Galileo satellite (credit European Space Agency)

UK Satellite Navigation Competition opens

A competition to find innovative every day applications for satellite navigation data has been launched.

The European Satellite Navigation Competition (ENSC) wants entrants to come up with new ideas for satellite navigation data in technologies like smartphone applications and location-based services.

The UK leg of the competition is organised by the University of Nottingham’s GNSS Research and Applications Centre of Excellence (GRACE), experts in satellite navigation.

“Location based services underpin a huge range of applications, and satellite time signals are used in everything from electricity distribution to stock market transactions,” said Prof Terry Moore from GRACE.

“Despite this we’ve only scratched the surface of it in terms of how this data can transform our lives.”

The ENSC aims to commercialise the new ideas and drive growth in the fast-growing space sector, which the government predicts could become a £40bn industry by 2030, generating up to 100,000 new hi-tech jobs.

The UK Space Agency, the Technology Strategy Board, EADS Astrium, Logica and the Science and Technologies Facilities Council are sponsors of the competition.

“While we are now familiar with SatNav in our Smartphones, the next generation of “SatApps” will come from the convergence of app developers and the space sector which provides the data upon which they are built,” said Tim Just, lead technologist for Space and Satellite Navigation at the Technology Strategy Board.

“By better understanding the unexplored potential of the satellite data, technologists in the UK can lead this major new industry.

“This competition helps bridge the gap between satellite technology and consumer technology.”

The competition is open to anybody with an idea that utilises satellite navigation, positioning or timing technology and prizes include thousands of pounds of capital, business support and office space, patent advice, and introductions to industry partners and funding opportunities.

It will be formally launched in the House of Commons next week, hosted by the Parliamentary Space Committee and its Vice-Chair Stephen McPartland MP, who sits on the Science and Technology Committee.

Further information:

Find our more about the European Satellite Navigation Competition

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