Where are they now?

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Through its hackathons, matchmaking, challenges and business accelerator, CASSINI has invested a significant amount of money into a lot of EU Space-based companies.

Leveraging the support they received via the CASSINI initiative, companies of all shapes and sizes have gone on to develop some very cool space-based solutions.

If you are a frequent flyer here at euspa.eu, you’ve probably read about CASSINI, the European Commission’s initiative geared to supporting entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs developing innovative applications and services that leverage the EU Space Programme.

Through its hackathons, matchmaking, challenges and business accelerator, CASSINI has provided financial support to almost 600 companies from all European Union countries.

But CASSINI’s impact doesn’t stop with the cash. 

Leveraging the support they received via the CASSINI initiative, these companies have gone on to develop some very cool space-based solutions.

Take for example Arkadia Space, a Spanish orbital propulsion company. Since its involvement in the 2022 and 2023 editions of the Cassini Matchmaking, the company has designed, developed and brought to market a cost-effective propulsion system based on green propellants. Most recently, Arkadia Space closed on a EUR 2.8 million seed round of funding – an investment it plans to put towards boosting its R&D efforts and conducting an in-orbit demonstration of its technology. 

Two other Matchmaking alumni, Orbital Matter and Dreamwaves, have also seen significant growth since their involvement with CASSINI. The former is developing an in-orbit 3D printing solution that will make manufacturing space infrastructure components faster and cheaper. The Polish start-up, which bills itself as a space-based construction company, finalised EUR 1 million in financing to demonstrate their solution in a microgravity environment and to invest in novel use cases for their technology.

Dreamwaves introduces cutting-edge technology for intuitive navigation using spatial audio. The approach enhances scalability and ease of deployment with a novel localization method. Leveraging spatial audio, the technology provides dynamic three-dimensional sound placement around the user, creating an immersive experience that adjusts to movements. The localization technique uses deep learning to correlate smartphone images with map data, improving AR experiences without extensive 3D mapping reliance. 

"We are immensely proud that our project has been honoured with the Seal of Excellence of the European Innovation Council recognising the high quality of our innovative idea but also validates the diligent research we have conducted and our ambitious vision for the future. The ongoing support from the EUSPA, ever since our first challenge back in 2020, has been crucial in achieving this success, demonstrating the pivotal role that these collaborations have played in our journey," declared Hugo Furtado, Dreamwaves CEO.

From challenges to hackathons 

On the CASSINI Challenges side of the equation there’s Artificial Brain, whose idea to optimise EO satellite scheduling using quantum computing took home the top prize in 2022 (when the contest was called the ‘myEUspace competition’). Last year the company, which now has offices in Europe, the US and India, earned a mention in the prestigious Nature India journal for its involvement with the precise placement of wind turbines. 

Another winner, QuSide, was awarded for their idea on combining quantum machine learning with Galileo and Copernicus data as a means of optimising connectivity and computing. The Barcelona-based company’s flagship Quantum Random Number Generation (QRNG) product is already making waves in the market, with the innovative cloud service having launched on Amazon Web Services.

And let’s not forget our latest CASSINI Hackathon winners, which includes Hiris Guider. The Cyprus-based startup developed a platform service for evaluating emergency evacuation plans and scenarios using Copernicus data on land cover, vegetation, moisture and forests, along with data about population density.

After winning the top prize in 2023, the company received six months of business mentorship, including from EUSPA’s team of market experts. Most recently Hiris Guider successfully tested its algorithms on a case study involving wildfires in Rhodes.

You can’t win if you don’t play

This is but a small sampling of a long list of companies that have benefited from the CASSINI initiative – a list that continues to expand. 

“Winning the CASSINI Challenges was transformative for our company, allowing us to refine our technology, expand our market reach, and open doors to new applications,” says Morten Fjord Pedersen, co-founder and CEO of ClearSky Vision, a start-up using deep learning algorithms to deliver cloud-free Sentinel-2 images. “10 out of 10, we would do it again.”

And so should you! 

But, as they say, you can’t win if you don’t play. So don’t delay, go here to learn about the latest opportunities being offered by the CASSINI initiative. 

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) 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 republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the EUSPA website (http://www.euspa.europa.eu).

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