Innovations for Mine Action and Future Security: Insights from Davos

The search for effective solutions and coordination of joint efforts in the humanitarian demining in Ukraine were the focus of a special event during the Davos Week. 

Impact Force, a Ukrainian non-governmental organization which brings together leaders, innovations, and sustainable economic recovery experience, with a focus on creating long-term social impact, actively participated in the panel discussion called “Clearing the Path to Growth: Ukraine’s technology-driven strategy for humanitarian demining” organized by Palantir.

During the discussion, which took place within the framework of the World Economic Forum, leading experts in security, data analytics, economics, and social impact discussed the challenges Ukraine faces with demining, as Ukraine is currently the most heavily mined country in the world. Clearing mines from more than 150,000 square kilometers will take at least 10 years, according to various estimates.

Ukrainian government faces a series of legislative, technological, and financial challenges, which require joint efforts from international partners, governments, businesses, and the civil sector to address. Ukraine’s main goal for 2024 is to launch a market for relevant services and promote the involvement of top technological companies and the use of innovative technologies for demining, including drones, satellite imagery, remote land scanning technology, and artificial intelligence.

“To accelerate humanitarian demining processes, we are working on innovative technologies and tools to attract private capital,” said Oleksiy Sobolev, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of Ukraine.

According to official data,  over the past year Ukraine conducted demining and returned to use more than 10% of its territory, or approximately 18,000 square kilometers of land considered potentially contaminated.

“The challenges and the volume of work required for complete demining and restoring the natural potential of the land are unprecedented. It will be extremely difficult to handle them without significant investment and widespread use of modern solutions and technologies that can ensure safe and rapid demining,” said Louis Mosley, Executive Vice President of UK and Europe for Palantir.

Impact Force also contributes to addressing this issue. In 2024, a separate cluster of companies and startups are invited to participate in the Impact Business 2.0 acceleration program. Those are innovators who develop solutions for humanitarian demining.

Impact Business is an in-depth acceleration program created by an international team of experts, entrepreneurs, and investors for active businesses registered in Ukraine that aim to contribute to the post-war recovery of Ukraine and create a positive and long-lasting social impact. The main goal of the program is to create a robust ecosystem that encourages more mission-driven companies to reinvest their profits in creating positive social changes and also promotes the development of the social impact economy in post-war Ukraine.

The program’s launch is scheduled for 2024. The training with updated modules, taking into account last year’s experience and insights from 23 impact businesses that successfully completed the program in December 2023, will last for 9 months.

“The goal of demining territories that Ukraine has set for itself is very ambitious. Achieving it requires dedication, cooperation, and joint efforts from many participants, who also need to ensure transparency in this process. A strong ecosystem that fosters innovation and technology development in this field is needed. Acceleration programs will be required where startups receive training, advice from industry expert mentors, can test technologies on test grounds, and receive support in entering the market. Our Impact Business accelerator is precisely about that,” emphasizes Nina Levchuk, co-founder of Impact Force.

 

02.02.2024