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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 12:39 EDT

Win Funding For Satnav Business Ideas

May 4, 2012
Image Caption: Europe's Galileo navigation system. Credits: ESA - J.Huart

If you have a great new idea for commercially using satellite navigation, it´s time to come forward. You may win funding and support to bring your idea to life, in this year´s European Satellite Navigation Competition.

Now in its eighth year, the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) is boosting ideas for innovative satnav application and services with business potential.

With the prize pool worth about 1 million in cash awards, business incubation, coaching, patent consulting, prototyping and marketing support, many ideas will be backed.

Out of more than thousand ideas submitted in earlier competitions, many have been turned into new European businesses.

“I call on Europe´s entrepreneurs, SMEs and industry to seize this opportunity to promote ideas and bring lucrative business products, based on satnav applications to market,” said EC Vice-President Antonio Tajani when introducing this year´s competition.

“The ESNC fosters innovation in satellite navigation applications on a global scale.”

ESA´s Technology Transfer Program (TTP) has been a partner in the competition since 2005 and for the last four years has offered the 10 000 ESA Innovation Prize.

“We look for innovative and creative business ideas using satellite navigation in a non-space setting,” explains Frank M. Salzgeber, Head of TTP.“They must have potential for quick market implementation and high economic growth.

“The winner may also be supported at one of our six ESA Business Incubation Centres throughout Europe or at an incubation facility part of ESINET, the European Space Incubators Network.

“Here, the winner is helped to turn the idea into a viable business.

“Our end objective is to create wealth and jobs by helping entrepreneurs to become viable companies.

“We help by making it possible for them to turn good ideas for using space technology and services into new business to strengthen Europe and its global competitiveness.”

After the business incubation period of typically 1—2 years, ESA could further help the companies to get access to funding through the TTP organized ESA Investment Forum and the Open Sky Technologies Fund.

The fund was established on ESA initiative to provide funding for start-up and early-stage companies using space technology and services in terrestrial applications.

What counts is your idea

No matter whether you propose your idea as an individual or a team from a company, a research institute, a university, or a start-up company, what counts is your idea. ESNC is looking for applications based on satellite navigation that use the technology in new ways.

To participate, first take a look at the more than 20 partner regions to choose the prize that best fits your plan for realizing your idea. In addition, ideas can be submitted for the special or prototyping prizes.

ESNC´s overall Galileo Master winner will be selected from among all the regional and special prize winners, and receive the grand cash prize of 20 000.

Ideas must be submitted before 30 June 2012. Winners will be announced at the award ceremony in Munich, Germany, on 25 October.

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Source: ESA