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DisTec Challenge 2024

Distec Challenge

The DisTec Challenge for 2024 will be hosted and run in collaboration with the Defence Science Technology Laboratory (Dstl).  Three finalists will be selected to present their solutions on stage at IT²EC on the April 10th and the DisTec Challenge winner will receive a stand free-of-charge for IT²EC 2025. 

Dstl has identified two challenge areas to support their visions of the future and with a primary emphasis on refining training methodologies and integrating state-of-the-art technologies for the future workforce, the challenge's aim is to address real-world issues faced by today's end-users. 

We invite SMEs from any industry to submit an entry that showcases their innovations, and cutting-edge solutions.

Submit your entry Challenge Reward

The countdown to enter has begun


Challenge deadline: Friday 8 March 2024

About the Challenge

Challenge title: Pixels & Personalities - Realising the social aspects of a future virtual classroom

There are two key challenge areas, criteria for which is detailed below.  Beyond simply transmitting knowledge, Dstl is looking to understand how Defence can create, enhance and deliver the social aspects of learning in a virtual classroom, learning from other industries and utilising the following elements:

1. AI tutors - personalised learning using AI instructors

This includes:

  • Context awareness
  • Co-operative systems
  • Virtual Assistants
  • Speaker recognition
  • Bots as microservices

2. Social learning through virtual classrooms

This includes:

  • Conferencing
  • Presence Technologies      
  • Enterprise Collaboration suites
  • Mobile collaboration applications
  • Social networking tools
  • Virtual worlds
  • Tele-immersion
  • Shared environments

Reasons to apply...

All DisTec Challenge entrants will benefit from significant exposure to Dstl. This includes increased brand/project awareness to the public sector and wider defence training and technology community. 

What do our finalists enjoy?

  • Speaking opportunity at the DisTec Theatre and opportunity to demonstrate physical products.
  • Full Speaker registration (including access to the exhibition, main conference and catering)
  • Prolonged exposure on the event website
  • Profile in the DisTec Challenge literature/website and DisTec agenda
  • Associated promotion on social media channels

The Grand Prize?

The DisTec Challenge winner will receive a free-of-charge stand at IT²EC 2025.

DisTec Challenge

Submission guide

Eligibility criteria:

  • All entrants must be eligible to attend IT²EC in person on the 10th of April 2024.
  • Submitted technologies can either be existing products not currently utilised in the Defence market or the UK, or new innovative disruptive technologies addressing the challenge outlined.
  • Due to security restrictions to the exhibition, entrants must be 18 years or older and successfully pass security checks during event registration.

Submission form requirements:

  • Topic Title/ Product Title
  • Short abstract of the presented solution (max 1 side A4)
  • Entrants details (Full Name, Job Title, Company, and contact details)

Download official rules guide

Key dates and timelines:

  • 31st January 2024 - Submissions Open
  • 8th March 2024 - Submissions Close (12:00 GMT)
  • 22 March 2024 - Finalists Selected 
  • 10th April 2024 - Live Presentations & Announcement of Winner

More information

Entry and Judging Criteria

Submissions will be judged by the Future Workforce & Training (FWT) programme team at Dstl. All submissions will be provided to the judging panel anonymously by the Lead Conference Producer to prevent bias. After finalists are selected, Dstl will receive the full submission list to expose entrants’ ideas.

Submission Details & How to Enter

To enter the challenge, entrants eligible under the Official Rules must submit all required materials to the Submission form available on the IT²EC website by the specified deadline.

To maintain fairness, photographs and videos will be excluded and judging will be conducted anonymously. Participants must comply with the Official Rules and abide by decisions made by the Host and Judges.

Winner selection process

Announcing our finalists:

The three finalists will be contacted on 22nd March and will be announced on the DisTec Challenge website. 

On the day:

Finalists will be invited to pitch their solutions and innovations on stage at the DisTec Theatre on 10th April 2024. 

The IT²EC community will be invited to watch the Challenge live from the DisTec Theatre and Air Vice-Marshal Gary Waterfall CBE, Senior Defence Advisor will announce the winner.