Aerospace technologies - particularly those involving satellite navigation - already see myriad uses in our everyday lives. Logistics and transportation are just two of the more established fields of application. The ESNC has been unearthing the most innovative ideas for satellite navigation applications every year since 2004 and is setting new trends with its challenges, such as in the fields of "Seamless Mobility", "Connected Vehicles", and "Smart Navigation".
"The ESNC is about great ideas, applications, and business concepts, but even more about putting them into practice. To that end, we work closely with more than 20 high-tech regions and international industry and research partners," explains Thorsten Rudolph, managing director of competition organiser Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO). "We're happy to welcome HPI Fleet as our new title and special prize sponsor and are particularly pleased to have the support of the European Commission and NOKIA Location & Commerce, whose contributions to this year's competition are set to make the ESNC even more enticing to our partners and participants alike."
The European Commission is now providing the competition's European partner regions and sponsors with financial support that will be passed directly on to the winners in the form of prizes. "The European Satellite Navigation Competition is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for Europe's entrepreneurs, SMEs, and industry to promote ideas and bring lucrative business products, based on satnav applications to market," declares Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission. The figures from years past speak for themselves: Between 2004 and 2011, a total of 1,574 ideas were submitted, and 78% of the winning entries have been successfully realised or are currently still in development. One-third of the winners have founded companies as a result of the ESNC. 1
The international competition welcomes a variety of participants, from companies, research institutes, and universities to entrepreneurs and other private individuals. Entrants can choose from more than 20 regions based on which would make the most suitable partner for realising their ideas. In addition to the open-topic regional prizes, the ESNC's research and industry partners offer special and prototyping prizes as a means of soliciting ideas and solutions for specific fields of application. Overall, a total of around EUR 1 million - including foundation support and patent/marketing consulting in addition to cash prizes - is waiting to be won in this year's competition.
The following industry and research sponsors will be awarding special and prototyping prizes in 2012:
The European GNSS Agency (GSA) is looking for the most promising applications and solutions for the European "GPS augmentation system", EGNOS. The winner will receive six months of support at an European incubation centre of their choice (valued up to EUR 20,000) with a possible extension to 12 months (total possible prize up to EUR 40,000 value)
The European Space Agency (ESA) - represented by its Technology Transfer Programme - will be awarding the ESA Innovation Prize. The winner will receive EUR 10,000 for the best business idea that can be immediately implemented and quickly nurtured into a profitable business through the creation of a start-up company at one of the six ESA Business Incubation Centres (ESA BICs) or other incubators in the European Space Incubators Network (ESINET).
Following the theme "SMART NAVIGATION - with Enriched Constellations", the German Aerospace Center (DLR) wants to see what new procedures, methods, and application ideas ESNC participants can devise in three categories: "GNSS Multi Constellations", "Robust by Design", and "Integrated Applications". The winner will receive five person-months of technical support from DLR (a EUR 50,000 value).
HPI Fleet is looking for innovative ideas that facilitate physical mobility of people. It will welcome any and all ideas that deal with mobility arrangements, travel guidance, and post-travel support with a focus on feasibility and market potential. The winner will receive EUR 10,000 and multinational expert support to implement and commercialise the idea.
The ESNC University Challenge is geared specifically toward students and research associates in any field of study. By focusing on creativity and addressing market needs, it aims to provide entrants with a path from learning in lecture halls to founding their own companies. The winner will receive EUR 1,000 provided by the FP7 project GENIUS (the GNSS Education Network for Industry and UniversitieS) and patent consulting from Awapatent AB (a EUR 5,000 value). The Universität der Bundeswehr München will also provide a free-of charge ticket for the ESA International Summer School on GNSS 2013. The runner-up, meanwhile, will receive a free pass to the Munich Satellite Navigation Summit 2013.
The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) is offering a prize for the most convincing prototype related to the subject of "Connected Vehicle" by integrating GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) into WAVE/DSRC (Wireless Access in the Vehicular Environments/Dedicated Short Range Communications) technology. The selected finalists are to demonstrate their applications at ITRI compound, Taiwan. The winner and finalists will receive cash prizes ranging from EUR 1,000 to EUR 10,000.
The GNSS Living Lab Prize will award one or more winners, who will then have the opportunity to conduct real-world feasibility testing on their prototype in a suitable Living Lab along with relevant user communities and potential future customers.
www.galileo-masters.eu, participants and other interested parties can access all of the information on this year's prizes and partners, the terms of participation, and a direct link to register for the database. Entrants will be able to submit and optimise their ideas whenever they wish between 1 April and 30 June 2012. The winners will then be recognised at the Awards Ceremony to be held at the Allerheiligen-Hofkirche in line with an official State Reception in the prestigious Munich Residenz on 25 October 2012.
About the title sponsor HPI Fleet & Mobility
HPI Fleet & Mobility is Europe's leading independent fleet management company. In 16 countries, it offers a unique service portfolio that covers the entire value chain, from vehicle procurement to remarketing. Along the way, it manages all fleet-related activities for its clients and processes their financial transactions. As a result, they benefit from single consolidated reports and invoices that meet their accounting standards.
HPI Fleet's business strategy is driven by its aim to convert modern fleet management into a holistic mobility management approach. It is centred around the individual's need for seamless and sustainable mobility. For more information, please visit: www.hpifleet.com
About the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC)
The ESNC is an international ideas competition that recognises the best ideas in the field of satellite navigation every year. From companies and research institutes to students and other independent individuals, anyone is free to enter. The only thing that matters is your idea! You will be able to submit your innovations at www.galileo-masters.eu from 1 April to 30 June.