs working on AI issues. The funding should “increase agency topline levels, not repurpose funds from within existing agency budgets, and be used by agencies to fund new research and initiatives, not to support re-labeled existing efforts.” Work noted that he recommends this R&D to double again in FY22. The commission leaves open the possibility of recommendations for increasing DoD’s AI investments as well, but said it wants to study the issue more before making such a request. In FY21, the department requested roughly $800 million in AI developmental funding and another $1.7 billion in AI enabled autonomy, which Work said is the right ratio going forward. “We’re really focused on non-defense R&D in this first quarter, because that’s where we felt we were falling further behind,” he said. “We expect DoD AI R&D spending also to increase” going forward. The Director of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) should report directly to the Secretary of Defense, and should continue to be led by a three-star officer or someone with “significant operational experience.” The first head of the JAIC, Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan, is retiring this summer; currently the JAIC falls under the office of the Chief Information Officer, who in turn reporters to the secretary. Work said the commission views the move as necessary in order to make sure leadership in the department is “driving" investment in AI, given all the competing budgetary requirements. The DoD and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) should establish a steering committee on emerging technology, tri-chaired by the Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Principal Deputy Director of ODNI, in order to “drive action on emerging technologies that otherwise may not be prioritized” across the national security sphere. Government microelectronics programs related to AI should be expanded in order to “develop novel and resilient sources for producing, integrating, assembling, and testing AI-enabling microelectronics.” In addition, the commission calls for articulating a “national for microelectronics and associated infrastructure.” Funding for DARPA’s microelectronics program should be increased to $500 million. The commission also recommends the establishment of a $20 million pilot microelectronics program to be run by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), focused on AI hardware. The establishment of a new office, tentatively called the National Security Point of Contact for AI, and encourage allied government to do the same in order to strengthen coordination at an international level. The first goal for that office would be to develop an assessment of allied AI research and applications, starting with the Five Eyes nations and then expanding to NATO. One issue identified early by the commission is the question of ethical AI. The commission recommends mandatory training on the limits of artificial intelligence in the AI workforce, which should include discussions around ethical issues. The group also calls for the Secretary of Homeland Security and the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to “share their ethical and responsible AI training programs with state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement officials,” and track which jurisdictions take advantage of those programs over a five year period. Missing from the report: any mention of the Pentagon’s Directive 3000.09, a 2012 order laying out the rules about how AI can be used on the battlefield. Last year C4ISRNet revealed that there was an ongoing debate among AI leaders, including Work, on whether that directive was still relevant. While not reflected in the recommendations, Eric Schmidt, the former Google executive who chairs the commission, noted that his team is starting to look at how AI can help with the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, saying "“We’re in an extraordinary time… we’re all looking forward to working hard to help anyway that we can.” The full report can be read here.

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