Pick a satnav prize

Status Report From: European Space Agency
Posted: Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The European Satellite Navigation Competition – the largest international competition for the commercial use of satellite navigation – is again looking for outstanding ideas and business models.

At this year’s competition, institutions and regional partners will award prizes worth a total of €1 million. Winners will also have opportunities to turn ideas into viable companies with support from business incubation centres.

In our modern, data-driven economy, satellite navigation is a crucial service that allows continuous and reliable localisation. Since 2004, the competition has provided a public platform for turning promising ideas into developments of market-ready products.

Each year, the competition unveils new trends and more than 500 business ideas. It has already awarded prizes to more than 270 winners over the years, which represent just a fraction of the nearly 3500 innovative concepts submitted by over 10 000 participants.

Through a one-of-a-kind network that includes the ESA Business Incubation Centres and other incubators across Europe, it plays a decisive role in the realisation of ideas put forward by visionary entrepreneurs by supporting the foundation of startups and creating high-tech jobs in Europe.

Prizes designed to accelerate market launch

Over 20 regional prizes and six special prizes offered by industry and research partners will be awarded to the best proposals in the different categories. Out of these, the overall winner will be awarded the grand prize.

ESA is again contributing its Space Solutions Prize, to be awarded to the top three for the best promising satnav applications that can be developed quickly into a profitable business at one of ESA’s incubators or another facility in the European Space Incubators Network.

“In the past years we have seen so many good proposals that we have decided to split our prize in three: a cash prize of €7000 to the top winner, €2000 to the first runner-up and €1000 to the second runner-up, in addition to possible support at one of our incubation centres to set up their business,” says Frank M. Salzgeber, head of ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme Office.

“We are looking for innovative ideas from entrepreneurs for the commercial use of space technology in other areas of the economy that can be immediately implemented and quickly nurtured into profitable businesses.

“We can help them realise their dream at our incubators at more than 20 locations throughout Europe.”

Previous winners of the ESA prize include alow-cost, compact centimetre-accurate, realtime navigator for any localisation system, anovel application to guide visitors around indoor exhibitions, 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.

Entries are being accepted from 1 April to 30 June.

More on the 2016 European Satellite Navigation Competition here.


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