An Open Innovation Challenge by Leonardo is on the starting line

The Leonardo Drone Contest is an Open Innovation challenge designed and launched by Leonardo in collaboration with six Italian universities, to encourage the development of Artificial Intelligence applied to Unmanned Systems.

The contestrepresents an opportunity for Open Innovation and collaboration between industry and universities which creates synergies between development and academic research in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision, Sensor Fusion, and Machine Learning.

The objective of the project, promoted by Leonardo, in collaboration with six Italian universities, is to encourage the development of technologies related to Artificial Intelligence when applied to unmanned systems, generating an ecosystem by which large enterprises, universities, SMEs, spin-offs and startups can interact

Drone Contest is the only competition in Italy with competing universities in an Artificial Intelligence race and involved three partners of Miami Scientific Italian Community.

The contest will develop over a three-year basis; the first race, scheduled for 18 September 2020, will see teams from the Politecnico di Torino, the Politecnico di Milano, the University of Bologna, the S. Anna School of Pisa, the University of Rome Tor Vergata and the University of Naples Federico II.
The first edition of Leonardo’s Drone Contest was presented at a virtual symposium, titled  “Drone Contest. An Open Innovation Challenge”. It is designed and organised by Leonardo, a global high-tech company and national champion in the sectors of Aerospace, Defense and Security. The official launch of the contest took place during Leonardo’s Innovation Day in Turin, last year.

The project is presented as an Open Innovation opportunity and a collaboration between industry and universities that aims to create a synergy between development and academic research in relation to the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision, Sensor Fusion, and Machine Learning. Leonardo’s Drone Contest aims to encourage the development of both technologies related to artificial intelligence applied to unmanned systems and the creation of an ecosystem that involves, in a virtuous intertwining, large enterprises, universities, Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), spin-offs and startups.

The challenge, officially started in November 2019, will end in 2022, and during the contest the PhD students, supported by professors and in collaboration with the university and Leonardo teams, will have to develop and propose the most innovative capabilities of unmanned drone systems.

The first challenge of the Drone Contest will take place in Turin on 18 September 2020 and on that occasion the first results and potential of the respective projects will be analysed. Each year, the universities, divided into teams, will compete in a scientific symposium and with specific competitions.

Leonardo supports, for three years, the activity of the six PhD students of the universities involved with scholarships for the annual comparison in competitions and aimed at fostering research and innovation.

Today Leonardo is the only company in Europe able to provide complete remote piloting solutions – designing and developing all the elements of a “drone based” system – for intelligence missions, surveillance, monitoring, information acquisition, integrating platforms, radar and electro-optical sensors, mission systems and ground control stations. The development of unmanned technologies and applications is one of the key goals of Leonardo’s strategic Plan, which aims to follow a path of sustainable growth and increase the Group’s competitiveness in the long-term.


Source: Leonardo




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