15th Edition of the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC)

Next European Satellite Navigation Competition is Sure to Deliver Innovation

Who knows what’s in store for this year’s 15th edition of the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC), which is currently scouting for new business ideas through July 31, 2018. The innovation competition annually awards the best services, products, and business ideas using satellite navigation in everyday life.

In 2016, Unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones, highlighted the ESNC entries,and each and every year several innovative ideas come about as part of the competition. Its mission is to spur the development of market driven applications based on satellite navigation technologies. Since 2004 the competition has been proving that satellite navigation technologies open the door to countless applications.

The international innovation competition is designed to serve as an accelerating instrument for space‐related entrepreneurs and startups, providing Europe with path‐breaking novelties. The spectrum of submitted business ideas reflects the manifold opportunities made possible by this future‐oriented technology: from healthcare and leisure to traffic management and other rail, sea, and air transport logistics, individuals and entire industries alike can benefit from satellite navigation.

No matter what stage a pioneering idea is at, the ESNC provides support for innovative ideas at each development stage, with the ultimate aim to turn them into real business cases. Thus, the diversity offered by the ESNC and its entire network are best described as “service all along the value chain”. Thereby, the ESNC is not only a prestigious competition for GNSS‐related ideas but also serves as a Europe‐wide and effective support mechanism for entrepreneurs and startups thanks to a highly diversified prize pool worth EUR 1 Million offered by the 140 involved ESNC stakeholders.


For 10 years, the GSA has supported the ESNC as a main partner offering its Special Prize Challenge.

Benefits to Participants in the ESNC

  • Cash prizes
  • Startup funding
  • Access to an international network of leading GNSS organizations
  • Access to the E-GNSS Accelerator
  • Access to testing facilities
  • Crowd investing platform
  • Business development support

Additionally, the top 10 winners are eligible for selection as one of three candidates to receive 12 months of business incubation support  as part of the E-GNSS Accelerator program, co-financed by the European Commission.

ESNC Partners

Partners for the 2018 edition include the European GNSS Agency (GSA), the European Space Agency (ESA), the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). In addition, participants choose from this year’s confirmed 18 international partner regions.

Related reading:  EU’s Green Week Brings Focus to GNSS and Protecting Our Environment

ESNC challenges  feature exciting topics tackling global societal and business-related issues, including the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Smart Cities, Mobile Health (mHealth), Location Based Services (LBS), safety and security, environmental protection, and digital transportation.

Startups, entrepreneurs, SMEs, students, developers, researchers, space and satellite navigation fans, data and high-tech enthusiasts are all encouraged to particpate. One common goal unites them: The urge to make the world a better place with new ideas for smart GNSS solutions.

The mission of the ESNC is to foster the user uptake of Europe’s flagship GNSS program, Galileo, as well as to spur the commercial use of satellite navigation signals and services in everyday life, for the ultimate benefit of EU citizens. With 321 innovative entries submitted and participants from over 50 countries in 2017, the ENSC is not only a Launchpad for new Galileo applications but also a Europe-wide and effective support mechanism for entrepreneurs and startups.