Hackathons are awareness and outreach events that help to develop innovative solutions for EU defence actors and bring together people with different expertise and background to solve defence challenges.
They are an excellent opportunity to attract highly skilled individuals and early start-up businesses to the defence sector and match end-users with industry.
Rewards & Benefits
Individuals form teams to participate in hackathons. Hackathons challenge the teams’ novel ideas in a competitive and co-operative learning environment.
The winning teams receive awards, such as a follow-up mentoring program, designed to help them advance the development of their solutions. Therefore, hackathons can speed-up the development cycle of SMEs or start-ups.
Broadly, hackathons offer SMEs, start-ups, and researchers an exciting opportunity to learn more about defence and enter this sector. It also helps existing defence start-ups to find new ways for cooperation and connection with military end-users.
Use your ideas and solutions to solve a challenge
Receive professional feedback and mentoring during the hackathon event
Experience a stimulating, creative, and co-operative learning environment
Compete in EU/Norway-wide simultaneous events in several locations
Benefit from an attractive follow-up mentoring program for winners
What is a hackathon?
A hackathon is an idea-sprint event where individuals come together, form teams and collaboratively build a unique solution to a problem from scratch in a limited time. Hackathons will be held simultaneously in several locations in EU/Norway.
These events aim at solving challenges and problems for military end-users with clear solutions. They connect young STEM researchers with defence industrial entrepreneurs and military end-users. They attract young innovators and help them to discover innovative solutions for defence capability and technology needs. Hackathons usually serve as an excellent awareness-raising occasion to promote skills and opportunities for the defence industry.
The organisation of the hackathons and mentoring for 2024 to 2027 has been subjected to a call for tender (eTendering - Display document (europa.eu)) which is now closed. The evaluation of tenders is ongoing. The Commission aims to sign the related contracts later in 2023. More information on registration to the hackathon, its theme and challenges, and more information, will be published later in the first month of early 2024.
The mentoring program awarded to the winning teams will follow the hackathon event. More information on registration, themes, and challenges of the hackathons will be published during the first quarter of 2024. The first EUDIS Hackathon will take place inApril/May 2024.
Hackathons are open to everyone who is an EU or Norwegian citizen, residing within the EU or Norway.
Participants are to form a team to participate in hackathons. The composition of the teams can be diverse/varied, for example: university students, researchers, entrepreneurs, military personnel, or employees or larger companies.
Hackathon themes and challenges are decided by the Commission in cooperation with Member States and Norway, as well as the EDA and HEDI.
They will take place in a central hub and in multiple locations at the same time across the EU/Norway. Precise locations will be announced in early 2024.
For the EDF Work Programme 2023, the indicative budget for the 2024 organisation of hackathon and mentoring is EUR 600 000.
The winners of the hackathons are awarded mentoring programs.
Local organisers can on a voluntary basis issue their own prizes, which are not part of the Commission budget or procurement.
The first hackathon will take place in April/May 2024.
The winning teams receive awards, such as a follow-up mentoring program, designed to help to advance the development of their solutions. This can result in development of their business ideas and prototypes, creation of start-ups that may contribute to EU Member States’ or Norway’s defence capabilities. Hackathons can also attract talents to the defence sector.
The hackathon results generated by the teams/participants are owned by the hackathon teams/participants themselves.