Swarm and Search Challenge Winners Showcased on HMS Queen Elizabeth during Defence and Security Trade Expo

19.12.19 08:54 PM By Jennie Hempstead

Winners were showcased at the Defence and Security Trade Expo, in Annapolis, MD, hosted by the British Embassy on the newly commissioned aircraft carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth. Winners from both the UK and the US were showcased, along with a video explaining the impact of the challenge. Winners also received a special acknowledgment from Admiral Tony Radakin, First Sea Lord and Chief of the Royal Navy. The AFRL DSTL collaboration demonstrated a new way of doing business for the Air Force, a dramatic increase in the speed of international collaboration and a new model for a prize challenge that brings the best ideas to bear. Ultimately it will provide the Air Force with thought diversity, faster acquisition channels and novel approaches to technical challenges.
WBI spearheaded the effort to create a "Winners Spotlight" video that discussed winner impact. The video demonstrated benefits that included:
- Diversity of thought
- Piquing the interest of universities into defense S&T efforts
- Humanitarian solutions
- International collaborations
- A new way for the Air Force to source innovative approaches and techniques
The video can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RR7zZT-95uM
NATO members at the Defence and Security Trade Expo expressed an interested in competing in the 2020 challenge.

Participants described their experience, along with notable quotes from Jack Blackhurst and Reid Melville. This approach provided the audience with better understanding of the challenged, demonstrated that int'l collaborations don't have to take months or years and introduced a hackathon model that provides more mature solutions. WBI also provided media coverage at the event, strengthening the partnership between AFRL, DSTL and WBI.