Published: 08th November 2019
IIT Madras' Defence Innovation Challenge to provide tech-based solutions for problems faced by the IAF
Shaastra is the annual technical festival of IIT Madras that is entirely student-run. It is the first in the country to get an ISO certification
Indian Institute of Technology Madras students will be conducting the first-ever ‘Defence Tech Summit,’ to be organised entirely by students of an Indian educational institution, from January 3 to 5, 2020 as a part of Shaastra, the institution's technical fest. The summit aims to contribute to the indigenisation of defence technology in a major way. As part of the Defence Tech Summit, the students are also organising a ‘Defence Innovation Challenge,’ a four-month-long competition that urges participants to ideate and come up with tech-based solutions in the field of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Virtual Reality to solve real-world problems faced by the Indian Armed Forces.
The challenge offers problem statements in three tracks namely — Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR). For the first round of the Defence Innovation Challenge, the participating team will have to submit a proof of concept in the respective tracks and in the corresponding format mentioned below. It will be held for a duration of 14 weeks and participants can avail mentorship, which would be provided by technical experts post-round one of the events. Following this, the top five teams from AI and AR/VR and top eight teams from Robotics track will be provided mentorship from experts in the respective fields post-round one. This mentorship will be aimed towards creating final concrete solutions for each problem statement. The teams selected from AI, AR/VR tracks and Robotics track will be invited to present their final solutions on the first day of Defence Tech Summit.
Submissions open: 12th September 2019
Submissions close: 4th November 2019
Shortlisting finalists: 4th - 11th November 2019
Mentoring sessions start: 18th November 2019
Finals: 3rd January 2020, Defence Tech Summit Day 1
Highlighting the importance of ‘Defence Tech Summit 2020,’ Lt Gen PR Shankar (Retd), Professor of Practice, Department of Aerospace Engineering, IIT Madras, who is guiding the students in organising this summit, says, "Shaastra 2020 with its main theme of ‘defence technology’ is in direct response to the Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s call to IITs to contribute to the defence preparedness of the nation. It is indeed very creditable and farsighted on the part of IIT Madras students to have conceptualised this event in sync with the requirements of time in consultation with the Armed Forces. It is a very important event since it is focusing on tomorrow’s defence technologies. I wish the students the very best in their endeavours in conducting this landmark event."
This event is being conducted in consultation with HQ Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) and in collaboration with L&T Defence, L&T-Nxt, and Newspace Research and Technologies. Shaastra is the annual technical festival of IIT Madras and is entirely student-run. It is the first in the country to get an ISO certification. It receives an annual footfall of over 50,000 and serves as a medium for networking and knowledge exchange.
The field of defence continuously drives new innovations that have a significant impact on everyone’s lives. Cutting edge technology like AI, IoT and UAVs hold much promise for defence applications. Threats of terrorism and cyber warfare also need to be addressed with tech-driven solutions. This has propelled Shaastra to contribute to the cause by organising the Defence Tech Summit so as to bring its participants up to speed on the latest advancements in defence technology.
A major objective of this Summit is to showcase and boost the defence start-up ecosystem by providing a networking forum and to enlighten the youth about opportunities in this rapidly advancing field. Registrations for the Summit are now open. For Registration and further information - https://summit.shaastra.org