for Innovative Transformation of Ukraine based on
the All-Ukrainian Innovation Ecosystem

“Sikorsky Challenge Ukraine”

(Project proposal) 

The main challenge and urgent need of the war and post-war times is the transformation of the economy, defense capability and security of Ukraine. Achieving positive results of such a transformation is possible only by turning Ukraine into one of the global international innovation centers. Without an innovative breakthrough, it will be extremely difficult for the country to cope with today's challenges and instability.


In order to accelerate the innovative transformation of Ukraine right now, without waiting for the end of the war, it is necessary to involve all key domestic and international participants in the creation, implementation and financial support of technological innovations in the country. The All-Ukrainian Innovation Ecosystem “Sikorsky Challenge Ukraine” (SCU) can act as a powerful association of such participating institutions.


SCU, more than ever, is interested in accelerating the introduction of innovations in production and bringing high-tech products to domestic and global markets. But such an acceleration will be possible if we successfully combine the following approaches in a comprehensive manner:

  • significantly strengthen the connection between science, business and the state (fulfillment by scientists of orders on solving scientific and technological problems arising in state institutions and business structures);
  • accelerate the development of “factories” of ideas and innovations (supporting training in startup schools, incubating and growing startups, creating micro- and small high-tech enterprises);
  • promote the import of foreign innovations into Ukraine through creating representative offices of foreign high-tech companies on the basis of SCU as a “single window” to support their activities in Ukraine.

In order to unite the efforts and capabilities of all domestic and foreign institutions interested in the innovative transformation of Ukraine, it is proposed to create a single platform called the “Platform of Innovative Transformation of Ukraine” on the basis of the All-Ukrainian innovation ecosystem “Sikorsky Challenge Ukraine”.




 Project name


The Platform for Innovation Transformation of Ukraine based on the All-Ukrainian Innovation Ecosystem “Sikorsky Challenge Ukraine” (hereinafter – Platform).


Status of the Platform


The platform at the first stage of its activity is a project of Igor Sikorsky KPI as SCU scientific and technical coordinator, Innovation Holding “Sikorsky Challenge” LLC as SCU operational business coordinator, Science Park “Kyivska Polytechnika” Corporation, other participating institutions of SCU, research institutes and government representatives, foreign innovative business and international funds.


In the future, depending on the sustainability of the development of the project and the vision of its participants, the Platform may acquire the status of a separate legal entity.


Goal of the Platform project


Gain by Ukraine both in war and post-war times of breakthrough positions in the creation and implementation of technological innovations in the economy, defense capability and security of the country by combining efforts and coordinating actions on the part of state authorities, international partners and funds, foreign innovative companies and institutional participants SCU.


Main tasks of the Project


Achieving the set goal is possible by performing (at least) three main interrelated tasks.


Task 1


Significantly strengthen the connection between science, business and the state to accelerate the solution of technological problems of producting enterprises, cities and regions of Ukraine.


Specific steps:

  • to ensure quick access of scientists to information about current technological problems of domestic and foreign companies - develop and constantly maintain the “problems and tasks” portal;
  • to create guarantee mechanisms on the part of the Platform participants regarding the timely financing and execution of ordered R&D by universities/scientific institutions and the implementation of their results in the production of the customer company;
  • to organize and periodically hold a "festival" of technological problems, where companies, representatives of cities/regions, state authorities voice their technological problems, and after discussions scientists/startups offer their solutions. 

Task 2


Accelerate the development of "factories" of ideas and innovations.


Specific steps:

  • to ensure involvement of sponsor/grant funding for the Startup Schools “Sikorsky Challenge” at the universities of the SCU network;
  • to promote involvement of domestic and foreign investors to participate in the Festival of Innovation Projects “Sikorsky Challenge”;
  • to develop and support a virtual exhibition of Ukrainian startups (on the SCU website), inform about it through information resources of embassies, chambers of commerce, etc.;
  • to create an accelerator for the preparation of startups/R&D of the level TRL6 - TRL9 for introduction into mass production. 

Task 3


Facilitate the import of foreign innovations to Ukraine.


Specific steps:

  • to create representative offices of foreign high-tech teams in at least three areas - defense technologies; reconstruction of Ukraine's infrastructure and industrial hi-tech; digitalization and cyber security;
  • to provide foreign companies with offices and services in the format of a "single window" to support their activities in Ukraine: technology transfer; interaction with Ukrainian scientists, startups, enterprises, regional and state authorities; promotion of the latest technologies/products to the Ukrainian market; creation of joint ventures on the territory of Ukraine;
  • to create a portal “Needs of Ukraine - Proposals of foreign companies” to establish interaction between potential Ukrainian customers and foreign companies-executants through the Platform.   




Project participants can contingently be divided into five groups – three ones from Ukrainian part and two others - from the part of the international partners (Fig. 1). 

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

 Roles of the Ukrainian participants:


1.      SCU group:

  • Igor Sikorsky KPI

 - provides the Project with the infrastructure support – office premises, means of communication;

 - ensures connection of Ukrainian and foreign companies with scientific schools / scientists and researchers;

 - facilitates dialogue between foreign innovative companies and state/regional authorities.

