Turn your satnav idea into business

Galileo satnav system
3 May 2013

Ready to take the next step with your satnav idea? ESA’s business incubation centres are offering help through this year’s European Satellite Navigation Competition.

For the tenth time, the competition is calling for services, products and business innovations that use satellite-based navigation to improve everyday life. 

Also known as the Galileo Masters competition, it gives entrepreneurs from industry, research and universities the chance to present value-added business applications for the emerging satellite navigation market.

Individuals and teams can benefit from cooperating with partner regions and a number of key stakeholders, including ESA, the European Patent Office, the DLR German Aerospace Center and the European Global Navigation Satellite System Agency.

2012 winners
2012 winners

“In recent years, the competition has proven very successful in creating added value for satellite navigation technology both in Bavaria and on a global scale,” notes Bavarian State Minister Martin Zeil.

“With one-third of the previous winners having founded a company and around 80% of the presented applications having been implemented, the competition has shown its ability to spur innovation and support the creation of new businesses in the emerging satellite navigation market,” confirms Thorsten Rudolph, managing director of competition organiser Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen. 

ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme has been a partner since 2005 and is offering the special innovation prize. Last year ESA received 120 proposals.

ESA Innovation Prize winner
ESA Innovation Prize winner

“In this year’s competition, the €10 000 ESA Innovation Prize is once again looking for innovative ideas for the commercial use of space technology in other areas of the economy that can be immediately implemented and quickly nurtured into profitable businesses,” says Frank M. Salzgeber, head of ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme Office. 

Previous winners of ESA’s Innovation Prize include a novel application to guide visitors around indoor exhibition centres, a facility to help position offshore ships with centimetre accuracy, a system to spot pollution in waterways and a first aid mobile app to helps people in distress.

ESA Business Incubation Centres

In addition to the ESA cash prize, the winner will have the chance to create a start-up and bring the winning idea to life in the incubation programme at one of the Agency’s seven ESA Business Incubation Centres or one of the European Space Incubators Network member institutions. 

Participants can choose between 25 partner regions throughout 18 European countries, Japan, Mexico and the Middle East/North Africa area, each to award a prize designed to support its regional winner’s business case. Among the regional winners, the best is awarded the grand Galileo Master prize. In addition, participants can compete for the seven special prizes.

The competition is open to all entrepreneurs, inventors, teams and individuals – including from non-participating European regions.

Prize statuettes

All prizes focus on helping participants to take the next step with their business cases. This year’s prize pool is worth around €1 million, between cash prizes and the value of business incubation, coaching, patent consulting, prototyping and marketing support, access to customers and user communities, and publicity.

Proposals must be submitted online before 30 June 2013 at www.galileo-masters.eu, where all competition details are provided. All winners will be announced at a festive awards ceremony in Munich, Germany, on 5 November 2013.

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