ESA space solutions prize drives start-up market entry

8 June 2017

The European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) is a powerful deal pipeline for future-oriented applications and services for the unique ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) network. 

The competition's ESA space solutions Prize offers entrepreneurs the chance to take their business idea to market and access to 20 BIC’s across Europe. In addition, the winner of this special prize receives a cash prize worth EUR 10,000.

SIGN UP NOW until 30 June 2017.

Searching smart space-based solutions

The ESA Technology Transfer Programme Office (TTPO) finds and supports new ideas for the commercial use of space technology. Technology transfer from non-space sectors into space and vice versa is of high interest. In the ESNC, it is provided with an outstanding source of innovative business ideas based on global satellite navigation systems (GNSS) in virtually every field of industry. Launching new businesses in Europe with specific focus on the downstream market of GNSS applications is one of the main mutual objectives of both TTPO and the ESNC.  

Benefit boost for start-ups

Next to comprehensive support of an ESA BIC incubation with its large European network and profiting from a EUR 10.000 cash prize, participants are encouraged to make use of a particular portfolio of ESA patents to develop new business ideas. All ideas exploiting E-GNSS signals or making use of a technology developed in the context of the Galileo User Uptake are invited to compete for the ESA space solutions® Prize. The winner may benefit from ESA’s direct support through one of its BICs to enter the market with an innovative product or service. Participating start-ups are to be no older than five years.

Whether start-ups or spin-offs, ESA BICs help to create viable business and new jobs by providing support to over 130 companies every year in Europe. More than 400 new companies have received support to date. One of the most successful incubators is ESA BIC Bavaria, managed by AZO, the instigator of the ESNC, with 123 supported start-ups generating over EUR 140 million annual turnover.

There are several successful cases scouted by the ESNC and supported along the European space value chain each year. The following start-up is just one prime example of how business is boosted ESNC space-style, from the initial idea to market entry.  

ESNC special prize winners collaborate with Airbus

ESA space solutions winner 2014Access the image

The ESA space solutions® Prize winners in ESNC 2014, SENSOLOUS with their service STICKNTRACK, recently closed a major deal with Airbus optimising its supply chain. With STICKNTRACK, a plug-and-play location tracker that includes acceleration and tilt sensors, Airbus implements IoT functionalities into their operational processes. 

Its intelligent combination of technology and software provides a tracking solution that consumes up to 40 times less power and lowers life-cycle costs by 50%, compared to existing compact GPRS/GPS products.

Thanks to STICKNTRACK’s integration into the Airbus IoT platform, Airbus can now follow-up on thousands of recyclable packages in real-time as they transit through various warehouses and international departments. This enables the entire group to manage and optimise the logistics activities efficiently.

ESNC EPO winner 2013 now nominated for European Patent Office Inventor Award

The ESNC just recently proved that its pioneering participants shape the future of Europe’s GNSS. A brilliant team of inventors, the ESNC EPO winners 2013, have developed innovative radio signals for better satellite navigation in a truly ground-breaking way. Now they are among the finalists of the European Inventor Award 2017 in the research category.

It is time for more young start-ups to write their own chapter of the ESNC success story.

SIGN UP NOW until 30 June 2017 at

About the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC)

The ESNC’s annual search for new services, products, and business innovations is designed to encourage the use of satellite navigation in everyday life. Over more than 10 years, it has evolved into the leading innovation competition comprising partner regions worldwide, the largest space-related incubation network and the most relevant European GNSS stakeholders. The ESNC’s newest feature is Europe’s largest E-GNSS Accelerator, providing more prizes, services and three further business incubations.

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