  •  Science Park “Kyivska Polytechnika”

 - matchmakes groups / teams of scientists to requests for solving technological problems defined by customers “from the state” and “from business”;

 - acts as one of the parties to contracts regarding the implementation of R&Ds on the order of companies, regional/state customers.

  • Innovation Holding “Sikorsky Challenge”

 - provides organizational, personnel and informational support for the Platform;

 - provides consulting and legal support to foreign companies for the opening and support of their representative offices;

 - facilitates the establishment and development of relations between representative offices of foreign companies and Ukrainian manufacturing enterprises and regional innovation clusters;

 - provides support for the sale of products of foreign companies in Ukraine and/or the sale of their licenses; 


 - provides interaction of foreign companies with Ukrainian startups. 

2.      Innovation companies and Investment funds group:

  • Ukrainian innovation companies

 - form databases of technological problems and voice the problems to the innovation community – scientists, inventors, students, entrepreneurs, startup teams;

- select the best solutions to problems, form orders for R&D, implement R&D results into mass production;

- interact with representative offices of foreign companies regarding placement of orders for manufacturing innovation production.


3.      State authorities group:

  • State authorities

- contribute to the improvement of the legislative and regulatory framework regarding the innovative transformation of the country, increasing the motivation of manufacturing enterprises to implement innovative technologies;

- provide a comprehensive approach to balancing domestic and foreign innovative technologies, products and services in the Ukrainian economy;

- provide political and informational support to the Platform regarding the implementation of the tasks and plans agreed upon by the participants;

- participate in project management as coordinators in areas of innovation development.


Roles of international partners and their motivation


1.      Foreign innovation companies group

  • Provide:

- preliminary applications and signing of relevant memoranda regarding the opening of representative offices of innovative foreign companies;

- orders for solving scientific and technological problems that arise in foreign companies participating in the Platform;

- organizational, financial and informational support of their representative offices and the Platform as a whole;

- scientific and technological expertise for startups and innovation developments;

-  mentorship support for startups selected for accelaration.

  • Acquire:

- participation in the Coordination Committee of the Platform;

- office premises for their representative offices;

- legal and advisory support for business development in Ukraine;

- access to Ukrainian scientific schools, startups, innovative technology development teams;

- possibility of interaction with state/regional authorities regarding the establishment of their enterprises in the regions of Ukraine.


2.      Foreign universities and Science/technology parks group

  • Provide:

-  educational support (trainings, successful cases, training programs) of young Ukrainian innovators;

-  possibility of participation of Ukrainian startups in acceleration programs with the provision of mentoring support;

-  possibility of participation of their scientists, experts and startups in the annual Festival of Innovation Projects “Sikorsky Challenge”.

  • Acquire:

- participation in the Coordination Committee of the Platform;

- office premises for their representative offices (if needed);

- opportunity to create joint teams, projects, startups;

- opportunity to scale up their startups on the territory of Ukraine.


Management of the Platform Project


The highest governing body of the Platform is the Coordination Committee, formed by the representatives of each of the participant groups (Fig. 2).

Figure 2. Platform management
Figure 2. Platform management

The coordinators of innovation areas from state governing bodies are determined


(for example, the MinRegion to coordinate the “Civil and military infrastructure” area, the MinDigital to coordinate the “Digitalization and cyber security” area, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine to coordinate the “Defense and security” area).


The coordination of the “Defense and Security” ares has features related to the specifics of the selection, ordering and implementation of innovative technologies in the defense sphere, especially during wartime. The management of defense innovations should involve various institutions of the Armed Forces, the Ministry of Strategic Industries of Ukraine, the Institute of Advanced Defense Technologies of Igor Sikorsky KPI, associations of defense enterprises, etc.


Operational management of the Platform will be carried out by the Platform managing office.


Sources for financing the project


At the first stage of the Platform's activity, sources of funding can be as follow:

  • international and national grant projects;
  • sponsorship support;
  • payment for services provided to foreign companies/representative offices;
  • payment for services provided to domestic companies for the implementation of innovative technologies in production.

At the next stage, additional sources will be the following:

  • shares in successful financial agreements between foreign and domestic market participants;
  • shares in newly created enterprises;
  • shares of revenues/profits received by enterprises when introducing innovative products to the markets of Ukraine and/or other countries.

The company Innovation Holding “Sikorsky Challenge” can act as the operator of financial support of the Platform.




1.      Signing memoranda on participation in the Platform project.

2.      Creating the Coordination Committee of the Platform from among the signatories of the memoranda.

3.      Developing the program of the Platform's activities for 3 years, divided into two stages: the stage of the war period; stage of post-war transformation.

4.      Determining the approximate required amount of funding for the Platform (for each stage of the program).

5.      Creating support for the start of work and sustainable development of the Platform - organizational, infrastructural and material, personnel, informational and financial; develop the digital component of the Platform.

6.      Opening the first representative offices of innovative foreign companies (in pilot mode).

7.      Starting the activity of the international accelerator.