Each year, the UVID conference outlines and leads the professional discourse of the unmanned system industry in Israel. In preparation for the first conference (2012), the organizers had decided that in order to develop a comprehensive system-wide approach, the conference should lead a conceptual change: instead of dealing specifically with each system, a holistic concept should be developed that would regard the entire layout as a whole. Accordingly, we defined the theme
"Unmanned Vehicles – from Systems to a Layout".
In 2013 we witnessed a profound change in the operational environment of unmanned vehicles, which became increasingly more complex. The challenges of the modern battlefield affected the demand for cutting-edge capabilities in the air, on land and at sea. The characteristics and capabilities of the unmanned systems established them as a fundamental element in any operational doctrine, worldwide – even those of radical regimes and terrorist organizations –which led to a global arms race. New countries entered the unmanned system development-sales-employment cycles, thereby changing the economic environment of this growth engine as well.
As numerous technologies matured, they enabled users to intensify the employment of unmanned systems, in the context of civilian applications as well as military and security applications. Various organizations and institution began deliberating the moral and legal aspects that pertain to the employment of attack UAVs and even the ethical implications of photography using hover drones. New threats evolved in virtual domains when cyber warfare events aimed at unmanned vehicles were reported. At the same time, the field migrated into the public domain pursuant to the extensive coverage by the media. Accordingly, the theme of the 2013 UVID conference was defined as "Unmanned Vehicles in a Complex Environment".
In the last year we have experienced global growth in the field and changes in the balance of power worldwide. These changes have been reflected in such fields as business, technology, academia, regulation, et al. The global leadership position Israel had held in the field of unmanned systems for the last four decades is currently threatened by the global economic processes and the major programs which are under way in many countries.
Facing the expected growth and prosperity in the field of unmanned vehicles, the 2014 UVID conference will address the question of how a global leadership position may be established and whether this goal necessitates that the efforts toward that end be regarded as a national mission.