Russian Venture Company (RVC), Skolkovo Foundation, and Agency for Strategic Initiatives announced the call for applications for Up Great technology contests implemented within the National Technology Initiative (NTI). The first series of contests will focus on addressing global technological challenges and searching for breakthrough solutions in the development of unmanned transport and hydrogen energy.
Up Great is a new format of open calls in Russia based on the model of prestigious international competitions such as XPrize and Darpa Grand Challenge.
The participants are required to find solutions for challenging technological tasks that have not been solved anywhere in the world yet. The winning team will have to overcome a global technological barrier and showcase a repeatable solution of the contest’s task in front of the jury and the general public.
The applications for the first three contests – “Winter City,” “First Element. Air,” and “First Element. Earth” – can be submitted starting from July 2018. Engineering teams, innovative companies, scientific and higher education institutions from all over the world are invited to participate, while global corporations and innovation agencies are welcome to become partners of the project. South Korea through Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT) has become the first international partner of Up Great contests.
The Winter City contest is focused on the development of an unmanned vehicle capable to move in a city in difficult weather conditions with no road markings, under low visibility of the roadway and in the presence of traffic. The speed and the safety level shall be the same as of an average driver. According to the competition rules, a vehicle shall drive in an autonomous mode following the checkpoints of a testbed of 50 km long for less than 3 hours by independently plotting the route and noting other vehicles on the road, observing the traffic rules and without instigating other road users to break them.
Two other Up Great contests, First Element. Air and First Element. Earth, focus on creating power units based on hydrogen fuel cells for vehicles that are comparable with conventional energy sources by efficiency.
The participants of the First Element. Air contest are required to develop a hydrogen fuel cell for small unmanned vehicles. The task is to develop a power unit based on fuel cells with capacity of 1.3 kW and mass specific energy of not less than 700 W*h/kg with the mass of not more than 7 kg. The designed power unit shall be installed on a special multicopter platform which should be able to stay in the air at cyclic flying mode for at least 3 hours.
The First Element. Earth contest is focused on the development of hydrogen fuel cells for ground vehicles and amphibians: manned and unmanned bikes, cars and light motor boats. The power unit have to be 15 kW at the specific volumetric power value of 500 W*h/l, which volume shall not exceed 150l. The participants need to install the power unit on a car platform provided by the organizers, and then take part in the race on the go-cart track which will last for 3 hours.
The applications for Up Great Winter City call can be submitted until September 1, 2018. Examination of applications, following the results of which the teams will be admitted to the qualification tests, will be held in autumn 2018. The final testings of unmanned vehicles and determining the winner will take place from February to March 2019.
The applications for First Element. Earth and First Element. Air call can be submitted until October 1, 2018. The qualification stage will be from November to December 2018, and the final competitions will take place in May 2019.
Russian Venture Company (RVC)
RVC JSC is a state fund of funds, an institute of development of the venture industry of the Russian Federation. The main objectives of RVC’s activities are: stimulating the creation of Russia’s own venture investment industry and fulfilling the functions of the Project Office of the National Technological Initiative (NTI). The share capital of RVC JSC is more than RUB 30 billion. 100% of RVC’s capital belongs to the Russian Federation represented by the Federal Agency for State Property Management of the Russian Federation (Rosimuschestvo). The total number of funds, formed by RVC, has reached 26, with their total amount at RUB 35.7 billion. The share of RVC is RUB 22.7 billion. The number of innovative companies approved for investment by RVC funds has reached 223. The total volume of financial means approved for investment is RUB 18.2 billion.