Ingenious Solutions for Security Challenges

Published Jun-18-12

Global search for new technologies and innovations within the security sector.

Global Security Challenge - 2011, United Kingdom

The Story:

Ingenious Solutions for Security Challenges Every year the Global Security Challenge awards over $500,000 to entrepreneurs and innovators in the security fields who come up with ideas, technologies and innovations that make airports, cities and enterprises safer without infringing on civil liberties. It’s a technological frontline full of ingenious ways of thwarting terrorists and criminals.

This open innovation contest is an ideal launch pad for start-ups and innovators, offering them a huge platform to nurture and realise their ideas and grow their businesses. It’s free to enter, makes no claim on IP or business ownership and is supported by US Government agency Technical Support Working Group (TSWG) and BAE Systems plc.

In 2011, the competition’s sixth year, organisers were looking for hardware or software solutions for public security needs with an emphasis on cycber security, biometrics, intrusion detection, personal protective equipment and aviation security among other categories.

Global Submissions

Well over 200 entries were received from more than 30 countries during the four month submission period, and judging took place in three stages – online final/regional final/global final.

Each submission was reviewed in detail by a panel of 60 judges and feedback was given not only to those who progressed to the next stage, but also to companies that did not go any further in the competition.

The Grand Final

Finalists then had to pitch their security innovations to the judges before a live audience that included investors, VCs, and representatives from industry and government. The Grand Final took place at PitchLive in the Business Design Centre in London.

The Global Security Challenge Start-up winner was a Swiss high-tech start-up Arktis Radiation Detectors that had developed a platform technology for detecting ionising radiation. Tubes of compressed helium are used to detect high energy neutrons emitted by some nuclear materials and determine their source. The innovation tackles many of the challenges associated with radiation detection, principally drawing a distinction between materials intended for criminal use and those which occur naturally. The company was awarded a check for $200,000.

The Global Security Challenge SME winner was Agnitio SL, a Spanish company that develops advanced voice recognition software that is able to deftly filter out specific and unique voice patterns so that individuals can be recognised. The technology has been used in forensics, monitoring and surveillance in military and intelligence operations and in call centres that use voice recognition for password identification. The company was awarded a check for $300,000.

Winning Potential

As with previous years the contest was deemed a success in highlighting original ideas and bringing them to the attention of the industry and financial backers.

“Our competitions have a proven track record of changing the fortunes of innovators who have ideas which solve today’s challenges,” said Simon Schneider, CEO of OmniCompete, the company that hosted the competition.

“Unlike other competitions, finalists must prove both their technology and their business case to a panel of industry experts and investors. Anyone reaching the final has huge commercial potential and the winners even more so.”

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