21strategies Wins Contract from Hensoldt to Commercialize AI Habitat

By Yvonne Hofstetter

Photo: Adobe Stock

Munich, November 2, 2021 – 21strategies, a B2B deep tech company that leverages Machine Learning and AI with the mission to help organizations make better strategic and tactical decisions under uncertainty, has today announced that it has won a contract from leading sensor manufacturer Hensoldt to research the “GhostPlay” program. The company states that the contract, whose value is sevenfold, but remains undisclosed, will be executed during three years until 31.12.2024. It is an effect of Germany’s dtec.bw initiative, which was endowed by the German MoD to finance both research projects, to transfer technology from the research ecosystem to innovative commercial operations, and to foster startups.

Giving back AI knowhow to defense research

The award will enable 21strategies to pursue the commercialization of its AI learning and evaluation platform. “This award is indicative of 21strategies’ commitment to provide next-gen AI which goes beyond state-of-the-art. In this specific case, we aim to empower the German Air Force to use next-gen AI against malicious drone swarms,” said Yvonne Hofstetter, female Co-Founder and CEO of 21strategies. “While 21strategies proliferated AI knowledge from the defense research labs to provide sector-independent Enterprise AI for smart decision-making at capital markets, we are excited to establish our presence also within the defense sector as we harness the power of next-gen AI in support of integrated air defense systems.”

“We owe it to the defense research to contribute our AI knowhow. We once innovated our Enterprise AI based on knowledge gathered from the defense domain. Now we give them back the best AI concepts and technologies available,” concluded Hofstetter.

Simulating AI-based strategic activities in zones of conflict

21strategies’ AI training and evaluation habitat is an AI learning and simulation platform that contributes to closing a critical defense capability shortfall by developing sophisticated AI concepts and methods using Deep Reinforcement Learning and Adversarial Learning techniques to create context-aware self-learning defense strategies taking into account sensor and effector capabilities, operational requirements, Rules of Engagement, as well as different adversarial swarm configurations. Its objective is to evaluate and demonstrate how different AI paradigms work within relevant environments such as highly congested zones of conflict, allowing the German Air Force to understand the capabilities and the behavior of intelligent, synthetically generated autonomous and AI-enabled entities in a conflict simulator.

“21strategies is ushering in a new era of AI, which is frugal, as – in contrast to civilian AI applications – battlefield data is scarce, and communication and data transfer can be very limited. With the support of Hensoldt, we aim to deliver an extraordinary increase to sensor and effector capability,” added Hofstetter.

Fueling innovation through cooperation with startup 21strategies

Bettina Weber, Head of Sales Radar Hensoldt Sensors GmbH, commented: “With Defense AI the future unfolds, not only Hensoldt’s future as leading sensor manufacturer, but also the future of defense as such. We must prepare for modern conflicts and ensure that sensors and effectors do not only exchange data among each other, but develop and deploy jointly a smart strategy to successfully defend against ever more sophisticated and even autonomous systems.”


Next to Hensoldt and deep tech startup 21strategies, other partners will contribute their knowledge to GhostPlay. Fraunhofer FKIE shall provide swarming tactics, while Helmut-Schmidt-University of the Armed Troops in Hamburg/Germany will provide market intelligence to overlook GhostPlay’s competitive environment, strongly supported by Swiss-German policy counsel Borchert Research and Consulting BCR AG.


For more information on 21strategies and its solutions, please visit the company’s website.


Press contact:

Tanja Zimmermann