The Story of EOKHUB
We launched our social network campaign on June 1st, 2019, and our web page went live on September 9th, 2019. But we started to think about the HUB several years ago. As the NCT Magazine readers probably know, the explosive ordnance sector is vast and multidisciplinary. We noticed that even experts from different explosive ordnance spheres do not understand what is happening in other parts. For example, experts from humanitarian mine action do not know or don't understand demilitarization details. Cost-saving experience (and potentially lifesaving) from one side of the world remains unknown to the other. Most new technology or methodology is not well-accepted by decision-makers, or expectations are very high (“silver bullet” solution). In all of this, we recognized a need for independent information. Other "problems" present the bulk of information we got every day. On one side, it is not possible to follow everything and assess it, but on the other side, it is important that we stay updated. These discussions were initially just among friends but eventually began to engage the overall explosive ordnance sector. The result is EOKHUB.
Who we are: At Explosive Ordnance Knowledge HUB, we are a central point of exchange for knowledge and experience in the Explosive Ordnance sector. EOK HUB is an independent, transparent platform for information exchange on topics varying from machines to policy, dogs to unmanned aerial systems. We offer webinars, exclusive access to interviews with subject matter experts and policymakers: equipment and site reviews. We believe that we are an independent and transparent platform that wants to bring knowledge to the field. Why? Because on the field, only knowledge saves a life.
We were asked who is behind the scenes, and we believe that all our followers, colleagues, or friends are EOKHUB. And we make a dedicated effort to make them visible to everyone. Of course, we are aware that some of that data and information are sensitive, and we pay special attention to that. We are proud to have more than 2.000 active followers on our social networks. From them, we are getting daily feedback and we are trying to improve continuously. If we made some unintentional mistake, we got several emails about that immediately. We appreciate that we developed open communications with our followers. Certainly, we will never be good enough, but we hope that we will succeed in approaching that line. Beginning Our beginning, as every beginning, was hard. We decided to combine short form on social networks (LinkedIn first, later on, Twitter and Facebook) and articles on the EOKHUB web page. The biggest challenge, in the beginning, was that we are not looking for sponsors, but for supporters. What is the difference? With supporters, we can keep our independence. We are grateful that several people and companies had the courage and trust in us in the beginning. Or they simply, and most probably, had confidence in themselves and their products. We independently wrote about these companies or tested their equipment. Sensys GmbH, Dok-ing, PCM ERW, Seaterra, and CEIA were among the first. Later they were joined by Mull und Partner, SAN ltd and others.
We were also able to feature some distinguished "Faces of the Explosive Ordnance Community." We want to give a special thanks to the experts who allowed us to interview them. PCM ERW/MAT Kosovo Ben Remfrey, Nobel prize winner Daniel Högsta, Dynasafe CEO Charles Diggs, AMAT founder and director Samuel Paunila, and a special thanks to Jovana, who dedicated her time between AMAT team and baby at home. We understand that they are swamped, but they found time for us, and we are very grateful for that. Of course, their feedback was useful as well.
A few months after we started EOKHUB, we found that we needed one day to relax and have a good time. Thanks to our friends from Dalmatia, we got an inspired answer. Gušt (pronounced goosht) is that famous word that many of our followers outside of the Balkans regions ask us what it means. Gušt would represent ultimate pleasure, though perhaps you could also say that "Gušt is priceless." We believe that all of us have some ultimate pleasure, for which we would give our last penny. Because we dedicate Sunday for Gušt — a day for family and friends, for our hobbies and wishes. A day to live well. And during COVID, this has become more difficult but all the more important.
Saturday is our "Not Forgotten" day. We believe that it is essential to remember and mention our colleagues who gave the most value they had- their lives. This is just our small contribution to pay tribute to them. We can't change the COVID 19 situation at the moment. We can only do our part. The pandemic affects all of us. Some of us have lost a family member or friend, some have lost contracts or jobs, and for many the isolation is causing mental health issues. At EOKHUB, the lockdown and limitations have affected us as well. We planned to visit several factories and projects across the globe but shelved these plans for the foreseeable future. In these challenging times, we are trying to support our followers by offering them to arrange webinars, online events, or other online activities. With a simple goal, spread independent voice across the globe.
Today almost two years after we started EOKHUB, we are still in the beginning. Only with greater plans than in the beginning. Why? Because we understand the explosive ordnance sector much better today, than we did two years ago, even though we all come from different spheres of explosive ordnance. Most importantly, we listened and heard opinions and points of views, we did not know before.
Plans: Certainly, COVID has complicated every aspect of daily life, including our plans. But we can say that we have a lot of ideas. We are just finishing our test ground. This will allow us to spend more time in evaluating equipment in order to gain an in-depth understanding and knowledge of each equipment. We are working to make our testing more comprehensive and more versatile. There are many heroes in the field we would like to honour and introduce to our followers. For sure, our main challenge will be the state-of-the-art technology, due to numerous reasons, one of them being that it is not tested enough. Our main goal is to independently promote the explosive ordnance sector and its quality by sharing knowledge where we find it.
We would like to wish your readers all the best and offer a toast to a better and brighter 2021. Gušt!