UK-Ukraine TechExchange launched

Posted on 15 February, 2024 by Advance 

The UK-Ukraine TechExchange has been launched, the first non-profit startup support programme of its kind specialising in DefenceTech and AgriTech collaboration between the UK and Ukraine.

Above: Andriy Dovbenko, Principal and Founder of UK-Ukraine TechExchange, which supported the launch of the UK Government's UK-Ukraine TechBridge - - in London last month.
Courtesy UK-Ukraine TechExchange

The privately-funded programme is seeking to promote effective collaboration between the UK and Ukraine to deliver essential frontline innovation that saves lives today. The inaugural cohort features four Ukrainian companies, Pilotechnika, Skyeton, Transimpex and Zvook.

Operating on a pro-bono basis, TechExchange aims to connect startups with the investment and commercial opportunities they require to support Ukraine’s war effort, economic survival and future reconstruction. Serving a dual purpose for both DefenceTech and AgriTech startups, the programme supports Ukrainian companies working to help the military and UK-based businesses with an interest in testing their technology in live environments, whether on the fields of battle or agriculture.

The cohort members focus on areas including drones, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), demining and air defence:

Pilotechnika (Ukraine) has produced customised unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) fitted with proprietary software that, using direct feedback from the front lines, responds to Ukraine’s specific military requirements. The company uses digital-twin technology to rapidly simulate how the hardware will respond to battlefield scenarios before it is given to the front line.
Skyeton (Ukraine) has manufactured unmanned aerial systems (UAS) since 2014, providing accurate aerial data for precise ground intervention. Its Raybird UAS is capable of flying for around 30 hours covering over 150 kilometres and providing object recognition over vast, remote areas.
Transimpex (Ukraine) has created the capabilities to successfully perform humanitarian demining and ammunition disposal tasks. The company conducts manual demining, technical and non-technical surveys, in addition to the neutralisation of mines and the explosive remnants of war to clear areas of land affected by armed conflict.
Zvook (Ukraine) has built a scalable network of acoustic sensors to detect missiles, drones and other artillery, increasing air defence efficiency. The sensors consist of a parabolic antenna and a microcomputer, which runs AI-powered sound recognition algorithms. The company’s sensors currently cover around 14,000 sq. kilometres of land.

These startups all have real-world, dual applications to Ukraine, and their commercial success and innovation will provide life-saving solutions to a nation at war and help to accelerate the rebuilding process.

Andriy Dovbenko (above), Principal and Founder of TechExchange said, “As a Ukrainian who has been living and working in the UK since 2018, I’m laser-focused on contributing to the Ukraine’s war effort against Russia in any way I can. It’s an unfortunate truth that war breeds innovation and the companies we’re seeing being created in response pushing new boundaries. Both nations have renowned engineering pedigree so connecting them in a two-way technology programme enables the cultivation of ideas, growth and knowledge.”

“Agriculture and defence are key components of Ukraine’s economy and the cutting-edge technologies deployed within Ukraine today will benefit the country and the rest of the world, in a profound way for years to come. DefenceTech is an immediate priority and AgriTech will be a key part of rebuilding Ukraine post-war. That’s why TechExchange is continuously scouting for innovative startups that meet our criteria and providing them with direct access to investor capital.”

To be a part of the TechExchange programme, companies must be developing defence or agricultural technologies, be funded to at least Pre-Seed, be UK or Ukraine-based and deliver impactful innovation that saves lives.