June 12, 2019

ActInSpace® 2020 kicks off at Paris Air Show - 4th edition of the international challenge dedicated to space applications!

On Wednesday 19th June at the Paris Air Show, CNES, ESA and Aerospace Valley will kick-off the 4th edition of ActInSpace®, which will take place in 50 countries and 100 cities. ActInSpace® is the reference international competition for imagining the products and services of tomorrow using satellite data or space applications.

Launched by CNES (the French government space agency) in 2014 and supported by ESA since 2016, ActInSpace® aims at fostering entrepreneurship, especially among young people. Midway between a start-up weekend and a hackathon, ActInSpace® enables teams with different profiles throughout the world to take up, in just 24 hours, one of the challenges set up by CNES, ESA and their partners. One of the distinguishing features in this competition is the fact that the challenges are based on CNES or ESA patents or based on data supplied by the partners of the event (Airbus, GSA, Copernicus…).

During the ActInSpace® hackathon, space and business experts are present to advise and support the competitors.
Through these challenges, combining proactiveness, pushing the limits and team spirit, ActInSpace® fosters and facilitates entrepreneurship among young people while promoting space technologies for daily uses, for the benefit of citizens, employment and our planet. The best team wins a ZeroG flight in the European astronaut’s aircraft and all competitors get the opportunity to be accompanied for the launch of their start-up.

Since the 1st edition of ActInSpace®, 35 start-ups have been created in the different host countries. Among recent examples features Australian company Wright Technologies, winner of ActInSpace® Grand International Prize in 2018 for its tamper-proof identification and registration system for UAV operators, using a CNES Patent based on Galileo. Kosta Canatselis, Co-founder and CEO of Wright Technologies said: “Wright Technologies was born in 2018 after winning the international ActInSpace competition in Toulouse, France. ActInSpace gave us the foundation to get our team together, identify a problem, build a concept and pitch our vision to a huge international audience - it changed everything for us. ActInSpace gave us the confidence that we could take our vision, build an idea from concept and potentially disrupt an entire industry. The competition gave us exposure, networks, support, and broke down the barriers to help us validate and test what we were working on”.

For the 2020 edition, the objective is to extend the international dimension of the event. Therefore CNES and ESA have renewed their trust in Aerospace Valley, who as manager of the ESA BIC South France, will once again be in charge of the operational organisation. ActInSpace® should take place in 50 countries and 100 cities. The finals will take place in Toulouse, France, in June 2020 during Global Space in Toulouse, the new international meeting for the space industry, a platform for the world’s latest innovations and technologies and a driver for meetings and collaborations.

Among the international partners of ActInSpace® are Airbus (historical partner since the first edition), AirZeroG (offering the first prize, a zero gravity flight), CLS (a CNES subsidiary operating satellites for data collecting), EBAN (European Business Angels Network), the GSA (European GNSS agency), the economic development agency Invest in Toulouse, Qwant (the French search engine)…

For more information, visit: www.actinspace.org

About CNES:
CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales) is the government agency responsible for shaping France’s space policy and implementing it in Europe. Its task is to conceive and orbit satellites, invent the space systems of the future and nurture new services to aid us in our daily lives. Founded in 1961, it is the initiator of major space projects, launch vehicles and satellites, and the partner of choice for industry fuelling innovation. CNES comprises some 2,500 men and women with a passion for space working to open up new and infinite fields of applications in five core areas of focus: Ariane, science, Earth observation, telecommunications and defence. It is a key player driving technology innovation, economic development and industrial policy for the nation. It also fosters scientific collaborations and has forged numerous international partnerships. France, represented by CNES, is the leading contributor to the European Space Agency (ESA).

About ESA:
The European Space Agency is an intergovernmental organisation of 22 member states dedicated to the exploration of space and to support the development of European capability in the space sector. ESA’s Business Applications and ESA space solutions programme co-funds projects and start-ups while offering technical and business support to companies that seek to deliver rapid innovation and raise private investment. Overall ESA spends €400 million a year on strengthening the competitiveness of European and Canadian companies in the global markets not only for satellite communications but also for downstream applications.
ESA’s patent portfolio consists of around 440 granted patents and about 90 applications in progress. This patent portfolio is available for licensing by European companies for space and terrestrial applications.
More info on : www.esa.int www.esa.business.int

About Aerospace Valley:
Based in France, Aerospace Valley is world’s first aerospace cluster, dedicated to the strategic sectors of Aeronautics, Space and Drones, in the Occitanie/ Pyrénées-Méditerranée and Nouvelle-Aquitaine regions. With its 5 excellency ecosystems – Embedded and Communicating Systems, Structures and Mechanical Systems, Propulsion and Embedded Energy, Data and Artificial Intelligence, Products and Services for the Industry – Aerospace Valley drives a supportive, competitive and attractive community, aimed at fostering innovation in view of growth.
Ranking among the top three clusters for the performance of its cooperative R&T projects (among which 580 have already been financed), Aerospace Valley is in charge of animating a dynamic network of international reputation, composed of 850 members (companies, research laboratories, training centres, universities and schools, local authorities, economic development structures).
Since 2017, Aerospace Valley is chaired by Yann Barbaux, Senior Vice President of Airbus and former Head of Innovation at Airbus.
More info on: www.aerospace-valley.com

ActInSpace® is the first international competition dedicated to space applications, launched by the CNES (French government space agency) and the ESA in 2014. Aerospace Valley was designated for operational organisation of the contest, being the representative of the ESA BIC Sud France, member of the ESA BIC (Business Incubation Centres) network. In 2018, ActInSpace® registered 3,300 participants, among which 70% students.  The finals brought together 2,200 peoples from 32 countries and 54 cities on the 5 continents.  510 projects were showcased, 80 challenges were taken up and 500 professionals helped the contestants. Since its launch in 2014, ActInSpace®, 35 start-ups have been created thanks to this competition.
More info on:  www.actinspace.org

Contacts for the media: 

Caroline BROWN / Denbora-CB Relations Presse for Aerospace Valley
caroline.brown.rp@gmail.com – +33 6 22 08 86 23

Agnès BARDIER / Aerospace Valley
bardier@aerospace-valley.com - +33 6 09 40 02 29

pascale.bresson@cnes.fr – +33 1 44 76 75 39

Raphaël SART / CNES
raphael.sart@cnes.fr – +33 1 44 76 74 51