On Wednesday, January 12, the fourth edition of the PatriotFest national innovation competition held its awards ceremony at the National Military Circle. PatriotFest is the only national innovation competition organized by national military and security entities.
The competition aims to contribute to the innovation process in order to strengthen Romania’s security in a time of difficulties, when hybrid threats are becoming more diverse and complex, especially in the wake of the pandemic. Supporting Romanian performance entails not only the creation of a framework for innovative assistance and awards, but also a brave endeavor to halt the phenomena of brain drain. During previous editions, Romanian innovators presented their projects in the form of functional prototypes, such as revolutionary sensors, artificial intelligence technologies that convert audio files into text, secure documents and electronic communication, or blockchain applications with applications in the security of goods flows. The subjects are grouped into main areas that are critical for the future.
PatriotFest 2021 included two firsts: a set theme and the involvement of small and medium-sized Romanian businesses. Thus, innovators interested in new and disruptive technologies and keen to contribute to national security were asked to register. The organizers were interested in various forms of autonomous systems, including air, ground, and naval systems.
Major General Teodor Incicaș, Chief General of the Ministry of National Defense’s Directorate for Armaments, was named PatriotFest Ambassador for 2021 in appreciation of his contributions to the PatriotFest contest and the promotion of Romanian research.
The winners of the 2021 edition of the PatriotFest contest are:
Edition Award – Emilian Vlăsceanu – Operating system for control systems of unmanned aerial systems on board
First Prize – Cătălin Pârvulescu, for the project “Microtextured photovoltaic solar cell system to increase efficiency – integrated in the wing of an unmanned aircraft (UAV)”
Second Prize – Alin Istrate, for the project “AHRS (Attitude and Heading Referencing System) Reference, Attitude and Direction System”
Third Prize – Bogdan Belean, for the project “Autonomous positioning and solar tracking system”
Defense Research Award – Mihai Palade, for “C4I system with capabilities for integration, synchronization and coordination of Uninhabited Aerial System (UAS) ISR systems”
Hope Award – Bogdan Fîrtat, for the project “Airborne platform for detecting explosives in hard to reach areas”
Innovation Award – Marius Dima, for the project “Optical system with mechanical stabilization on board UAV”
Diplomas of Excellence: Ștefan Gergely, for “Long-Range Asymmetric Encryption System for Long-Range Drone Communication” and Florin Dumitru, for “Automatic Unmanned Aerial Launcher System, H01-30”
We’d like to point out that the 2021 PatriotFest was sponsored by Boeing, USA, and Leviatan Design, Romania. The UVS Romania Association, the Romanian Employers’ Association of Military Equipment Manufacturers “PATROMIL,” and the League of Romanian Students Abroad were the PatriotFest 2021 partner organizations.
PatriotFest is organized with the support of many entities in the area of national security, including the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Romanian Intelligence Service, the Special Telecommunications Service, and the Protection and Guard Service.
The PatriotFest Gala was conducted in accordance with all pandemic-imposed measures, including rapid testing of all attendees.