Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, is pleased to announce the winners of its innovative Prize Award Contest on the Detection of Low-Flying Objects (LFOs). This ground-breaking contest demonstrates Frontex’s commitment to fostering technological innovation in border security, addressing challenges such as the increasing use of drones at EU borders to support criminal activities.
“The increasing use of drones and other low-flying objects at our borders is not just a challenge; it’s a call to action. And at Frontex, we’re not just observing this trend; we’re actively responding with advanced and innovative solutions. The Prize Award Contest is a clear demonstration of our commitment to safeguarding Europe’s borders. Our proactive approach today is vital in shaping a safer and more secure Europe of tomorrow,” said Frontex Executive Director Hans Leijtens.
“The innovations we recognise today are not just technical solutions. They embody our ethos of combining efficiency with responsibility, ensuring that our border management strategies are as humane as they are effective,” he added.
Following a rigorous series of operational trials, the top prize of EUR 250 000 has been awarded to DAT-CON, with the second prize of EUR 200 000 going to Teledyne FLIR, and the third prize of EUR 150 000 to Marduk Technologies. Each winner has showcased exceptional ingenuity in developing technologies that meet the critical need for enhanced surveillance and detection of LFOs.
Conducted at Ridali Airfield in Estonia from 16 September to 6 October 2023, the operational trial represented the contest’s final and decisive phase. The three finalists, previously selected in Phase 2, were tasked with deploying and operating their technologies in dynamic, real-world simulations. These rigorous tests, encompassing a variety of LFO threats and tactics, challenged the finalists to push the boundaries of innovation in low-level airspace surveillance.