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Galicia / Spain

Prizes Region Regional Organiser Winner

Prize 2016

The regional winner of the 2016 Galician Community Challenge will be offered a complete 12-month incubation programme at one of the local business initiative centres managed by ZFV.

This will include the following services:

  • Access to office and facilities
  • Technical support
  • Access to testing facilities and infrastructure
  • Access to experts
  • Administrative and general services
  • Business coaching, assessment, and training
  • Patent consulting, legal forms, incorporation procedures, funding, and subsidies
  • Support for market and feasibility studies
  • Access to economic and entrepreneurial guidance, events, and reports
  • Access to public funding or venture capital
The winner will receive start-up assistance to develop an early stage company, access to seed capital, training through a mentoring network, infrastructural support, and intensive consulting. The objective is to accompany the entrepreneur through the maturation, financing, and implementation of the winning project. If the project progresses according to plan, it will participate in the annual Round of Investors at the business accelerator Viavigo, which is promoted by the Consortium and the Xunta de Galicia.

The prize also includes travel and accommodation for the 2016 ESNC Awards Ceremony.

In addition the Spanish company Marine Instruments offers a EUR 1,000 cash prize for the best GNSS application in the marine sector.


Galicia, one of Spain's 17 autonomous regions, has an area of 29,500 square kilometres and more than 2.5 million inhabitants. It is situated in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula, with Portugal at its southern border and both the Atlantic Ocean and the Cantabrian Sea on its coasts. Though it is part of mainland Spain, Galicia is an autonomous community with a cultural heritage, climate, and geography that are distinct from the rest of the country. Meanwhile, the close similarity between Galician and Portuguese enables Galicia to communicate with the nearly 200 million members of the Portuguese-speaking community, and the region also has strong relationships with Latin America thanks to substantial Galician emigration and the resulting historical diaspora.

Galicia features many characteristics that appeal to investors. It boasts a large and modern infrastructure, including a modern network of highways and railroads that facilitate fast, congestion-free travel among the region's major cities. Galicia's ports, mainly Vigo and La Coruna, have benefited from a huge investment drive over the last few years. These two cities represent Spain's largest fishing ports, while Vigo is also one of Spain's main outlets for exports. In addition, Vigo is the only free trade zone in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula.

There are a large number of industrial parks scattered throughout Galicia, offering a total of over 31 million square metres of land. The region is a hotbed of education and innovation, as well: It is home to three universities and a large number of nationally acclaimed R&D centres involved in the forestry, marine, and automotive sectors; shipbuilding; mining; wind and hydroelectric energy; and the food and agriculture industry.

Galicia has taken decisive steps in planning for the future through research, development, and innovation in local entrepreneurship. This effort has sought to provide technical support for improving processes and products and ensuring standards of quality and excellence, which is enabling Galician businesses to compete and succeed in the world's most demanding markets.

Regional Organiser
Vigo Free Trade Zone Consortium

The Vigo Free Trade Consortium is a public institution that has been working to encourage international trade and economic development in Galicia since 1947. From its logistical headquarters in the port of Vigo, the consortium oversees a free trade zone and all of the import and export advantages it affords. As an economic development agency, the consortium not only serves as the main developer of business parks in its area of influence, but also provides companies with a full range of services, including financing through the venture capital company Vigo Activo; entrepreneurial support (seed funding) through business initiative centres and the University of Vigo; and financial information required for decision making through the Ardan business information service.

Some 350 companies currently occupy the various parks developed by the consortium. In 2010, the network of parks in Vigo's free trade zone generated 26.57% of the total wealth of the Vigo Metropolitan Area and 25.56% of all employment in the region. The consortium is currently involved in extending the nearly five million square metres of land in the zone and managing seven business parks in and around Vigo.

Regional Partners
Marine Instruments

Marine Instruments is a Spanish company focused on the design and manufacture of electronic equipment mainly for the fisheries sector. From its beginnings in 2003 they have experienced constant growth positioning themselves, in less than a decade, as the first manufacturer of tuna satellite buoys worldwide, with presence in over 25 countries. Quality and innovation are the cornerstones of their business and they build their work around them to develop useful technology solutions tailored to the market and customer needs. For this purpose, they have a large R&D team that works in the continuous improvement of their products and in the development of innovative solutions as a daily basis. Today, they are highly committed to diversification. Taking as starting point their broad technical knowledge and marine environment expertise they develop products and solutions for other sectors and customers outside the fisheries sector.


The Axencia Galega de Innovación (Galician Innovation Agency, GAIN) is a public body of the regional government of Galicia, Xunta de Galicia. It is tasked with structuring, planning, coordinating, and implementing research and innovation strategies, as well as the Galician Plan for Research, Innovation, and Growth. It is also responsible for implementing and coordinating the region's Smart Specialisation Strategy. Through its information and dissemination activities and services (such as the management of financial and grant programmes), GAIN supports businesses in increasing their competitiveness and achieving sound, sustainable growth based on their innovation and creativity. It also enhances companies' participation in EU-funded projects. Its objectives include:

  • Leading the innovation policies of Galicia's public administrations
  • Defining and developing public policies that enable companies and other agents to develop innovation initiatives, increase their competitiveness, and promote their growth
  • Defining and developing public policies designed to enhance knowledge developed by companies, universities, and research centres in Galicia

University of Vigo
Over the years, the University of Vigo (www.uvigo.es/uvigo_en/index.html) has established itself as a standard of modernity and innovation in Galicia. Its three campuses in Ourense, Pontevedra, and Vigo offer degree programmes in the fields of science, the humanities, technology, and socio-legal studies. These are distributed across nearly 30 centres where research groups also carry out R&D activities. A network of the institution's own centres rounds out the University of Vigo's research infrastructure, which came in 15th in a ranking of Spanish universities based on scientific production.

As a modern, audacious, and diverse entity that works in favour of gender equality, the University of Vigo's principal assets are its people, a firm commitment to comprehensive training and promoting egalitarian values, and the vocations we place at the service of our society.

Campus do Mar
Campus do Mar (campusdomar.es/?lang=en) is a project spearheaded by the University of Vigo and promoted by the three Galician universities, the Spanish Council of Scientific Research (CSIC) and the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO). It therefore brings together socio-economic entities and marine researchers from the Galicia-Northern Portugal region of Europe in order to harness the most potential possible and optimize available resources.

By energizing a cross-border network comprised of research, teaching, and technology transfer units, Campus do Mar seeks to develop the best professionals and researchers in the various economic and social aspects of marine science. In doing so, it produces quality research that affects the entire world and provides the industry with the best tools for competing at the global level.

AtlantTIC (the Atlantic Research Centre for Information and Communications Technologies, http://atlanttic.uvigo.es/en/) was created within the Telecommunication Engineering School at the University of Vigo (Spain).

The broad experience of its researchers covers a wide range of research areas in the ICT sector, such as digital communications, wireless networks, satellite communications, remote sensing, signal processing, bioengineering, and many others. AtlanTIC is also involved in several national and European R&D projects and industry contracts, which is producing an interesting combination of scientific excellence and a capacity for technology transfer to the market.

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Manuel García Sánchez, Daniel Gómez Pérez
GNSS-Assisted Drone Landing System

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University of Vigo
Mr Francisco J. Diaz-Otero
Campus Lagoas-Marcosende
36203 Vigo

+34 986 818 671

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