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Thousands now compete for a parabolic flight and much more

25/05/2018 12823 views 0 likes
ESA / Applications / Telecommunications & Integrated Applications / Technology Transfer

World biggest space application hackathon ActInSpace is kicked off today in 5 continents, 35 countries, 73 cities, and with 3345 participants.

Organised by CNES, ESA and the ESA Business Incubation Centre (ESA BIC) Sud France, it is a competition where participants have to work with space technologies to come up with products and services to improve our day to day live here on Earth.

The candidates who come from all sorts of different backgrounds have 24 hours and not a minute longer to build their team, put their project together and prepare their pitch. Then tomorrow comes the presentation to a panel of professionals.

Fostering entrepreneurial spirit and new companies and jobs
Fostering entrepreneurial spirit and new companies and jobs


The teams are assisted by engineering and business coaches on hand to help them to develop their ideas and to present the projects to the judging panel.

Beyond and above the prices available the real goal of ActInSpace is to develop entrepreneurship spirit and to turn these inspirational ideas into start-ups and jobs.

From its first French ActInSpace edition the hackathon has gone European, and now even world-wide with the participant from 35 countries in 5 continents.

“CNES is the designer of ActInSpace and the organiser in France,” said Didier Lapiere, Technology Transfer Officer at CNES.

“ESA is responsible for the extension to Europe and beyond and delegates the operational aspects to ESA Business Incubation Centre Sud France.”

“My biggest expectation is that a lot of ideas will make the cases to the ESA Business Incubation Centres or other incubation centres,” said Frank M. Salzgeber, Head of Technology Transfer and Business Incubation Office in ESA.

“We look to foster companies with products for the marked which will be sold to customers.”

“The idea is one of the only ways to move from old traditional companies to fresh new ones,” said Arnaud Deligny, Airbus DS engineer and ActInSpace coach.

“We need to join technological experts from the space business with the fresh new generation to work all together just one full day to merge the competences into disruptive innovations. That is exactly what ActInSpace is doing”.

“The partnership between ActInSpace and Airbus has a lot of interest for young people, with the possibility to be in contact with engineers, having support from experienced people,” said Philippe Lattes, Contract Officer ESA BIC Sud France.

“For Airbus it allows its own employees to be involved and to support young people.”

“I am hoping to learn how the programme works and see if we can implement something similar in The States or even join the CNES version,” said Daniel P Lockney Technology Transfer Programme Executive at NASA.

Each city and country will select the most promising team for the international final in Toulouse on Wednesday 27 June at the Toulouse Space Show 2018. If a country has several cities among the winners, it will select its best team to go forward to the final.

Airbus is once again the gold sponsor and event partner this year, sending experts to the competition, setting a number of challenges and providing two prizes.

ActInSpace’s growing reputation has attracted many new partners, among them Air Zero G, CLS, GSA, EBAN, Invivo, Qwant, FabSpace, Invest In Toulouse and Toulouse Business School. Some of them are also offering prizes or setting challenges for the teams to solve.

ActInSpace 2016 prize winners
ActInSpace 2016 prize winners

The first prize will be a parabolic flight aboard the Airbus Zero-g aircraft used for microgravity experiments and training, giving the winning team the unique chance to experience weightlessness. This prize is sponsored by Air Zero G and ESA.

Watch the video to learn more.



To turn the great ideas and ActInSpace projects into new European companies, ESA and its Technology Transfer and Business Incubation Office encourage the participants to join one of ESA´s Business Incubation Centres throughout Europe. More than 600 new start-ups have been fostered at the 18 centres, which are taking in 150 new applicants each year.

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