Train Agents in an Open AI Environment for the Future of Defense

Challenge details

Name: Train Agents in an Open AI Environment for the Future of Defense
Challenge type: Student Challenge
Award: £3,000
Deadline: 24th April 2022


The ever-changing face of defence in the modern world requires new ways of working. It isn’t possible to keep track of military operations without significant technological input any longer. Therefore, the world of AI is seen as “the new arms race” by those in the field. 

Thales, a multinational industry leader in technology, is now seeking the input of students on how AI can be used as part of the defence equation. Using reinforcement learning as a proving ground, successful Solvers for this Challenge will have the chance to collaborate on ideas with an established business at the cutting edge of this sector.

This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.


“Advances in artificial intelligence, data science, autonomous systems and human-machine teaming promise to deliver the capability needed to achieve multi-domain integration and revolutionise warfare.”
The above is a quote from the MoD’s Integrated Operating Concept 2025. As an excerpt and a document as a whole, it illustrates the moving times in which humanity currently exists. The conflicts of yesteryear which involved on the ground strategic planning are simply not sustainable in a world that exists so fervently in the digital space.

Recognising the importance of this shift and how vital it is to get on board now, Thales are seeking the insights of the next generation of great minds in this field. Looking for the input of students, this Challenge aims to understand the best way to utilise AI in the processing of real-time, multi-domain data that can inform decision-making in the most intense environments.

 This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:  

  • There is a guaranteed award.  The award(s) will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $4,000, with one award being at least $2,000 and no award being less than $500.
  • The award(s) will be paid in pound sterling (GBP), at the exchange rate in effect at the launch of this Challenge on the website, which equates to the total payout of $4,000 (USD) to be £3,021 (GBP).  
  • All intellectual property rights, if any, in the idea or concept demonstrated by the Proposed Solution will remain with you. By submitting a Proposed Solution to this InnoCentive Challenge, you grant to the Seeker a royalty free, non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, sub-licensable license in respect of all such intellectual property rights, if any, for the purposes of commercial exploitation of the idea or concept demonstrated by the Proposed Solution. Notwithstanding granting the Seeker a license for the Proposed Solution, you retain ownership of the Proposed Solution.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 23:59 PM (GMT) on 24-04-2022. 
Late submissions will not be considered.  
After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). All Solvers that submit a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.  


This Challenge is open and offered solely to: UK based registered students aged eighteen (18) years and older and/or with full legal capacity, who (i) is currently enrolled at a UK Higher Education Institution or (ii) has recently graduated from a UK Higher Education Institution less than one year before the current academic year, with a student card and ( email.

All the documents that may confirm the Participant’s eligibility will be required prior to awarding any prizes (e.g. identity document, student card, etc.).

Employees of Thales or their relatives are ineligible to receive awards.


Thales is a global technology leader with more than 80,000 employees on five continents. Our customers are large organisations with a critical common denominator: they all provide or operate systems, services and infrastructure that are vital to society. Our approach to protecting the environment is guided by the preservation of species, their habitats and ecosystems, preferential use of areas dedicated to plants, and the protection of historic and natural heritage sites.

What is InnoCentive?

InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world’s most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge?

An InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge is a broad question formulated to obtain access to new ideas, similar to a global brainstorm for producing a breakthrough idea or market survey which may include ideas for a new product line, a new commercial application for a current product, or even a viral marketing idea to recruit new customers. Ideation™ Challenge submissions are typically about two written pages, and Seekers receive a non-exclusive, perpetual license to use all submissions.

In an Ideation™ Challenge, Solvers may:

  • Submit ideas of their own
  • Submit third party information that they have the right to use and further the authority to convey that right and the right to use and develop derivative works to Seekers
  • Submit information considered in the public domain without any limitations on use

Solvers should not reveal any confidential information in their submissions. Often the Ideation™ Challenge will be followed by one or more of the other three Challenge types to further develop the ideas and gain Intellectual Property protection when the concept has been well-defined.