KONGSBERG signs cooperation agreement with Ascend NTNU

KONGSBERG becomes the main sponsor of the student project Ascend NTNU that is participating in The International Aerial Robotics Competition. The student team will be the first Nordic team to take part in the competition.

Ascend NTNU is a new student organization that will represent NTNU at The International Aerial Robotics Competition. The aim of the competition is to push the limits of autonomous drones and challenge new technology. 

“This is one of several measures we take to motivate and inspire young people to study scientific subjects and complete their education. As Norway’s leading technology company, it is important that we contribute when the technologists of tomorrow explore new technology. Students possess the latest knowledge, view challenges from new angles and are highly committed. We can also learn a lot from this”, says Harald Ånnestad, President of Kongsberg Defence Systems.

Future-oriented and relevant areas of technology

KONGSBERG has a comprehensive programme for lower and upper secondary schools and colleges and universities, including summer jobs, written assignments, development of new subjects and teaching methods, cooperation agreements, inspirational lectures and student projects. Ascend NTNU was an obvious choice when the project was presented to KONGSBERG.

“We quickly realised that we wanted to be part of this project. It deals with autonomous technologies, decision support, cybernetics, system engineering and a number of other disciplines that will be important in the years to come. We look forward to contribute and believe the Norwegian team will do well in the competition”, says Ånnestad.

A very difficult task

By taking part in the competition on an annual basis, Ascend NTNU seeks to establish a permanent environment for development of autonomous drones. In August 2016, Ascend will become the first Nordic team to participate in the competition. There they will compete against teams from institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and last year’s winners École Polytechnique de Montréal. The team from NTNU consists of 14 members from the fields of cybernetics, computer science and mechanical engineering.

“It is a very difficult task that has yet to be solved. Our aim is to be the first in the world to achieve this, and we are really looking forward to the competition in August. We are privileged to have the backing of a competent company like KONGSBERG. Not only do they make it possible for us to take part, we also benefit from their world leading expertise within the areas of technology that we rely on to succeed”, says Johan Hatleskog, project manager for Ascend NTNU.

For further information, please contact: Johannes Namstad Dobson, Corporate Communication Manager, KONGSBERG, johannes.dobson@kongsberg.com, 906 77 262.