Starting today, the European Satellite Navigation Competition 2011 will once again welcome companies, start-ups, research institutions, universities, and even individuals all over the world to submit their innovative ideas in the field of satellite navigation. The overall winner – the Galileo Master – will be chosen from the winners of more than 20 regions in a coopetition.
The Galileo Master will receive a EUR 20,000 prize and the opportunity to realise their project during a six-month incubation programme.
“Keeping an idea in your head doesn’t get you anywhere”, says Thorsten Rudolph, managing director of Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen, which organises the ESNC.
“Through this competition, participants can realise their ideas and establish valuable business relationships.” Until 30 June, participants can enter their ideas at www.galileomasters.eu. This year, they will benefit from a new database that makes the submission process easier. The same applies to the international experts who evaluate the ideas: For the first time, they will be able to access and evaluate the entered ideas directly via the database. In cooperation with Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen, the IT consulting company Schaltzeit GmbH developed the high-performance application that makes this possible. In the course of this cooperation, Schaltzeit became the ESNC’s
innovation IT partner.
With Schaltzeit’s professional experience and expertise, the database is now capable of meeting the requirements of the ever-growing competition. When the competition was first
launched in 2004 under the patronage of the Bavarian State Ministry for Economics, Infrastructure, Transport and Technology, only 14 ideas were entered in three partner
regions. Last year, 548 participants registered. However, the increasing number of participants is not the only sign of the competition’s success; the number of partner regions
has also grown every year. Through the competition, they can establish and distinguish themselves in the emerging market for global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). In 2011,
Catalonia (Spain), Estonia, Macedonia and Croatia joined the ESNC community. Meanwhile, Nice-Sophia Antipolis (France) has been in from the start, demonstrating the region’s belief in the ESNC concept. “At first, it was a way to show our friendship to Bavaria and work on a common venture,” says Jean-François Chapperon of the regional organiser Team Cote d’Azur. “After all these years, however, we know that the competition not only allows our cluster access to networks in all countries and institutions, but also helps us start new projects with investment potential in our region.”
Each region offers a prize to its winners, while special topic prizes sponsored by partners from industry and research add to the prize pool. In 2011, the following special topic prizes will be awarded:
• The European GNSS Agency (GSA) is looking for the most promising EGNOS application idea. The winner gets up to 12 months support in an incubation centre of his choice.
• The European Space Agency (ESA) is awarding the ESA Innovation Prize. The winner gets EUR 10,000 for a business idea that can be implemented immediately and nurtured quickly in one of the five ESA Business Incubation Centres or other incubators of the European Space Incubators Network (ESINET) across Europe.
• The German Aerospace Center (DLR) wants to see “Augmented Navigation Everywhere”. Applications that use EGNOS or involve multi-sensor navigation especially for indoor and mixed environments can win five man-months of DLR services worth EUR 50,000.
• NAVTEQ, the leading global provider of maps, traffic and location data (digital location content) enabling navigation, location-based services and mobile advertising around the world, is searching for location-based Mobile Enterprise Solutions. The prize consists of a 12-month business incubation programme worth EUR 75,000.
• NavCert and IFEN support the GATE Prize. The winning idea will be tested at the Galileo test and development environment (GATE) in Berchtesgaden, Germany. After successful completion, the solution will be certified by TÜV SÜD. In total, the prize is worth EUR 50,000.
• Furthermore, the participants can apply for the GNSS Living Lab Prize. Within the framework of the EU project GAINS, this prize will be awarded in cooperation with the European Network of Living Labs. The winner will receive EUR 10,000 and the opportunity to test their solution at one of the 212 Living Labs with the help of users.
• The ESNC University Challenge specifically addresses students and research associates of all courses of study. The prize aims at paving the way from research to entrepreneurship. Those with the most convincing idea on location-based services get the chance to realise their idea with the support of NAVTEQ and Awapatent.
NAVTEQ’s contribution includes a 12-month business incubation programme worth EUR 75,000, Awapatent AB sponsors patent consulting worth EUR 5,000.
• The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) is offering for the first time a prototyping prize. The best idea on the topic “Connected Vehicle” receives EUR 10,000. Eight finalists will be invited to Taiwan to demonstrate their invention in person.
When entering their ideas, participants can choose whether they want to apply for one of the special topic prizes. Regional participation is mandatory, but the special topic prizes are optional, requiring only that the ideas submitted fit the prize criteria.
The variety of the entered ideas has been enormous in past years, reflecting the versatility of the application areas in satellite navigation and their increasing importance in everyday life.
GNSS-based technology is being used in sectors ranging from logistics, traffic, and transport to in agriculture, communications, security, healthcare, and beyond.