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Festival of startups: Defeat the enemy and heal the “wounds of war”

Helping our soldiers effectively defeat the enemy on the battlefield, demining territories and saving the lives of our defenders — it is quite natural that during the war, the defense emphasis was one of the key points in the startup competition.

What did the participants of the “Defense and Security. Aviation and Space” section propose?    

The “Armagel + Universal Hydrogel Bandage” Project took first place in the section and won in the nomination “Practical readiness for serial production”. Why did this development take part in the defense section? According to the project executive Volodymyr Tavokin, his team considers that their mission consists in helping our wounded defenders to step back into the ranks as soon as possible.

На зображенні може бути: 3 людини, люди стоять та у приміщенні

Ukrainian will be the best 

It was explained during the presentation that the universal carrier matrix created by the startuppers can be saturated with medicinal solutions, herbs, oil emulsions, etc. All documents for the production and application of the development were received back in 2014. Then, the bandages were sent to the front lines in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

— The bandage can be used during primary medical care, it possesses the appropriate features for this, — Volodymyr Tavokin said. — It is quite strong, reinforced with a mesh, it protects against mechanical damage. A very powerful biocyte is applied to it, which prevents the wound from suppurating until the fighter gets to the second or third line of wound treatment. In addition, on the second or third line, the bandages are removed absolutely painlessly, without damaging the wound surface. Regarding treatment, the experience of eight years of use has proven that the use of our bandages accelerates the healing of wounds by 1.5-2 times. Research has also shown that the bandage has powerful sorption properties, it can increase 10 times.

According to the project executive, Ukraine’s need for such bandages is tens of millions of pieces per year. In all developed countries (EU, USA, Japan), hydrogel dressings are included in wound treatment protocols, but not in our country yet.  

The cost of one bandage is 1.1 US dollars. But, as stated by Volodymyr Tavokin, the costs of marketing and advertising sometimes significantly exceed the production cost. By the way, the product is patented in Ukraine and in Germany, because the German company Hartmann is a direct competitor.

It was announced during the presentation, that from June 2022 the production capacity increased up to 20 thousand pieces per month. Participating in the festival, the project team sought to find business partners who would help to further expand production.

— We continue cooperation with many KPI departments, — Volodymyr Tavokin said at the award ceremony. — We significantly improved the quality characteristics of our products and achieved performance targets which are no worse than those of world analogues. This demonstrates the prospect of cooperation between science and production. Ukrainian will be the best.

Manage fire effectively

The “KRIP-A Automated Intelligence-Fire Complex of the National Level” Project won in the nomination “Export potential of products”. Reconnaissance means, an automated control system and means of fire destruction are combined into a single information space in this complex (prototype artillery fire control systems of the national level).

— Ukraine should join the ranks of the leading countries that have national automated fire control systems in their armed forces, — Anatoliy Horilyk, the author of the project, noted during the presentation. — We believe that our development has all needed features.

So, a full-fledged battle management system BMS (Battle management system) was created in the result of the five-year cooperation of both state and private companies.

— Automation of combat control regulations is the main feature of the system, —Anatoliy Horilyk said. — Not just calculations, or separate functions, but in general the regulation of combat control during the preparation of an artillery unit for combat operations, execution of a firing task, is automated. The essence of our proposal consists in creating a tactical automated ground artillery fire control system at the “brigade-division-battery-platoon-cannon” level. It is based on the computerized KRIP-A battle system.

The efficiency of the complex use, according to the developers, consists in three-fold reduction of time for preparation and execution of the firing task. In addition, the increase in the efficiency of the use of firearms as a result of the automatic distribution of aiming points, combat vehicles, and firing guns makes it possible to significantly save ammunition. Moreover, it fundamentally increases the survivability of combat units due to non-linear and non-trivial placement in firing positions. Among other advantages of the complex is the possibility of performing combat missions in a column on the move.

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To make the lands safe 

Experts assess almost half of the territory of Ukraine as dangerous and believe that almost 50 years are needed for its complete demining. The team of the “SOCRATES: Search for Explosive Objects” Project, which won the nomination “Perspective and innovative attractiveness”, proposes to do it much faster with the help of a system of local remote monitoring of explosive areas using the method of pulsating electromagnetic sounding. A helicopter or an unmanned aerial vehicle can be used as a platform for the device.

According to project executive Serhii Kovalchuk, the system can detect objects of 10 cm or more. Demining operators, communities and the state of Ukraine, agricultural holdings and farms, manufacturers of agricultural machinery, insurance and leasing companies can be consumers of the technology.

— Our marketing strategy is to provide true data for demining operators, and then to participate in demining programs as an independent operator, — Serhii Kovalchuk said. — In total, we need about 1 million dollars from investors. It will give the opportunity to complete field research, improve the device and software, and create an independent demining operator.

