HOW IT STARTED
Ministry of Defence of Ukraine
The main reason for the creation of the accelerator is the excessive overregulation of the organisational and functional structure of the Ministry of Defence, as well as long, non-result-oriented processes in the state, lack of modern automation, project and innovation management specialists, low efficiency of interaction between the Ministry of Defence and defence companies, including those seeking to join it, insufficient proactivity and modern innovation culture in the Ministry's work.
The “Closed Club” of the defence industry has always focused on state-funded research and development as the main area for defence industry development: top secret mode, specific scientific approach, the high cost of research and development, a specific market and other factors have almost concealed a number of innovative developments that are cheap, widespread and urgently needed. Unexpectedly for the Closed Club, they began to be delivered directly to the frontline by volunteers and at joint expense - UAVs, combat modules, modern equipment, communications, trench electronic warfare, surveillance cameras and much more that was not produced by the defence industry, was not in service and was not purchased by the Ministry of Defence. It was necessary to change this culture, but the regulatory framework was holding us back.
Procedure simplification for admission of new weapons and military equipment - amendments to Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Resolution No. 345
Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 345, which regulates the supply of weapons and military equipment during the special period, introduced provisions that drastically simplified and accelerated introducing new models of weapons and military equipment that are not mass-produced. Within a few months, dozens of new types of UAVs were put into service, and the Ministry of Defence began spending billions of hryvnias on their procurement. Without unnecessary advertising and in a working order.
National Defence Hackathon
In November 2022, the National Defence Hackathon 2022, organised by the Ministry of Defence, took place in Kyiv. It brought together the best Ukrainian cybersecurity and counter-disinformation specialists and IT experts from the public and private sectors, as well as NATO representatives and international experts.
The competition was held in three areas: technical, counter-disinformation and legal. The hackathon participants were divided into 41 teams from the public and private sectors, with a total of about 300 participants.
The hackathon, which was held in the subway due to the threat of shelling, demonstrated high involvement and great interest of enterprises in implementing innovative developments in the military sphere. It also highlighted the need for closer cooperation between private developers of military equipment and the state, but in new, different forms from the stereotypical ones.
In April 2023, the BRAVE1 defence-tech cluster was launched in Ukraine in order to accelerate the creation of defence developments. The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Digital Transformation in cooperation with the Ministry of Defence, the General Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Security and Defence Council, the Ministry of Strategic Industries and the Ministry of Economy. The MoD and the Armed Forces are working on high-tech Brave1 proposals.
«The Ministry of Defence, as a state entity, is responsible for administering the procurement of new weapons and military equipment: from their evaluation to putting them into operation. ... We are primarily interested in «mature designs» that can be quickly brought to use. We expect BRAVE1 to help bring initiatives to the appropriate level of maturity. And then we will pick up and lead them to international codification and NATO registers».
Comment by the Minister of Defence, Oleksiy Reznikov, 26.04.2023
Committee on Arms Management
The next step of the Ministry of Defence was to improve strategic approaches to the implementation of military and technical policy. For this purpose, the Defence Management Committee was established to bring together the heads of the MoD's structural units to support the decision-making of the Minister of Defence.
- Relevant joint forces of the MoD, the General Headquarters
Ukraine’s weapon system portfolio implementation
The main problems in Ukraine’s defence sector are the lack of effective communication and cooperation between different stakeholders, and outdated methods of military management. To address them, an innovative defence ecosystem has been developed that will ensure interaction and coordinated strategies between participants. It will also create favourable conditions for defence sector development based on market economy and democracy to stimulate citizen engagement. On 25 May 2023, the Deputy Minister of Defence of Ukraine approved the decision of the scientific and practical conference “Problems of Implementing Portfolio (Programme, Project) Management of Weapons Systems Development”, which should become one of the main areas of reforming the system of development and procurement of weapons. Based on this decision, an Action Plan for the portfolio implementation is currently being prepared.
Creating an Accelerator
In March 2023, the Minister of Defence invited his deputies to express interest and submit proposals for the creation of a similar body within the MoD. V. Havrylov, who coordinates work on weapons and military equipment, defence industry, and military technical cooperation, and A. Shevchenko, who is in charge of international affairs and Euro-Atlantic integration, expressed their interest.
In April 2023, the Deputy Minister of Defence for WME formed an informal project team of advisers, MoD experts and heads of subordinate units to review existing experience and propose options for reforming the process of working with WME developers. The focus was on mature developments that correspond to TRL level 7 and above. Process options were modelled using the BPMN methodology, and a wide range of consultations were held with stakeholders from the Ministry of Defence, the General Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and enterprises.
Surveys and focus groups were conducted with enterprises and individual volunteer teams involved in technological assistance to the Armed Forces. As a result, a package of necessary regulations and a web-based platform for the IDA was prepared and agreed upon. At the same time, the project team, with the support of the MoD Digitalisation Directorate, implemented basic automation in its work based on Office 365, and together with IT volunteers developed the IDA website, designed CRM requirements for automation of the units and specialists involved (for a total of 7 units with a total of more than 500 employees).
News about the creation of the Accelerator on the MoD website