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VR Training Technology Being Funded by Latvian Defense Ministry

According to a recent announcement, the Latvian Ministry of Defense is set to grant a total sum of 350,000 euros to six defence technology companies in the country, for projects such as a virtual reality (VR) training simulator and developing a secure communications’ setup prototype.

The money provided through the grants is set to cover up to 50 percent of the total costs for each project. There is also a clause where up to 75 percent of the costs can be obtained if a project makes considerable progress.

The initiative by the Latvian Ministry of Defense awarded grants to Entangle for a secure communications’ system framework, Exonicus for developing a VR-based emergency medical care training simulation system, Zemgales Remonta Centrs for the development of an authorised battle transport renovation methodology, VAIROG EU for certified battle munitions testing and quality control methodology development, SRC Brasa for unmanned land directional beacon systems development, and Kronis for developing, evaluating and adapting industrial dry food production mechanisms for soldiers.

Defense force training in VR. Image source: etterretningen.no

Jānis Kondrāts, the CEO of Exonicus spoke regarding the prospects that can be realised following the funding by the Ministry of Defense. He acknowledged that the government body’s support will let his team add four additional trauma-related scenarios. Kondrāts also revealed that the grant will facilitate his company’s collaboration with theRīga Stradiņš University Military Medicine Research and Study Centre and Medical Education Technology Centre. Their cooperation is set to result in validation studies and the development of specifications for seven additional scenarios.

The current grant competition is the second of its kind by the Latvian Ministry of Defense. The ministry had a total of 25 applications for projects from different industry sectors. They were assessed on the basis of a number of factors, including product originality, technology potential, ability to develop the project, application of the product in the defense sector, research institution involvement, global competitiveness and what impact products will have on the businesses of the applicants. The six chosen businesses were selected based on these criteria.

The grant programme is a one-of-a-kind support method to develop offerings for the Latvian defense and security sectors. It lays a strong focus on the research institution’s involvement and considerations for probable export offerings and business potential. Experts from the National Armed Forces will initiate communication with each of the awarded companies, for the purpose of developing cutting-edge defense systems. The initial programme granted an amount of 50,000 Euros for six different projects.

Soldier in the field.

Latvian technology has also sparked interest in the United States Department of Defense. Based on earlier reports, a medical facility of the United States Army is exhibiting a groundbreaking Latvian offering online.

Madigan is one of the only two classified Level II Army Medicine trauma centres, apart from being the second-largest U.S. Army treatment facility and technology-equipped medical centre.

Captain Kyle Couperus, an emergency medical physician, spoke about Exonicus’ VR-based Trauma Simulator offering, emphasising that it can broadly impact military training across the globe. He believes medical simulation is a potent way of teaching patient care.

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