Ukraine’s Defense Tech Cluster BRAVE1 Plans to Invest $39M in Startups in 2024

Ukraine’s Defense Tech Cluster BRAVE1 Plans to Invest $39M in Startups in 2024

BRAVE1, a defense tech coordination platform, has awarded 84 defense tech grants worth $1.53 million. The platform plans to finance Ukrainian startups with more than $2 million by the end of 2023.

The BRAVE1 defense technology cluster will receive funding for 2024 in the amount of UAH 1.5 billion and will be able to increase the size of grants, BRAVE1 cluster head Natalia Kushnerska said during a public interview with Borys Davydenko at ForbesTech-2023.

"Next year we have been allocated UAH 1.5 billion to finance projects. The amount of grants will be increased. If this year it is $5,000 and $25,000, next year it will be $10,000, $25,000, $50,000, $100,000 and even $250,000," Kushnerska said.

According to her, in seven months since the founding of the cluster, out of 750 submitted developments, 346 received BRAVE1 status. This means that the projects have passed military examination and are of interest to security and defense forces.

Some 79 developments worth $1.4 million have already received cluster grants. An additional 49 developments are awaiting signing of contracts. They may be allocated $745,000.

"By the end of the year, Ukrainian defense developments will be financed in the amount of more than $2 million," Kushnerska said.

BRAVE1 is focused on projects of robotic systems that can replace people on the contact line, as well as electronic warfare (EW) and electronic reconnaissance (ER) systems. The focus is on combat and humanitarian mine clearance technologies. In addition, the cluster is considering solutions using artificial intelligence, Kushnerska said.

She noted that many international companies are willing to localize their production in Ukraine. In addition, the country has begun construction of factories for the production of components for defense-tech.

"Today, many international companies are ready to come to Ukraine to localize their production... Ukraine has every chance of becoming the new Silicon Valley only in defense tech," she said.

It was previously reported that the BRAVE1 defense cluster received 230 projects in the first month after its launch, dozens of them passed the examination and will be transferred to mass production.

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