International Kick-Off of Europe’s Leading Space Innovation Competitions

Europe’s largest innovation competitions for commercial space applications, the Copernicus Masters and the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC), officially kicked-off in Brussels on 5 April 2017. The event featured high-level keynote speeches, remarkable roundtable discussion with Europe’s renowned stakeholders and a networking reception, kindly hosted by the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the EU.

Inspirational Speeches               

The event started with a welcome by Barbara Schretter, Director of the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the EU. Thorsten Rudolph, Managing Director Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO), held an inspiring keynote speech and showcased the Space of Innovation network with all its opportunities. He presented the Copernicus Masters tripled prize pool 2017 worth more than EUR 1.5 million to all participants as well as the brand-new E-GNSS Accelerator, which boosts the ESNC prize pool to over EUR 1 million.

A video message sent by Philippe Brunet, Director Space Policy, Copernicus and Defence DG Grow, European Commission, explained how the innovation competitions represent the golden gates of Europe’s startup programme and how they boost the User Uptake of Copernicus and Galileo.

Remarkable Roundtable Discussions

Additionally, the programme featured two remarkable roundtable discussions, with Europe’s most renowned space stakeholders. The first roundtable with the title “The regional dimension as a propulsion component of the EU Space Strategy” featured high-level panellists representing the European Commission (EC), the European Space Agency (ESA), the European GNSS Agency (GSA), and the EU Committee of the Regions (CoR). They contributed outstanding insights and their future visions in terms of EU Space Strategy and the space eco-system, boosted by regional players in a pan-European manner.

The second roundtable discussion with the title “Innovation competitions skyrocketing growth and entrepreneurship” was another highlight. The renowned panellists comprised the following stakeholders: The German Aerospace Center (DLR), the European Space Agency (ESA), Stevenson Astrosat Ltd., and CGI. The panellists showcased their inspirational visions about future space applications and how they foster growth and provide numerous societal benefits.

Bavarian Style Networking Reception

The Bavarian-style reception offered the perfect frame in a pleasing atmosphere. The Copernicus Masters and ESNC partners were able to interact with each other, exchange notions and opportunities as well as the latest Earth observation and satellite navigation trends.

Here the impressions of the kick-off event.

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Explore all the benefits offered by both competitions at and Check out press releases of Copernicus Masters and ESNC.

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