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Innovation Through Technology Transfer: ESA Offering Innovation Prize for Satellite Navigation

  • ESA posts innovation award as part of sixth European Satellite Navigation Competition
  • Technology transfer programme seeks terrestrial applications for space technologies
  • €10,000 prize for the best business plan

When Frank M. Salzgeber - Head of the Technology Transfer Programme Office of the European Space Agency (ESA) - talks about technology transfer, he means quite a bit more than patent sales.

"The really interesting innovations come from the interdisciplinary transfer of technologies, or the 'recycling' of technologies in new areas of application, if you like," he says, referring to the ambitions of the ESA programme in marketing space technologies, applications and know-how to stimulate cross-industry innovation throughout Europe.

Supporting start-ups is one focus topic of the Technology Transfer Programme. Recently, an increasing number of young companies base their business ideas on satellite navigation and related services. Virtually no other space technology is as exemplary in its demonstration of how Europe's space research can be used for commercial purposes, from more traditional applications in the automotive industry to uses further outside the box in the market for computer games. With its innovation prize for satellite navigation applications, ESA seeks to provide even more impetus to realising the transfer potential of this technology and promote business concepts based on knowledge transfer and innovative technological combinations.

This year's European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC), a globally recognised innovation contest, is once again providing the ideal platform for this award. The aim is to establish the best idea on the market in a short period of time with the technical and financial support of the Technology Transfer Programme. The winner will also be awarded €10,000.

Those wishing to participate can present their innovation application idea in the form of a coherent business plan by July 31, 2009. Participation is based online at the ESNC idea database (; following registration, participants can download a format template for their business plan.

Press contact:
Ulrike Daniels
Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen
Sonderflughafen Oberpfaffenhofen, Gebäude 319
82205 Gilching
Tel.: +49(0)8152-9099047
Fax: +49(0)8153-987555
Facts and data on the European Satellite Navigation Competition
The European Satellite Navigation Competition is an international innovation contest that awards the best ideas for applications in satellite navigation. The competition has been organised by Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen since 2004 and is oriented toward companies, entrepreneurs, research institutes, universities, and private individuals. Having begun with three partner regions, this year's ESNC will be held in 17 high-tech regions all over the world: Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Nice / Sophia Antipolis, Prague, South Holland, Madrid, Lombardy, Australia, Taiwan, and Great Britain, as well as newcomers Øresund, Gipuzkoa, Switzerland, and Israel.
The ESNC is intended to further strengthen international collaboration among these regions, particular with regard to the development of applications and services made possible by the European satellite navigation system Galileo. The competition is held under the patronage of the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Infrastructure, Transport and Technology and is supported by Messe München GmbH. The main winners of the ESNC - the GALILEO Master, the special prize winners, and the 17 regional winners - will be recognised at a state reception to be held at the Munich Residenz on October 21, 2009.

About the ESA Technology Transfer Programme

The main mission of ESA's TTPO is to facilitate the use of space technology and space systems for non-space applications and to further demonstrate the benefit of the European space programme to European citizens. The TTPO is responsible for defining the overall approach and strategy for the transfer of space technologies including the incubation of start-up companies and their funding.

Ulrike Daniels | Anwendungszentrum GmbH
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