Since 2004, the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) has been identifying and rewarding the best ideas in satellite navigation applications. And ESNC 2012, with some new sponsors and increased European Commission support, will be no exception.
For the fifth year in a row the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is offering a special topic prize for the most innovative application using the European Geostationary Overlay Service (EGNOS). EGNOS, which has been an open and free service in Europe since October 2009, essentially augments current satellite navigation systems, radically improving accuracy and precision of positioning, and enabling current GPS to be used for safety-critical applications such as aviation.
In it to win it
To enter the competition, entrants must submit their idea before 30 June 2012 via the ESNC ‘Galileo Masters’ website [ www.galileo-masters.eu ]. For the GSA prize positioning should be the key enabler of the proposed application and EGNOS must be the primary means of positioning.
The winner of the GSA prize will receive six months of support at the European innovation incubator of their choice with the possibility of extending the assistance to a year. The prize has a maximum value of € 40 000.
The GSA Special Topics Prize in ESNC 2011 went to CATUAV, a small company in Catalonia developing a miniature unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), using GPS and EGNOS to allow safe navigation in controlled airspace.
Good ideas, good business
The ESNC 2012 competition is all about good ideas, applications, and business concepts – but most importantly putting those ideas into practice. The competition organisers,
Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO), work closely with more than 20 high-tech regions and international industry and research partners to ensure that
opportunities are there to enable bright application ideas to develop into profitable businesses.
The figures from previous competitions 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 under development. One-third of the winners have founded companies as a result of the ESNC competition.
New ESNC sponsors
For 2012, ESNC is welcoming HPI Fleet & Mobility as a new title and special prize sponsor and the competition is also pleased to have the support of the European
Commission and ICT giant Nokia.
HPI is a leading European independent vehicle fleet management company and its special prize category is seeking innovative ideas that facilitate the mobility of people. For 2012 the European Commission will be stocking up the competition’s prize pool and Nokia will act as supporting partner of the competition, which will make ESNC 2012 even more attractive for potential participants.
Overall, a total of around € 1 million – including foundation support and patent/marketing consulting in addition to cash prizes – is waiting to be won in this year’s competition.
Participants and other interested parties can access all of the information on this year’s prizes and partners, conditions for participation, and a direct link to register on the database at the ESNC 2012 website [ www.galileo-masters.eu ] . Entrants will be able to submit and optimise their ideas at any time up to the deadline of 30 June 2012.
The winners will be recognised at the Awards Ceremony to be held at the Allerheiligen-Hofkirche in the prestigious Munich Residenz, Munich, Germany on 25 October 2012.
EGNOS, Europe’s ‘pre- Galileo' system, is a satellite-based augmentation system that is currently in operation. It improves the accuracy of the open public service offered by GPS.
The EGNOS Open Service, which is freely available to anyone with an SBAS-enabled receiver, has been available since October 2009 and is suitable for most common location applications. EGNOS was certified for use by civil aviation in March 2011.