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Satnews Daily
April 9th, 2015

A Million Euros Are @ Stake In The European Satellite Navigation Competition

[SatNews] The Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 are currently top of the list for both the digital economy and traditional industrial sectors.

Indeed, localization technology has become essential for either of these realms. In an interconnected world, constant and reliable localization is crucial to the communications taking place among countless "things." Satellite navigation is also an integral component of these forward-thinking areas. Each year, the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) recognizes the best products, services, and innovations that leverage satellite navigation in our daily lives.

"Satellite navigation is an essential element of modern mobility and a key technology in particular, in the age of a data-driven economy. This is exactly where the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) comes in. It provides a public platform to the creative community in order to help promising ideas turn into solutions that are commercially mature and generate added value for society." said Alexander Dobrindt, Germany's Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). "I was delighted to once again assume the patronage of the ESNC this year and I am glad that I can now play my part in continuing its success story."

In addition to taking home prizes worth a total of 1 million euros, this year's winners will become part of the world's leading innovation network in global satellite navigation systems (GNSS). In addition to cash prizes, winners of the 30 prize categories in the ESNC 2015 profit primarily from the assistance they receive in implementing their business models. A jury of international research and industry experts will then select the year's overall champion from among the winners of these categories, which comes with an additional EUR 20,000 and access to a six-month incubation programme in the champion's preferred region.

"Those who enter the ESNC benefit in particular from our global network, which provides them with tailored support in developing their business concepts and bringing them to market," said Thorsten Rudolph, managing director of Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen.

Meanwhile, ESNC entrants particularly benefit from the chance to work closely with world class institutional and regional partners. The competition is geared toward individuals and teams from companies, research institutes, and universities across the globe. Those interested can participate from April 1st to June 30th at http://www.esnc.eu/.

"As the Galileo satellite constellation continues to expand, efforts to promote corresponding applications will become increasingly important. This is where the ESNC is already playing a key role," points out Matthias Petschke, the European Commission's director of satellite navigation programs. "As such, the Commission is definitely looking forward to seeing the creative and innovative GNSS-based applications submitted this year."

ESNC 2015 participants can choose from more than 20 participating regions that stand ready to help them make their business ideas a reality. They also have the option of entering their ideas for one of the special topic prizes on offer, which will increase their chances of being named the overall champion. This year's special topic prizes are being sponsored by: the European GNSS Agency (GSA), the European Space Agency (ESA), the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and the Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) in cooperation with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). In addition, entrants are welcome to submit prototypes to the GNSS Living Lab Challenge, while the University Challenge specifically addresses students and research assistants.

For the first time, the starting signal for these two leading innovation competitions in satellite navigation and Earth observation is to be sounded at a combined kickoff event. This gathering, which is scheduled to take place on April 21st from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the House of Commons in London, is expected to draw high-ranking representatives from both of the networks involved, including from the European Commission, ESA, GSA, BMVI, Airbus Defence & Space, T-Systems, Innovate UK, and SA Catapult. Meanwhile, numerous other national kickoff events will be taking place across Europe in April and May.