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Outstanding success for UK companies in European space innovation contest

26 Oct 2016: UK companies have beaten off competition from 500 European businesses to win the top prize and four other awards in Europe’s largest space technology innovation competitions.

The European Satellite Navigation Competition and Copernicus Masters which receive support from STFC recognise great ideas with commercial potential. The final was held in Madrid last night.

Regional winners of the contest
(Credit:AZO A. Valdenebro)

Out of entries from 17 countries, a team from the University of Strathclyde was declared the overall winner of the ESNC, taking home €10,000 prize to invest in its technology.
The investment is for ‘A ‘silent lookout’ system that uses low-cost sensors and satellite navigation technology for the early detection of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), addressing growing concerns over public safety, security and privacy’.

A company being incubated in the ESA Business Incubation Centre Harwell, managed by STFC on the Harwell Campus that supports start-ups in turning their space technologies into profitable products for non-space markets was one of the other UK companies to pick up an award.

Blubel won the European Space Agency Space Solutions® Prize for a smart navigation device that can intuitively guide cyclists using a mix of sounds and lights along cycle-friendly routes.

The company has won an extra 40 hours of support and expertise at the ESA Business Incubation Centre, doubling the hours it had previously.
Matt Edwards, Relationship Manager, Business Incubation at STFC, said:

“STFC is committed to innovation and has supported the ESNC for many years, evaluating entries and encouraging applicants to enter the ESA Business Incubation Centres, including the one managed by STFC at Harwell. The quality of entries for the awards was excellent and we look forward to seeing these companies continue to grow in the future”.

Overall winning team from the University of Strathclyde
(Credit:AZO A. Valdenebro)

The other winners of the contest include:

  • The University of Manchester – Winner, Copernicus Masters Sustainable Living Challenge. The team are in the process of setting up their company, EnviroSAR, and are receiving crucial business support through the STEP Space programme that has recently been set up at STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory.
  • Nottingham Scientific Ltd and QinetiQ – Winner, BMVI* Special Prize: PRS applications – reliable services for a secure digital society.

The University of Strathclyde also picked up a second award.

More details can be found here: https://sa.catapult.org.uk/news-events-gallery/news/

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