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Competition opens for EUR 1 mn satnav business ideas

Paris, France: If you have a great new idea for commercially using satellite navigation, it is time to come forward. You may win funding and support to bring your idea to life, in this year’s European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC). Now in its eighth year, with the prize pool worth about EUR 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 Programme (TTP) has been a partner in the competition since 2005 and for the last four years has offered the EUR 10 000 ESA Innovation Prize.

Frank M. Salzgeber, Head of TTP explained, “Ideas 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.”
“Our end objective is to create wealth and jobs by helping entrepreneurs to become viable companies.”

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

Ideas must be submitted before 30 June 2012. Winners will be announced at the award ceremony in Munich, Germany, on 25 October. More information on the competition is provided on the ESNC website at www.galileo-masters.eu.

Source: ESA