Navigate your ideas into the future
Come up with a great new idea on how to use satellite navigation to make life easier here on Earth and you can win prizes to help turn the idea into a real business.
From 1 April to 30 June, the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) – the largest international competition for the commercial use of satellite navigation – is again in search of outstanding ideas and business models.
Renowned institutions and regional partners are set to award prizes worth a total of over €1 million in more than 20 categories.
This year's ESNC competition and the Copernicus Masters Earth observation competition were kicked-off in Brussels 5 April. The regional dimension of the EU Space Strategy and the innovation the competitions are promoting together with fostering of entrepreneurship across Europe were hot topics of the roundtable discussions. The regional dimension of the EU Space Strategy and the innovation arising from the competitions together with the fostering of entrepreneurship across Europe were hot topics of the roundtable discussions. The event offered the perfect chance to interact with the European space community and experience first-hand how the partners of the innovation network drive space-related spin-off topics.
Since 2004, the competition has evolved into the leading means of scouting for innovation in Galileo-related applications across Europe and beyond. Moreover, it promotes the transformation of ground breaking business ideas into market-ready products and new ventures.
Of the more than thousand ideas submitted in earlier competitions, many have been turned into new growing European companies and several been nurtured in their start-up phase at one of the 19 ESA Business Incubation Centres.
Elżbieta Bieńkowska, EC Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, emphasises that, “The investment in space technologies and applications as well as the support of forward-thinking entrepreneurs and startups ensure Europe’s increased competitiveness.
“To achieve this ultimate goal, the European Satellite Navigation Competition and the Copernicus Masters are a proven platform for trendsetting technologies and business models based on Galileo and Copernicus to implement the new EU Space Strategy.”
Special ESA prize
ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme has been a partner in the competition since 2005 and is offering its €10 000 space solution prize.
ESA looks for an ideathat can be immediately implemented, can quickly be nurtured into a profitable start-up at one ofESA´s Business Incubation Centres and become one of the centre's 140 start-ups supported every year.
Previous winners of the ESA space solution prize include a smart bicycle bell to guide cyclists simply and intuitively, a low-cost, centimetre-accurate, realtime navigator for any localisation system, a novel application to guide visitors around indoor exhibition areas, a facility to help position offshore ships with centimetre accuracy, a system to spot pollution in waterways, and a first aid mobile app to help people in distress.
This year, participants can choose to submit proposals various partner regions. So far, 17 have been confirmed: Asia, Austria, Baden-Württemberg (Germany), Basque Country (Spain), Bavaria (Germany), Catalonia (Spain), Estonia, France, Hesse (Germany), Ireland, Madrid (Spain), The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, UK and the Valencian Community (Spain). More will be joining.
In addition to the ESA space solution prize, special prizes are being offered by the GSA European Global Navigation Satellite System Agency, the DLR German Aerospace Center, and the BMVI German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.
Prototypes can be entered into the Global Navigation Satellite System Living Lab Challenge. Students and research associates can also compete for the he University Challenge.
This year´s competition and the Copernicus Masters began in Brussels on 5 April. To find out more and on how to participate, visit the ESNC website.