ESA Grand Challenge
The ESA Grand Challenge is a contest aimed at creating a new European ecosystem of entrepreneurs and start-up companies competing to develop solutions that address complex problems.
ESA is looking for your ideas to shape the future by fostering innovation throughout Europe.
ESA Grand Challenge a Space 4.0 initiative
The objectives of the ESA Grand Challenges are:
- To identify new or unorthodox ideas, solutions or approaches to particular challenges, and new talents;
- To demonstrate the feasibility or potential of particular technologies;
- To promote development and diffusion of specific technologies or business sectors;
- To address intractable or neglected societal challenges;
- To educate the public about the excitement and usefulness of research and innovation;
- To maximize benefits from creativity exercises/contest through creation, development and exploitation of unforeseen spin-off businesses (serendipity effect).
The ESA Grand Challenge will create a unique disruptive dynamic, reaching out to wider communities of problem solvers, proposing inspiring goals that are far from market reach to attract unconventional approaches to innovation.
Role of the sponsor
The exceptional challenge will be developed and designed in close coordination with a commercial partner – the sponsor. This partner will have a crucial role in all phases of the Grand Challenge.
With the technical support of ESA space engineers, the sponsor defines a problem to be solved (a technical, scientific or societal challenge), the reward for solving it, and the rules of the contest.
The sponsor will also be part of the evaluation board that assesses the different entries and determines the winner/s.
The reward is often a large bursary, but it may also consist of credible commitments by future buyers to purchase a given quantity of a product that satisfies specified criteria in which case, the prize is used as a pre-commercial procurement tool.
How does the sponsor benefit?
ESA is looking for sponsors from non-space sectors.
The ESA Grand Challenge sponsorship package results in the development of a customized set of assets that have been developed to meet the needs and objectives of the sponsor’s product or service.
These assets, developed in cooperation with ESA, represent the core benefit to the sponsor.
Specific benefits to sponsors include:
- Increased outreach via marketing and promotions by association with the ESA brand, and raised general public awareness on a given brand, sector or issue.
- Acquired assets and resources comprise: intellectual property rights, contact with talented researchers and problem solvers, and exclusive procurement rights on innovative technologies.
ESA Grand Challenge is investigating potential domains for competitions. This includes:
- Asteroid/Moon mining in-situ resource utilisation
- Space for physically challenged people
- Cyber security
- Mobility (autonomous vehicles, drones)
- The UN sustainable development goals
To submit your ideas for a grand challenge, act quickly and contact the ESA team at: email@example.com
Last update: 14 March 2017