Everything begins with an idea

Published: 
18 February 2024
blue banner with the text: winners of the idea track
The CASSINI Challenges first track – for Ideas – received 100 submissions from 21 countries.

Nomadic herders, border control agents, urban planners and autonomous vehicles all leverage the power of EU Space. This isn’t the plot for a science fiction thriller. These are some of the winning ideas from the CASSINI Challenges initiative.  

With a total prize purse of EUR 1 million, the Cassini Challenges aim to support the development of innovative commercial solutions – such as mobile apps or hardware-based solutions – that leverage EU Space data from EGNOS, Galileo and/or Copernicus

“Space data is at the heart of the technological revolution currently sweeping Europe,” says EUSPA Executive Director Rodrigo da Costa. “Entrepreneurs are particularly enthusiastic about embracing the potential offered by the EU Space Programme and translating it into the innovative solutions that will help answer some of society’s most pressing challenges.”

Open to anyone from the EU27 plus Switzerland, Norway and Iceland, applicants can participate with either an idea, a prototype or a product, depending on the maturity of a solution. Regardless of which track one participates in, all proposed solutions must target one of the following innovation areas:

  1. Next Generation Challenge: applicants are asked to leverage Galileo and Copernicus data to craft value adding solutions to improve the well-being, safety, security and connectivity of EU citizens.
  2. Sustainable Future Challenge: participants are tasked with developing innovative solutions for the conservation of ecosystems, sustainable agriculture and management of energy and resources.
  3. Emerging Technologies Challenge: innovators must develop disruptive solutions combining EU Space data with deep technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), quantum technologies, blockchain, Extended Reality or the Metaverse.

And the winning ideas are…

The first track, which closed on 4 December, saw the submission of more than 100 innovative ideas from 21 countries. 

After careful consideration, the 15 winners of the Submission of an Idea Track are:

Next Generation

  • Circe-AIS (ES): a lightweight receiver for small recreational boats that uses security features from the Galileo OS-NMA to resist radio frequency interference.
  • Sterna (HR): using Copernicus, Galileo and EGNOS data to help border control agencies prevent illegal crossings.
  • AdaGeo (FR): a unique environmental monitoring and detection platform powered by the synergistic use of Galileo and Copernicus.
  • Monitoring and forecasting urbanisation (DE): harnessing space data to help policymakers better manage rapid urbanisation in low and middle-income countries.

Sustainable Future

  • Planetary Platform (DE): using EU Space data for nature-related risk assessments.
  • Caius Paskou (EL): enabling sustainable livestock grazing with Galileo and Copernicus.
  • Trrimber (DK): a space-enabled tool for sustainable forest management. 
  • Thermopolis (AT): supporting the EU’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive with space- and ground-based imagery.
  • GAROTES (ES): combining Earth Observation imagery with GNSS positioning to improve coastline resilience models. 

Emerging Technologies 

  • Manteo (EL): a chat-based Earth Observation platform that democratizes planetary awareness.
  • Salutes Space (DE): an intelligent computer system for autonomous aerospace operations in-space and on-earth.
  • Bridging Space and Maritime (DE): leveraging AI, Machine Learning, and real-time data sources from Galileo and Copernicus to forecasts ship arrival times with exceptional precision.
  • qool (DK): taking advantage of Galileo and Copernicus data to deliver autonomous vehicle applications like collision avoidance. 
  • AID (SE): uses Copernicus data and services to give decision makers a visual web platform for detecting and predicting hazards in real-time.
  • GBAT (PL): a ground-based augmentation transceiver to improve positioning availability in areas with poor satellite visibility.

“Every era-defining technology starts as an idea and I am impressed by the innovativeness, the use of EU Space data and services, and the enormous potential exhibited by all our winning ideas,” adds da Costa. “I would like to personally congratulate the winners, along with everyone who submitted an idea during this track of the CASSINI Challenges.” 

Each winning idea, which you can read more about here, receives a cash prize of EUR 10 000. The cash could be used to further develop the idea into a prototype or product, which can then be submitted for consideration in another CASSINI Challenges track.

The deadline for the ‘Submission of a Product’ Track is 19 April. The five winners, each of whom will receive a cash prize of EUR 100 000, will be announced during an awards ceremony in Prague, part of EUSPA’s annual Entrepreneurship Day.

More information on the CASSINI Challenges can be found here.      

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).

Updated: Apr 08, 2024