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European Satellite Navigation Competition 2008 seeks innovative SatNav ideas

Do you have a great idea for the use of satellite navigation? If so you could win one of the prizes in this year’s European Satellite Navigation Competition, supported by ESA through its Technology Transfer Programme Office.

The 2008 European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) was inaugurated on 1 May. Now in its fifth year, the competition is again seeking quick-to-market innovative ideas for the use of satellite navigation in non-space businesses.

Since the competition began in 2004, an amazing 650 outstanding ideas on how to use satellite navigation have been presented. In 2007 alone, more than 250 proposals were submitted from all over Europe.

The ESNC is far more than a think tank for future applications for Galileo, Europe’s own global navigation satellite system, it also acts as a catalyst for new high-tech industry in Europe. Several of the ideas proposed in the competition have already been developed into successful businesses.

The ESA special prize

For 2008, ESA through its Technology Transfer Programme Office is introducing a special prize. The winner will receive direct support at one of the three ESA business incubation centres located at: ESTEC in the Netherlands, ESOC in Germany and ESRIN in Italy. Here they will be assisted by ESA’s top experts and have access to space technologies. People from all over the world can apply under the conditions of the local support scheme.

How to take part

The competition is open from 1 May to 31 July 2008 to companies, entrepreneurs, research institutes, universities and individuals from all over the world. Entries should be made online at the competition website where more details can be found.

Now supported by 13 regions

The success of previous years has spurred competition from beyond Europe. This year, regions in Taiwan and Australia have joined in addition to the other high-tech regions which are: Lombardy, Italy; Madrid, Spain; Nice/Sophia-Antipolis, France; Prague, Czech Republic; Queensland, South Holland; United Kingdom and Ireland, and the German states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony.

For the regional competitions ESA is also participating in South Holland, the Netherlands, the site of the ESA Incubation Centre at ESTEC, and in Hesse, Germany, where the ESA Incubation Centre at ESOC Darmstadt is located.

Regional panels, made up of experts from industry and research in each of the 13 regions, will select the regional finalists; then an international panel of experts will select the overall winner. Expert panels from the special topic sponsors will select the topic winners.

The overall winner will be awarded the ‘Galileo Master 2008’, which includes a grant of 20 000 Euro plus an office and six-month’s support to help convert the proposal into a business product at a business incubator in the region to which they submitted their idea.

All the winners will be announced at an official presentation on 21 October 2008 at the International SYSTEMS Trade Fair in Munich.

Frank Salzgeber | alfa
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