The European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) – the largest international competition for the commercial use of satellite navigation – is once again in search of outstanding ideas and business models. Renowned institutions and regional partners are set to award prizes worth a total of over EUR 1 million in more than 20 categories, including multimodal logistics, the Internet of Things & Machine-to-Machine communication, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, and smart cities.
Each year the competition offers great advantages to more than 400 business ideas. Since 2004 it has already awarded prizes to more than 300 winners, which represent just a fraction of the more than 3,700 innovative concepts submitted by over 11,000 total participants. Together with the ESA Business Incubation Centres, and other incubators across Europe as well as the brand new E-GNSS Accelerator co-funded by the European Commission, the ESNC plays a decisive role in supporting the foundation of startups and creating high-tech jobs.
One of the main objectives is fostering the European space sector’s competitiveness globally by boosting the development of commercial space applications especially for startups, SMEs and young entrepreneurs. In addition, advancing Europe’s space programmes and meeting user needs, especially when it comes to space data access to encourage alternative business models and technological progress, represent major goals of this strategy.
This year’s ESNC patronage taken over by Markku Markkula, President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), sets the tone for the innovation competition’s pan-European mission of uniting the European regions and cities through the support of space-related businesses and future-oriented entrepreneurs, increasing the market and user uptake of Galileo.
“The European Committee of the Regions attaches great importance to the new opportunities linked to the involvement of European regions in innovation networks, such as the European Satellite Navigation Competition. I have therefore gladly taken on the role of patron for the ESNC as of 2017.” - said Markku Markkula, President of the European Committee of the Regions.
ESNC 2017 is equipped with the E-GNSS Accelerator program. The Accelerators provides a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs and startups to accelerate their business case on a broad scale and bring their products and services to market. The E-GNSS Accelerator will run for three years and will directly support the winners of the ESNC 2017, 2018 and 2019. Thereby, the participants await even more prizes, services and three further business incubations worth an additional value of EUR 500,000.
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 2017 at www.esnc.eu.