European competition seeks best satnav ideas
Entrepreneurs have the chance to win prizes totalling a million euros in this year’s European Satellite Navigation Competition. ESA will award a special prize of €10 000 for the best idea and support the business start up at one of its four incubation centres.
Now in its seventh year, the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) is boosting ideas for innovative satnav application and services. More than a thousand ideas were submitted over the first six years, many of which have turned into new businesses in Europe.
Since 2005 ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme Office (TTPO) has been a partner in the competition and for the past two years it has offered a €10 000 ESA Special Topic Prize.
“We are seeking innovative and creative business ideas with the potential for quick market implementation and high economic growth using satellite navigation in non-space business environments,” explained Frank M. Salzgeber, Head of TTPO.
“The winner may be supported at one of our four ESA Business Incubation Centres (BICs) or at an incubation facility of a member of ESINET, the European Space Incubators Network.
“With the support of one of these facilities, the winner will be helped to turn their idea into a viable company. Our scope is to actively promote entrepreneurs and make it possible for them to turn good ideas for using space technology and services into new business in Europe.”
At the BICs they will be assisted by ESA experts, and will have access to space technologies and laboratories. But the support does not stop there. After incubation, TTPO will help the companies to acquire funding through its biannual ESA Investment Forum and the new Open Sky Technologies Fund.
The 2010 contest began on 1 May, and closes on 31 July; competitors are invited to submit their ideas online at ESNC’s website. Twenty-one regions in Germany, France, Israel, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan the UK, the USA, the Middle East and North Africa will offer prizes and support for winning ideas.
The winner of the Galileo Master grand prize of €20 000, as well as regional and special topic prizes, will be recognised at an awards ceremony in the Munich Residenz, Munich, Germany on 18 October.
The competition is being organised by Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen, which since 2009 has been responsible for running the fourth ESA BIC.
For more information on the 2010 ESNC competition, visit http://www.galileo-masters.eu
Technology Transfer Programme Office
The main mission of the TTPO is to facilitate the use of space technology and space systems for non-space applications, and to demonstrate the benefits of the European space programme to European citizens. The TTPO is responsible for defining the overall approach and strategy for the transfer of space technologies, including the incubation of start-up companies and their funding.