The second edition of the INNOspace Masters competition is now set to begin under the theme of 'Space 4.0'. Up to 13 February 2017, interested participants are invited to submit their innovative ideas and solutions for improving the production and design of satellites, payloads or launchers.
An increasing number of innovative ideas from a wide variety of sectors are finding their way into space applications and ushering in fundamental changes to the surrounding industry landscape. Dubbed the "New Space Economy", a newly established global community of innovation and entrepreneurship is profiting from new sources of capital outside of the usual institutional budgets. The number of private stakeholders involved in defining payloads and manufacturing and operating satellites and launch systems has grown exponentially in a very short time.
Here, new technologies and processes from other industries can provide the space sector with unexpected avenues for future development. They are giving entrepreneurs the chance not only to stake out better market positions, but to expand their offerings and tap into all-new markets, as well. Indeed, such innovations have the potential to revolutionise the entire value chain.
Prizes for Space 4.0 innovations
The INNOspace Masters, which was initiated to promote innovative ideas for the next generation of space applications, is about to enter its second year. Under the theme "Space 4.0", the competition is looking for concepts and solutions that address current user issues, present forward-thinking ways to implement payloads, and seek to optimise the production of satellites and launchers.
The partners of the INNOspace Masters – the Space Administration of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Airbus Defence & Space, and Germany's two ESA Business Incubation Centres in Bavaria and Darmstadt – will be awarding prizes in three categories that require submissions to meet different levels of maturity and innovativeness. Along with extensive marketing and communication activities and a global network of contacts, the winners will receive technological and business-related support services from first-rate partners capable of providing the best possible assistance as they turn their concepts into reality.
The competition is focused on start-ups, larger companies, universities, non-university research institutions, and consortia or individuals whose plans involve transferring technology and expertise from other industries into the aerospace sector.
The INNOspace Masters is especially interested in forward-thinking ideas, research projects, demonstrators, prototypes, and innovative (but ready-to-implement) business concepts in the following subject areas: satellite payloads, platform concepts for more flexible subsystems, the development and use of intelligent components capable of carrying information, automation, robotics and troubleshooting in production, innovative and cost-effective concepts for launch systems and "piggyback" configurations, new and improved NDI methods for quality assurance, new standards for processes and interfaces, and other innovations all along the value chains for payloads, satellites, and launchers.
Interested entrants can submit their ideas to the online database at www.innospace-masters.de.
Selection and announcement of winners
Following the submission phase, all complete entries will undergo anonymous evaluation by a jury of experts from the competition's partners. The winners of the individual categories and the overall winner will be announced at a festive awards ceremony to be held on 17 May 2017 as part of the INNOspace Masters "Space 4.0" conference (Humboldt Carré, Berlin, Germany).
The INNOspace Masters competition is being organised by the Space Administration of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) as an embedded component of the INNOspace® initiative. Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO), an experienced specialist in managing idea competitions, will be carrying out INNOspace Masters 2016-2019 on behalf of DLR. Partners of the competition are Airbus Defence and Space, and the ESA Business Incubation Centres Bavaria and Darmstadt. The first edition of INNOspace Masters ("Satellite 4.0") received no fewer than 50 complete entries from eight different countries. More than half of these were submitted from non-space industries, affirming both the increasing importance and growing interest of various sectors with regard to space innovations.