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Call for the Cyber Startup Challenge 2022

The Cyber-Defence (CYD) Campus, armasisse Science and Technology, is looking for innovative technologies. For this purpose, it is launching a Cyber Startup Challenge for the third time. The topic: network discovery security of IoT devices. Applications are possible until August 31, 2022.

20.06.2022 | armasuisse Science and Technology, Cyber-Defence Campus

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About the Cyber Startup Challenge

About the Cyber Startup Challenge

The goal of the challenge is to discover the startup technology landscape around the subject of network discovery and security of IoT devices and to bring innovative technologies to the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS).

Companies are encouraged to register and submit their solutions. Three startups with the most promising solutions will pitch their idea during the Cyber Defence Conference on 26 October 2022 in Bern.

A jury consisting of experts and stakeholders from the DDPS will choose one company as the finalist for the Startup Challenge. Finally, the selected startup is awarded a contract of up to CHF 100'000 to integrate a Proof of Concept of its technology within the DDPS environment.

This challenge is not a tender but a market exploration. Promising technologies are identified that best suit the requirements of the Department of Defence.

What we are looking for

We are looking for novel solutions in network discovery and security of IoT devices that can have a significant impact in the day-to-day operation of the Swiss Armed Forces. The solution will be integrated in the existing infrastructure. The technology does not need to be fully mature yet, but a convincing Proof of Concept should be implementable within a year and with less than CHF 100'000.

Below are some examples of network discovery and security of IoT devices of interest; however, we are also looking to discovering related technology areas.

Topic of Network discovery

Discover a network and create a topography with a graphical view of network environment

Some examples:

  • Map a network environment including all attached devices (clients / servers / etc.), especially closed systems like ICS/SCADA, IoT, etc
  • Help an analyst to understand what devices are in the environment, possibly with deployment of as few sensors as possible
  • Help to understand graphically what is happening in an unknown environment
  • What is the attack surface seen from inside or out 

Topic of security of IoT devices

Improve the security of closed source network appliances like firewall, router, printer, IoT, SAN storage controller

Some examples:

  • Verify the security of the configuration of firewalls, analyse the ruleset
  • Check for existing vulnerabilities of appliances
  • Hardening of the appliance to prevent attacks
  • Detect malicious activities in appliances, for example on firewalls or routers or IoT devices

What we are not looking for

We are not interested in solutions that will require significant changes in the infrastructure or could pose risks. We are not interested in concepts or studies, or solutions that are in a very early development stage. We are not interested in consultancy proposals or non-technical solutions.

General Conditions for the challenge

  1. The startup is younger than seven years as of November 2022
  2. The founders are still investors and active
  3. The company has at least three employees including active founders
  4. The final selected startup will be awarded a contract to integrate a Proof of Concept of the technology in the DDPS
  5. The awarded contract has a maximal value of CHF 100'000. The value is subject to the work required to integrate the Proof of Concept
  6. The Proof of Concept is supported by the Cyber-Defence Campus
  7. This challenge is not a competition with price nor a tender. It is a market research to find a promising technology best suited for the demands of the DDPS around cyber threat intelligence and where companies can register voluntarily
  8. The Proof of Concept is not meant for operational deployment
  9. Any further acquisition will go through a tender, and the Proof of Concept does not guarantee any additional mandate or purchase
  10. All other companies that applied can still be considered for tenders and further challenges
  11. The company accept the General Terms and Conditions of the Swiss Confederation (GTC) without reservation. Companies who make changes (additions/adaptations) are excluded from the Challenge.

Selection criteria

  • Technology is related to network discovery and security of IoT devices
  • Technology relevance and usability for critical infrastructure operators
  • Feasibility of the project
  • Innovation factor and potential for impact for the Swiss Armed Forces
  • Technology concept viability
  • Dual use (military, civilian)
  • A higher priority will be given to Swiss companies; however, the startup can be international.

Selection process

  • The startup must fill the registration template of the call and send the document to the address provided.
  • The Cyber-Defence Campus will select the ten best companies and ask for further information and details.
  • The three best companies will be invited to give a presentation of their company and technology.
  • At the conference, the three finalists will give a 10 minutes pitch and the company with the best score will be announced as the winner.


Call closed 31.08.2022

Best ten solutions selected


Best three startups present at the Cyber Defence Campus


The winner and best three solutions are revealed during CYD Campus conference


What are you waiting for? Register now! To do so, click on the registration link or use our registration form.

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