May 30, 2016

« A big triumph for #ActInSpace® » edition 2!

ActInSpace®, the international space applications hackathon organized by CNES and ESA BIC Sud France, supported by the European Space Agency, took place on Friday the 20th and Saturday the 21st of May. The event simultaneously took place, in 12 countries and 24 cities, aiming to cultivate student entrepreneurial initiatives using space technologies.

With more than 800 participants working on one of the 80 challenges provided by the organizers, the second edition of ActInSpace® was a huge success. Around 200 teams, were coached, advised and encouraged by a wide variety of technical and business experts. Clearly excited and impressed with the quality of proposed projects, these professionals were able to boost the participant’s enthusiasm and creativity during the weekend.

While this type of event generally attracts an engineer population, ActinSpace® managed to attract participants from many different horizons and backgrounds. The main message was to imagine, define and create a business model for a start-up company using space derived technologies or data – thus providing an exciting challenge for anybody. Some also had qualifications in literature, architecture or human and social sciences, and it is that diverse blend of expertise which lead to so many interesting and daring ideas. While most of the contestants were still in university (55%), 21% were entrepreneurs already working on their own venture, and 10 % were job seekers. Furthermore, with 25 % of the participants being women, ActInSpace® proved that entrepreneurship is not merely a male domain.

The teams with the best projects from each participating city, shall now enhance their idea and prepare for their pitch at the international final, which will take place on Wednesday 29th of June during the Toulouse Space Show. However, ActInSpace® was not only about winning the first round of the hackathon – all teams who came up with promising projects will receive further guidance on how to advance their project, making the event a true entrepreneurship initiative for all participants.

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ActInSpace is an initiative supported by ESA space solutions, aiming at bringing space technologies and know-how down to Earth for non-space applications and usage. The space solutions network currently facilitates 16 ESA Business Incubation Centres, an international Technology Transfer Network as well as the ESA Intellectual Property management. 

Set up in 2013 at the Paris Air Show, the ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) Sud France is the European Space Agency’s first such centre in France (there are 15 further BICs in Europe). It is managed by the Aerospace Valley competitiveness cluster in conjunction with CNES and the Safe cluster. It comprises six BICs in the Aquitaine Limousin Poitou Charentes, Languedoc-Roussillon - Midi-Pyrénées, and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur regions: Technopole Bordeaux Technowest, ESTIA Entreprendre, CEEI Théogone, Incubateur Midi-Pyrénées, Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole and Incubateur PACA-Est. Since its inception, it has incubated 27 start-ups. Candidates have to find innovative uses of space acquired data or to transfer space technologies to other business or industrial sectors. ESA BIC Sud France is responsible for the organisation of ActInSpace 2016.

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ESA BIC Sud France contacts
Sylvie Lagarrigue : Tel. +33 (0)6 79 68 14 05 /
Aurélie Baker : Tel. +33 (0)5 61 14 58 02 /

CNES contacts
Pascale Bresson : Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39 /
Julien Watelet : Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 78 37 /