The “Modern Technology for the Transparent Armor Production” startup won in the nomination “Technological readiness of the prototype”. As the authors of the project note, the use of modern emitters based on LEDs in the UV range made it possible to reduce the time of the polymerization process on the first experimental equipment by more than three times in comparison with lamps. The increased resource of illuminators and monitoring of temperature and light on the surface allows to maintain quality when repeating the technological cycle and manufacturing multilayer glass. This year, it is planned to implement the entire cycle in the production of transparent armor.

На зображенні може бути: вертоліт та у приміщенні

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Biomedical Engineering and Human Health:

Smart glove and plasma cutting operations

The participants of the “Biomedical Engineering and Human Health” section proposed relevant solutions in order to improve the quality of life, speed up the rehabilitation of patients, introduce modern tools and drugs into medical practice. Along with Ukrainian startuppers, foreign startuppers also successfully demonstrated themselves, winning in several nominations.

The “Meniscus Resector” Project took first place in the section and won in the nomination “Best solution to the client’s problems”. The startup’s authors presented an innovative invasive electrosurgical tool for surgery using high-frequency plasma cutting technology.

According to the author of the project, orthopedic doctor Bohdan Hryshchuk, the tool, in conjunction with a medical high-frequency generator, allows to significantly improve the results of surgical treatment of meniscus injuries. Among all operations performed on the knee joint, such operations are up to 20%. Moreover, in 2020, the orthopedic sector was second in the world market of electrosurgical devices in terms of their application — 16%.

According to Bohdan Hryshchuk, the device has a number of advantages over competitors, in particular, an arthroscopic biter and a multi-electrode high-frequency ablator. First of all, it damages tissues less. It is also economical and easy to use.

— Our customers will be distributors of medical equipment, research institutes, private or state hospitals, specialists, — Bohdan Hryshchuk said. — The prototype has already been successfully tested in operational conditions. There is a positive assessment from the leading traumatologists of Ukraine, my colleagues. The next steps are the organization of the production of a serial model and the release of the first batch of tools, and the introduction of this technology in Ukrainian hospitals as well.

According to the estimates of the authors of the project, its expected income is 50 to 70 thousand dollars per year in the Ukrainian market, and it can reach 18 million dollars in the world market of orthopedic electrosurgical devices, which is 1.4%.

Pharmaceutical companies have already invested 11,000 dollars in the project, and 24,000 dollars were raised thanks to crowdfunding. The expected investment for the organization of production and manufacture of the first batch of devices is about 345 thousand dollars.

For rehabilitation after injuries

The GROMM Project (Glove-restorer of muscular mobility) won in the “Best startup idea” nomination. The device presented by the inventors helps to fully restore the mobility of the hand after an injury. The glove compensates for atrophy and allows the patient to work with his/her hand as he/she did it before the injury, and simultaneously rehabilitate it.

— Thanks to special sensors, it is possible to read the movement of the phalanges of the finger, then this data is analyzed, so electrical impulses are sent that contract the muscles, — the author of the project Maksym Naumchuk said. — With the help of such forced contraction, the mobility of atrophied muscles is restored.

According to the inventor, the fracture of the fingers of the hand is treated within a few months and may require a certain number of years of rehabilitation. Because of this, people who need rehabilitation have to visit health centers or private clinics according to a certain schedule. Another problem is the narrow focus of rehabilitation devices. Besides, they are very expensive.  

— We want to offer a solution to these problems, — emphasizes Maksym Naumchuk. — Due to the availability of materials, the price of the product will be low. The problem of mobility is solved thanks to the internal battery. In addition, the glove can be used throughout the day and the patient can take it with him/her anywhere, except for places with high humidity.

Today, the authors created a printed circuit board, a test model of the device, and also performed mathematical calculations for the internal cycles.

The offer to the investor, voiced by the inventors, is the purchase of the necessary elements for the creation of the device, marketing and launch of the product to the international market. The amount of investment required for the first year is $30,000.

Application for consumers and businesses

Startuppers from Azerbaijan with the “Health Mentor” Project won in the “Best business model” nomination. The authors presented an application that helps consumers find medicine in the nearest pharmacy at the lowest price and easily pay by card. The app has a map that helps users find a pharmacy and the shortest way to it.

On the home page of the application there is a list of all medicines with the possibility of searching by location or price. A system of reminders is provided to prevent untimely taking of medication. The application is also intended for pharmaceutical companies. The authors of the application want to use artificial intelligence technologies in order to form a rating of pharmacies.

“3D Digital Oral Implant Device” Project from China won in the nomination “Best technological solution”. The startup team proposed an innovative solution for manufacturing three-dimensional digital oral-cranial-maxillofacial implants based on additive manufacturing technologies using multi-stage complex lattice frameworks as a basis for reconstruction in combination with bioactive materials. Using results of the research and development of advanced bioactive medical materials with the ability to biodegrade, combined with biomechanical research and further improvement of additive manufacturing and processing technology, a solution for large craniofacial defects of the oral cavity has been proposed.

Dmytro SHULIKIN

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