European Satellite Navigation Competition 2010 expands awards

This page has been archived and is provided for historical reference purposes only.
The content and links are no longer maintained and may now be outdated.

21 April 2010

This year’s European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) started in a grand style, with additional sponsors and prizes announced at Galileo Application Days in Brussels.

ESNC is an international competition held annually under the patronage of the German state of Bavaria to encourage the market development of applications based on the use of satellite navigation, including EGNOS and Galileo. Prizes include cash awards and the use of regional business incubation services.

PedroPedreira_gad2010_200px.jpgPedro Pedreira, the GSA’s Executive Director, said participation in ESNC is part of the GSA’s overall task to foster new applications for EGNOS, and, later on, Galileo. © Ahmed ElAmin

The European GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA) provides support for the competition’s top prize, Galileo Master, in addition to sponsoring one of the Special Topic awards. Pedro Pedreira, the GSA’s Executive Director, said participation in ESNC is part of the GSA’s overall task to foster new applications for EGNOS, and, later on, Galileo. The applications must provide economic and social benefit to Europeans and to European industry.

In his presentation at the launch of ESNC in Brussels on 4 March, Pedreira noted that the EGNOS Open Signal was declared operational in October 2009. The Safety-of-Life Service is scheduled to be certified in 2010.

“In this important year, our aim is that the 2010 GSA ESNC Special Topic Prize helps to further raise awareness of the commercial opportunities created by EGNOS, demonstrates its business potentials and encourages innovation,” he said.

The hosting of Galileo Application Days by the European Commission for ESNC’s annual kick off was a sign of the increased support for the competition, Pedreira said.

The GSA is looking for promising satellite navigation applications that make use of EGNOS signals or services and meet the following criteria:

  • The application should deliver end-to-end functionality to customers using new or existing equipment and systems.
  • Positioning should be a key enabler of the application.
  • GPS and EGNOS should be the primary means of positioning.
  • EGNOS functionality should be used.

Uniqueness and originality of the idea, its business potential (including technical feasibility, commercial feasibility, size of addressable market, and time to market), and the credibility of the team’s management.

The award will provide the winner with access to an incubation centre of his or her choice within the EU27 for up to six months. The winner will also have the option of extending their incubation period for an additional six months. The prize is worth up to €20,000 per six-month period.

“Don’t be shy to explore new avenues,” Pedreira said. “That is what we are looking for.”


Other prizes

In addition to the main Galileo Master prize, there are six other Special Topic Prizes, and 21 regional prizes. Thorsten Rudolph, Managing Director of the Application Centre for Satellite Navigation Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO), the competition’s organiser, said even if applicants do not win at ESNC, they benefit by becoming part of a network. “It is not only a competition but a network that provides access to experts,” he said.

The total prize pool this year is about €1 million, donated by the various sponsors and 21 partner governments. Competitors can apply for prizes sponsored by regions in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Taiwan, Denmark and Sweden, or by countries, such as the UK and Ireland, Australia, Switzerland, Israel and the USA as well as the region of Arab Middle East & North Africa.

They can also apply for Special Topic Prizes. One sponsored by the European Space Agency’s Technology Transfer Programme seeks ideas using satellite navigation in non-space business environments.

NAVTEQ is looking for ideas for location-based services for mobile devices. T-Systems will award the GMES Masters Special Topic Prize to a downstream application that combines satellite navigation and information from Europe’s Earth observation programme, called Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES).

A Special Topic Prize is offered in cooperation with the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL). The GNSS Living Lab will hand out three awards for applications related to health, energy, and media. The prizes are supported by GAINS, a project which received funds from the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7). ENoLL is a European network of 129 living labs.

“The organisation’s participation this year boosts the European Galileo network to the next level,” Rudolph said.

In addition, AZO is launching the first ESNC University Challenge as a prize category. For the University Challenge prize, the competition’s judges will focus on the creativity and market needs rather than on an entry’s technological perfection. The prize is ten days of business coaching with a member of the EU-funded KIS4SAT (Knowledge Intensive Services for Satellite Applications) consortium, complemented by patent consulting and a ticket to ESA’s GNSS Summer School.

Galileo Master, the top prize, will be chosen from the regional and special topic winners. The winning idea will receive a grant of €20,000 from AZO and the GSA along with six-months at an incubation programme.

Applications for prizes can be made online at ESNC from 1 May at The site provides all of the information available on the competition, partner regions and special prizes.

Launch events will also be held by some of the regional and country sponsors. On 18 October, the ESNC awards ceremony will be held in Munich.

Galileo Application Days in Brussels

The event, held 3-5 March, was hosted by the European Commission and was organised by the GSA and AZO.

Galileo, Europe’s global navigation satellite system, is scheduled to become operational in 2014. Fully interoperable with the USA’s GPS and Russia's GLONASS systems, it will provide highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning services. EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) is Europe’s ‘pre- Galileo' system. It improves the accuracy of the open public service offered by GPS.

Over 900 registered participants from research, industry, and politics attended the event along with the Application Village, where projects demonstrated their applications.

“People are seeing that EGNOS and Galileo are not just systems, but ecosystems, and that Europe’s investments in satellite navigation has a return,” said Pedreira. We are showing these tangible returns.”

ESNC Kick Off Events

North-Rhine Westphalia, 16 April, Herne/Germany

  • UK/Ireland, 20 April, London, United Kingdom
  • Israel, 22 April, Tel Aviv
  • Aquitaine, 26 April, Bordeaux/France
  • Oresund, 27 April, Copenhagen & Malmö
  • Taipei, Taiwan, 27/28 April
  • South Holland, 28 April, Noordwijk/The Netherlands
  • Nice Sophia Antipolis,  29 April
  • Valencia, 30 April
  • Hesse, 6 May, Darmstadt/Germany
  • Gipuzkoa, 6 May, San Sebastian/Spain
  • Lombardy, 11 June, Como/Italy

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you do republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (

More information:

European Satellite Navigation Competition 2010
EGNOS Portal

Updated: Sep 03, 2014