As a sponsor of ActInSpace, Airbus supports this biennial innovation contest that encourages young women and men to “shoot for the stars” and create their own space-inspired start-ups.
ActInSpace is a two-day “hackathon” where teams of people from all different backgrounds work together to solve real-life challenges and invent new space solutions together. In a mindset of positive competition, the teams must race against the clock and go as far as possible to design, prototype and deliver concrete results – all before presenting the outcomes to a distinguished panel of experts.
The 2020 edition, organised by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the French space agency CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales) – involved more than 3,000 competitors in over 58 host cities across 50+ countries.
As part of its support, Airbus awarded prizes for innovation and entrepreneurship. Earning the Innovation prize was a French team called PEOXEL, whose Persistent Earth Observation Element technology would protect and localize ships in real time over a local area under any weather conditions. This earned the team “flights” aboard a simulator for the Airbus single-aisle A320 jetliner, and a visit to Airbus’ satellite integration facilities – both organised at the company’s sites in Toulouse, France.
The Entrepreneurship prize for 2020 was awarded to two teams (which each received €50,000 of satellite-derived data from the Airbus OneAtlas digital platform):
- The Moon Balloon team of Colombia, with a solution to avoid bee extinction by creating a multi-platform interface that generates risk maps on a special area based on historical data; and
- Sweden’s SMART Environmental Solutions team, which is developing a method using data from Europe’s Copernicus Earth Observation Programme to make an automated processing algorithm using cloud facilities.
Since its inception in 2014, ActInSpace has led to the creation of more than 45 start-ups, each benefiting society in different ways across a range of sectors – from healthcare and security to environmental and agriculture. Airbus recognises the hard work of all participants and hopes to see even more talented young people taking part in future editions (including the next one, in 2022).
“At Airbus we are delighted to participate in ActInSpace challenge since the beginning: it is a new way of innovating alongside our institutional customers based on collective intelligence! We always get plenty of fresh ideas coming from space enthusiasts all over the world, and this is also a way to detect top talents! Looking forward to the next edition in 2022”
Matthieu Lys Head of Innovation Management
Airbus Defence and Space