€1m EU funds for start-ups and innovators using space-tech

3 Sep 2021

Image: © Andrey Armyagov/Stock.adobe.com

The EU will provide funding to more than 50 start-ups and entrepreneurs to develop products that use space data and technology.

The European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) launched its #myEUspace competition on Wednesday (1 September). This €1m prize is for innovators and entrepreneurs to develop and commercialise products that use EU space data and services.

“Over the past years, EUSPA has created a powerful ecosystem of space start-ups and SMEs that yielded trailblazing ideas such as autonomous lane marking solutions or atmosphere monitoring applications with drones, most of which are now scaling up operations,” said Rodrigo da Costa, EUSPA executive director.

“With initiatives such as the #myEUspace competition, we are supporting space entrepreneurship and contributing to the Union’s digitisation efforts and the delivery of the ambitious European Green Deal.”

There are more than 50 awards with the initiative, which will consist of two independent and parallel tracks. One track entails turning a concept into a product prototype. The second track is focused on the journey from prototype to market entry, which consists of developing a beta idea into a minimum viable product.

Submitted ideas must also fall into one of six categories: smart mobility, mobile applications, environmental challenges, surveying products, satellite use in farming, and quantum technologies.

MyGalileoSolution was a previous EUSPA start-up programme and funded the Estonian start-up 10Lines. This company uses autonomous robots to create surface markings in parking lots and relies on satellites for its accuracy.

“EUSPA’s MyGalileoSolution competition has given our product a significant boost and helped us open new doors. Contests like these are perfect for emerging startups,” said Janno Paas, CTO of 10Lines.

Paas said that access to the Global Navigation Satellite System has been “critical” for 10Lines’ autonomous line-marking robot.

“Participating in and winning MyGalileoSolution gave our solution more visibility, expert support and financial means to scale up … We encourage all EU start-ups to seize this opportunity and take their business to the next level,” he added.

Interested start-ups and entrepreneurs can apply for the #myEUspace competition until 15 November 2021. Teams will be assessed on their EU-space relevance, innovative approach, market potential, operational organisation and feasibility within the limits of current technologies.

Sam Cox was a journalist at Silicon Republic covering sci-tech news