Competition to Find Europe’s Best Navigation Solution Concept Kicks Off Fourth Round with Big-Name Sponsors and €10,000 in Prize Money
In partnership with prominent innovation promoters from research and industry, the fourth European Satellite Navigation Competition has kicked off its search for innovative applications in satellite-based navigation time on May 1.
The European Satellite Navigation Competition 2007 is looking for Europe’s best ideas for new applications in this high-potential market. Ten high-tech European regions will take part in the innovation competition, which has been organized by the Application Center for Satellite Navigation in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, and the Munich ITC trade fair SYSTEMS since 2004 under the patronage of the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Infrastructure, Transport and Technology and with support from the European Space Agency (ESA) through its Technology Transfer Programme.
This year, partners from research and industry will be awarding special topic prizes – a first for the competition. The €10,000 prize promised to the overall winner – the GALILEO Master – is also new in 2007.
The European Satellite Navigation Competition 2007 is geared towards companies, entrepreneurs, research facilities, and universities and aims to both seek out new commercial applications in the field of satellite navigation and support inventors in realizing their ideas.
What began in 2004 with three regions has since developed into the largest European network for satellite navigation, spanning 10 high-tech regions, 80 expert judges, and around 650 innovative applications over the past three years. The regions participating in the European Satellite Navigation Competition 2007 are Great Britain & Ireland, Gothenburg, Madrid, Nice / Sophia-Antipolis, Prague, South Holland, Wallonia, and the German states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, and Hesse.
New this year: three special topic prizes
In addition to recognizing outstanding applications in the overall field of satellite navigation, the competition will award special prizes in the fields of “Seamless Localization and Navigation” and “Intelligent Traffic Control Systems” as well as for best potential use of the Galileo Test and Development Environment (GATE).
The competition’s main sponsor, T-Systems Enterprise Services GmbH, is looking for the best B2B solutions in the first of these areas, such as those that link GNSS to GSM, RFID, or WiFi, which makes localization possible even in isolated areas. The methodology behind these solutions is described as “seamless” due to the customer’s unawareness of which system is delivering positioning data at any given time.
As sponsor of the “Intelligent Traffic Control Systems” prize, the new DHL Innovation Center is hoping to find a system that can manage Deutsche Post World Net’s 120,000 vehicles, as well as growing amounts of inner-city traffic and increasing customer demands. Along with the main criteria of reliability and punctuality, logistics providers are facing increasing expectations in accommodating customers flexibly using dynamic route planning.
The third special topic prize is being sponsored by the German Aerospace Center e.V. (DLR), which is seeking applications and services that can be realized with Galileo or a combination of Galileo and GPS. The winner of this competition will have the chance to work with the DLR in testing the winning idea in GATE, the world’s only realistic test and development environment for the Galileo system.
These prizes are intended to facilitate cooperative realization of the winning idea with the respective sponsor. T-Systems is offering the opportunity to carry out an innovation project, with the potential for long-term collaboration; DHL, joint implementation at the DHL Innovation Center; and the DLR, comprehensive testing of the winning idea in GATE.
Presentation of ideas and awards ceremony at SYSTEMS 2007
Attractive prizes also await the winner of the overall competition, the GALILEO Master. In addition to the €10,000 prize awarded for the first time this year by Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen, the GALILEO Master will, as in years past, have the opportunity to implement the winning application at an incubator in any of the participating regions. This includes offices, professional consulting, and use of the contact network of the incubator selected.
Furthermore, the GALILEO Master, the regional finalists, and the special topic prize winners will all have the chance to introduce themselves and their applications to a wide audience of ITC experts and decision-makers in Hall B1 at the SYSTEMS trade fair in Munich. All prizes will be awarded on October 23, 2007 as part of a state reception hosted by Erwin Huber, Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs, Infrastructure, Transport and Technology, at the Munich Residenz. “A prize like the GALILEO Master is very important for the promotion of the Galileo system. It raises the system’s profile and provides an impetus for innovations and technological developments,” Huber says. This reception will be held in connection with Communication World, which is organizing the largest mobile communications and IP convention in Europe in partnership with SYSTEMS.
The virtually unlimited possibilities of potential applications in the field of satellite navigation are perhaps best demonstrated by the wide variety of winning ideas from competitions past, which encompass everything from natural disaster prediction and environmental protection solutions to logistics optimizations, toll systems, virtual reality gaming, and location-based services. All-new application fields have also been conceived despite their originally having little or nothing to do with navigation: a “weed robot “, for instance, which represents a real alternative to manual weeding in agricultural and water protection areas; and real-time racing, which enables gamers sitting at home to compete virtually and simultaneously in sporting events against actual athletes.
Ideas for applications related to satellite navigation and solutions for the three special topic prizes can be submitted to the idea database at www.galileo-masters.com from May 1 to July 31, 2007.
About Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO):
AZO was founded as an incubator to expand Oberpfaffenhofen, an important aerospace location, into a cluster focusing on European satellite navigation. The Free State of Bavaria has subsidized this project with €3.57 million, which included the foundation of the incubator and the construction of a building used by the Application Center for Satellite Navigation.
AZO focuses on providing companies with optimal conditions for establishing innovative products and services based on GPS – and, in the future, the Galileo satellite navigation system – more quickly in the market. The incubator gives start-ups six months to develop their business ideas into tangible business plans and provides extensive office space at the Oberpfaffenhofen airfield, in direct proximity to the German Aerospace Center e.V. (DLR) and the future Galileo control center.
Since the creation of AZO, 31 company founders have completed the start-up phase, leading to the creation of over 450 jobs.
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