ESNC 2016 opens submissions for Galileo-enabled applications

April 4, 2016  - By

esnc16The European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) — the largest international competition for the commercial use of satellite navigation — is once again looking for outstanding ideas and business models. Renowned institutions and regional partners are set to award prizes worth a total of €1 million in more than 25 categories.

The deadline for submissions is June 30.

“In our modern, data-driven economy, satellite navigation is a crucial technology that facilitates constant and reliable object localisation — the bedrock of the Internet of Things,” states an ESNC press release. “Since 2004, the ESNC has evolved into a leading fixture in the New Space Economy by provided a public innovation platform for turning promising ideas into 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 3,500 innovative concepts submitted by over 10,000 total participants.

“Through a one-of-a-kind network that includes the ESA Business Incubation Centres and other incubators across Europe, the ESNC plays a decisive role in the realization of these ideas by supporting the foundation of startups and creating high-tech jobs.”

The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) trend has also emerged in the ideas submitted to the ESNC, which selected a drone application — Poseidron — as its overall winner for the first time in 2015. Developed by the Spanish startup Sincratech Aeronautics, this multicopter is equipped with infrared cameras and uses the European positioning service EGNOS to save lives at sea.


The Poseidron concept UAV.

This year’s winners will take home prizes worth a total of €1 million and be welcomed into the ESNC’s leading innovation network for global satellite navigation systems. Along with cash, the various prize categories on offer primarily include technical, business-related, and legal support in realising the winning business models.

A jury of international experts from the realms of research and industry will also evaluate the winners of all the categories to select an overall winner, who will be revealed at the annual awards ceremony.

Those who enter the ESNC also stand to benefit greatly from the opportunity to work closely with leading institutions and regional partners. The ESNC is geared towards individuals and teams from companies, research facilities, and universities around the world. Those interested can enter the competition from 1 April to 30 June 2016 at

In ESNC 2016, prizes are sponsored by the following partner regions and institutions: the European Space Agency (ESA), the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), and the Horizon 2020 project BELS. Prototypes can also be entered into the GNSS Living Lab Challenge.

The University Challenge, meanwhile, is explicitly designed for students and university research assistants. This year’s confirmed partner regions are: Asia, Austria, Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, the Czech Republic, Flanders, France, Galicia, Hesse, Ireland, Israel, Lithuania, Madrid, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Valencia.

The official website offers all the relevant information on the prizes, partners, and terms of participation involved in the ESNC.

ESNC and Copernicus Masters Info Day is scheduled for June 2 at the European Space Solutions conference in The Hague. Those interested will also have further opportunities to meet the ESNC’s organisers and their partners at numerous regional kickoff events across Europe in April and May.

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