The Netherlands Challenge

PRIZE 2018

The 2018 prize description will follow soon. In 2017, the winner of the Netherlands region received an incubation package sponsored by the Netherlands Space Office, the Space Business Incubation Center Noordwijk (SBIC), CGI, NLR, Verhaert Masters in Innovation, Zirkzee Group, and Haseltine Lake at the European Space Innovation Centre in Noordwijk, including:

  • A EUR 1,000 cash prize to be used at the winner’s discretion
  • Three months of free pre-incubation at the Space Business Incubation Center Noordwijk
  • 30 hours of business development
    • Concept review, connectivity matrix consulting, technical support, and patent landscaping provided by Verhaert (10 hours)
    • Tax and administrative advice provided by Zirkzee (five hours)
    • IPR advice provided by Haseltine Lake (five hours)
    • Business case support provided by SBIC (10 hours)
  • 80 hours of technical support for product development equally provided by NLR and CGI
  • The above incubation package is valued at EUR 15,000
  • The winner will be able to apply for admission to the European Space Agency’s Business Incubation Centre programme (ESA BIC) in Noordwijk and will be eligible for an additional EUR 50,000 in incentive funding from ESA and NSO, as well as an optional loan from Rabobank Bollenstreek.
  • The winner’s involvement in ESA BIC Noordwijk will also enable them to benefit from the technical expertise of ESA at ESA/ESTeC and the rest of SBIC’s extensive network.


The submission phase of the ESNC 2018 will start on 1 May 2018. Pre-register now for the ESNC 2018 and be the first to receive the latest news on next year’s competition round, its partners and prizes!

Pre-register now


  • Region
    The Netherlands

    The Netherlands, the space to launch your #SATNAV idea.

    The Netherlands has always been a country of pioneers, innovators, and entrepreneurs, sailing the oceans and exploring space. Dutch companies and knowledge institutes in the high-tech sector are renowned for their technological excellence and are among the world’s best in their market segments and niches. These properties make the Netherlands an excellent place to be for technical solutions to challenges society is facing today.

    The Netherlands is a key player in space technology, and our scientific research is highly regarded. There is demand for our knowledge and expertise in Europe and the rest of the world. A number of Dutch companies and institutes help to build space instruments, satellites, and launch vehicles, while others provide satellite data services to companies, authorities, and citizens.

    Applications of satellite data are becoming more and more important as drivers of economic activity. Through the National Satellite Data Portal, the Netherlands has also been one of the first European countries to make satellite data available for use in all types of innovative geospatial applications.

    Meanwhile, the Netherlands is one of the founding members of ESA. The agency’s technical testing and knowledge centre, ESTeC, is located in Noordwijk and employs over 2,000 people. Next to ESTeC is the Space Business Park, where several space-related companies have established their businesses. One of them is the European Space Innovation Centre, which provides space to promising start-up companies.

  • Regional Organiser
    The Netherlands Space Office (NSO)

    The Netherlands Space Office (NSO) was established by the Dutch government to develop and implement its country's long-term space programme.

    In addition to serving as the Dutch space industry’s representative in international space organisations like ESA and NASA, NSO forms the central point of contact for the space community within the Netherlands. Moreover, NSO also seeks to educate the general public – and specifically students and teachers – about space (science, applications, and exploration) in an open and innovative manner. Finally, NSO invests in programmes that foster the commercial market for applications based on the utilisation of space data.

  • Regional Partners

    Space Business Innovation Centre (SBIC) Noordwijk offers an impressive base to work from where you will have access to skills, knowledge, equipment, experience of similar individuals and companies as well as access to international events.

    SBIC Noordwijk offers the ESA business incubation programme (ESA BIC Noordwijk) in the Netherlands for entrepreneurs in a startup phase of business. This incubation programme is established to inspire entrepreneurs to turn space-connected business ideas into commercial companies, and provides technical expertise and business-development support.

    ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) Noordwijk

    Make space part of your business!

    The ESA BIC Noordwijk, The Netherlands, was opened in 2004 and is managed by SBIC Noordwijk B.V. The main mission of the ESA BIC Noordwijk is to boost innovative business concepts, using space technology, application and services in non-space environments.

    The incubation programme supports entrepreneurs within a period of two years to turn their innovative business ideas into reality by  providing them with financial, business and technical support.


    CGI is a global ICT company, with a strong presence in the space industry.

    CGI supports ESA and the EC in navigation and Earth observation projects. The company brings years of specialist knowledge and experience to space projects coupled with technical and security excellence in IT system development and integration.

    Verhaert Connect

    Verhaert is ESA’s (Prime) Technology Broker and therefore the liaison between space and non-space industry.

    Verhaert aims to help companies and entrepreneurs to innovate, to create new products and businesses based on space technology.

    Haseltine Lake

    Haseltine Lake is a major European Intellectual Property practice, providing IP services to clients throughout the world.

    It has a renowned reputation for obtaining IP protection, including patent, trade mark and registered design protection for commercial clients all over the world. In addition to this core activity, Haseltine Lake has developed an extended range of innovative IP products and services.


    The Zirkzee Group is a non-profit and international accountancy and tax consulting firm.

    The consulting firm is based in the Netherlands and has over 90 employees in various branches.

    NLR Netherlands Aerospace Centre

    NLR is a leading international research centre for aerospace. Bolstered by its multidisciplinary expertise and unrivalled research facilities, NLR provides innovative and integral solutions for the complex challenges in the aerospace sector.

    NLR’s activities span the full spectrum of Research Development Test & Evaluation (RDT & E). Given NLR’s specialist knowledge and facilities, companies turn to NLR for validation, verification, qualification, simulation and evaluation. NLR thereby bridges the gap between research and practical applications, while working for both government and industry at home and abroad. NLR stands for practical and innovative solutions, technical expertise and a long-term design vision. This allows NLR’s cutting edge technology to find its way into successful aerospace programs of OEMs, including Airbus, Embraer and Pilatus. NLR contributes to (military) programs, such as ESA’s IXV re-entry vehicle, the F-35, the Apache helicopter, and European programs, including SESAR and Clean Sky 2.

  • E-GNSS Accelerator Partner
    European Commission

    The prize pool is co-financed by the European Commission’s DG Grow. The aim of the “E-GNSS Accelerator” is to foster the market uptake of Galileo/EGNOS and high technologies in EU28, the EEA and ENP countries.

    The prize pool is co-financed by the European Commission’s DG Grow. The aim of the “E-GNSS Accelerator” is to foster the market uptake of Galileo/EGNOS and high technologies in EU28, the EEA and ENP countries.


Netherlands Space Office (NSO)
Mr Bert Meijvogel
+31 88 6024529