European Satellite Navigation Competition 2016 Open for Entries



The 2016 European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC), Europe’s biggest business ideas competition using geo-location technology, is open for entries.

The competition is targeted at individuals or teams with business ideas that use satellite navigation technology for positioning, tracking or timing applications and offers cash prizes and business support to develop your idea.

Entering the ESNC will connect you to a European network of over 130 space-related organisations, giving you a platform to promote your business and the chance to win a share of a €1 million prize fund.

The Satellite Applications Catapult is managing the UK round of the competition, and Stuart Martin, CEO, said: “The success of previous winners iGeolise and Intelligent Precision Farming clearly demonstrates the superb entrepreneurial spirit and innovation that exist in the UK.

“Last year’s UK winner, Durham-based Realsafe Technologies, finished second overall in the competition with their motorcycle crash detection technology. Since their ESNC success, their REALRIDER® App has been the first to be 999 certified connecting riders via their smartphone to the nearest ambulance service in their time of need.

“We encourage any entrepreneurs with an idea using satellite navigation to enter and help create a host of new opportunities within the growing UK space and satellite sector.”

The winner of the UK ESNC will go forward to the overall European Grand Prize with the potential to win the grand prize, which in 2015 was €20,000. This year, the UK ESNC winner will receive:

  • £5,000 and a business support package including intellectual property advice from leading patent attorneys, Marks & Clerk
  • A package of support from the Royal Institute of Navigation including one year’s Guest Small Business Membership of the Institute and an elevator pitch slot at the International Navigation Conference 2016
  • Access to a series of ESA Business Incubator Centre (BIC) support workshops. These cover topics such as; branding, marketing, sales, accountancy, intellectual property, and HR for small businesses. This can be used to help transform the winning idea into a feasible business plan leading to a full application to the ESA BIC Harwell.

Zoe Farrington, CEO of Realsafe Technologies commented: “Taking part in last year’s ESNC was not only eye-opening to the opportunities within the satellite sector for us, but also critical in helping to create connections to refine, improve and grow the use of technology within our product.

“As a result of our win, we have cemented relationships with the Catapult and the European Space Agency where we have been asked to present next month in The Hague. I would strongly recommend anyone interested in taking part to get involved.”

The Catapult and other UK partners are hosting a series of information sessions around the UK over the coming weeks to guide applicants through the process. Each session will be just one hour and provide a great opportunity to test your entry idea.

The Catapult is supported this year by leading patent attorneys Marks & Clerk, the UK Space Agency, Innovate UK, Airbus Defence and Space, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), ESA Business Incubation Centre, Harwell, the Royal Institute of Navigation, Ashby House, and Allen, Everest and Associates.

Dr Tim Watkin, Partner at Marks & Clerk, said: “From the quality of the entries we saw in last year’s competition, it’s clear that ESNC is worth supporting. I’m always excited to help SMEs and start-ups go places and, as a judge, I’m hoping to see innovations which are surprising, even a little bit off-the-wall. They still need to be realistic from an engineering perspective though, as well as having a strong potential market.”

The closing date for applications is 30 June 2016.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to one of the UK team, please email competitions@sa.catapult.org.uk.

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