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2017 is a significant year for both the European Union and Europe’s space programmes. In 2017, Europe celebrates the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, which, by establishing ‘an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe’, laid the foundation for building the EU. For 60 years, European nations have worked together towards a common goal: a peaceful, united and prosperous Europe. Together, they created something that no single European nation could do on their own, thus strengthening and growing European integration in many important acreas – including space.

Today, the EU’s flagship space programmes – Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus – are emblematic examples of the achievements of European integration that are now bearing fruit and bringing real benefits to both individual EU countries and European citizens. As the precursor to the Galileo programme, EGNOS enhances GPS signals to provide more precise positioning on the pan-European level. With the Declaration of Galileo Initial Services in 2016, for the first time ever, users around the world are being guided using the positioning, navigation and timing information provided by Galileo’s global satellite constellation.

Sixty years after embarking upon its ambitious journey, today Europe is arguably the most successful peace and economic project in history. However, current tendencies are threatening to pull Europe apart. In this context Europe’s 60th anniversary offers a unique opportunity to take stock of the specific long-term achievements and tools – such as the EU space programmes – that can help carry Europe into the future.

PRIZE 2017

The winning idea will have the opportunity to develop their idea at a suitable incubation centre of their choice within the EU28 for six months, with the option of a six-month extension based on evaluation after the first period (a total value of up to EUR 40,000). In addition, the winning idea will benefit from extensive promotion through the GSA’s many marketing channels and at relevant industry events.

The submission phase of the ESNC 2017 has ended. 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!

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The 60 Years of EU Special Prize focuses on the important role that Europe’s space programmes play in European integration. The GSA is looking for the brightest ideas that use European GNSS (Galileo and EGNOS) in helping to foster a more united Europe. In line with European ideals, potential applications could address, for example, such challenges as traffic and transport management for the efficient cross-border transportation of goods, travel platforms that encourage people to travel from one country to another, or solutions that help people seeking refuge in Europe.

All proposals must use European GNSS as the primary means of positioning. Moreover, all ideas should be technically operative, innovative, demonstrate market potential and contribute to the adoption of Galileo. Proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Innovative approach over existing solutions
  • Commercial feasibility
  • Use of European GNSS signals and services
  • Contribution to the market uptake of Galileo
  • Technical/operational feasibility, including maturity of the idea
  • Demonstrations/market trials for technology validation
  • Contribution to European integration


  • Organised by
    Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO)

    AZO has established a global network for innovation and entrepreneurship.

    AZO supports product innovation and company foundations in the field of commercial space applications along the entire value chain – from the idea all the way to market entry. The company has extensive experience in organising innovation competitions such as the European Satellite Navigation Competition, the Copernicus Masters (Earth observation), the StartupWorld Awards (laser photonics and robotics), as well as the INNOspace Masters (New Space Economy), app developer camps and conferences, and manages ESA BIC Bavaria.

  • Presented by
    European GNSS Agency (GSA)

    The GSA is linking space to user needs.


    The European GNSS Agency (GSA), a European Union agency, is working with the European Commission on a range of activities aimed at helping European entrepreneurs and businesses – especially high-tech small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), research institutes and related networks – build their applications using the positioning, navigation and timing data delivered by Galileo and EGNOS.


European GNSS Agency (GSA)
Carmen Aguilera
+42 (0) 23 47 66 607