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CASSINI Challenges kicks off Europe’s Summer of Champions

The winners of the competition’s final ‘submission of a product’ track were announced during the CASSINI Entrepreneurship Day. Co-organised by EUSPA and held in Prague, the annual event brings together Europe’s most promising space start-ups and leading investors.

“The many space-based solutions and services on display during this event – especially those from our CASSINI Challenges competitors – are demonstrative of the entrepreneurial energy that is driving Europe’s technological revolution,” says EUSPA Executive Director Rodrigo da Costa.   

Supporting the development of innovative, space-based commercial solutions

With a prize pool of EUR 1 million, the CASSINI Challenges supported innovative commercial solutions using EU Space data from EGNOSGalileo, and/or Copernicus. Open to individuals from the EU27, Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland, applicants could participate with an idea, prototype, or product, depending on solution maturity.

No matter which tracks participants chose, all proposed solutions had to focus on one of the following innovation areas:

  • Next Generation Challenge: applicants were asked to leverage Galileo and Copernicus data to craft value adding solutions to improve the well-being, safety, security and connectivity of EU citizens.
  • Sustainable Future Challenge: participants were tasked with developing innovative solutions for the conservation of ecosystems, sustainable agriculture and management of energy and resources.
  • Emerging Technologies Challenge: innovators had to develop disruptive solutions combining EU Space data with deep technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), quantum technologies, blockchain, Extended Reality or the Metaverse.
  • And the champions are…
  • With over 90 products delivered and carefully considered, the jury has made their decision. The five winners of the CASSINI Challenges Submission of a Product Track are:
  • Emerging Technologies
  • Skypuzzler (Denmark): leveraging Galileo’s accurate geo-positioning and, soon, its High Accuracy Service (HAS), Skypuzzler created an integrated Digital Air Traffic Control (iDATC) solution that lets drone operators handle unknown events in real-time.  
  • Infraspace (Norway): using AI and data from sources like Copernicus, this cloud-based generative design software assesses such aspects as costs, carbon emissions and spatial utilisation to help enhance decision-making in infrastructure projects. 
  • Next Generation 
  • Hightek (Italy): the company’s Q.SYSTEM is an end-to-end unmanned aerial firefighting system that leverages UAVs, ground monitoring and predictive tools to provide fast and tailored wildfire detection and mitigation. In doing so, it is revolutionising disaster management. 
  • Sustainable Future
  • Satelligence (Netherlands): turning data from the Sentinel 1 and 2 satellites into actionable information, this commodity traceability platform helps forestry stakeholders and companies along the entire supply chain comply with the EU Regulation on Deforestation-Free Products in partnership with the famous sustainability label Fairtrade International.
  • Kanop (France): an innovative SaaS platform that leverages cutting-edge satellite imagery and advanced AI algorithms to deliver accurate, scientifically validated and fully auditable climate and biodiversity data. Allowing for site- or project-specific measurements, the solution enables informed decision-making and allows users to effectively meet their Voluntary Carbon Market and Corporate Sustainability Reporting requirements. 
  • Each of the five winners took home a cash prize of EUR 100,000. “I personally congratulate our winners and look forward to seeing how you leverage your CASSINI experience to advance these game-changing solutions that will, without a doubt, benefit Europe’s citizens, economy and society,” adds da Costa. 
  • While this edition of the CASSINI Challenges may be over, don’t worry – unlike the Olympics and Euro Cup, you won’t have to wait four years for another chance to compete. The next round is set to kick off later this year – so be sure to watch this space for more info!      
  • The CASSINI Challenges are part of CASSINI, the European Commission’s initiative geared to supporting entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs developing innovative applications and services that leverage the EU Space Programme

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