ESA Space Solutions Scale-Up Challenge

ESA Space Solutions is looking for high-potential start-ups with products/services based upon Galileo that are primed to enter the scale-up phase.

The Finalists

Discover the TOP 3 submissions to the ESA Space Solutions Scale-Up Challenge below.
Please note, that finalists are presented in an alphabetically order of their submission title.

Developers of the World's Smallest Solar-Powered GNSS Location Tracker

Miikka Kataja, Arctic Positioning Systems

Arctic Positioning Systems (APS) is developing an extremely small, solar-powered GNSS location tracking device for various use cases in business and research. Traditional GNSS tracking devices are large in size, have limited battery life, and come with high recurring network fees. To tackle these problems, the APS tracker and software solutions are designed for specific uses in which compact size, virtually no maintenance, and cost efficiency are key requirements. Using Galileo as one of its GNSS data sources, this tracking solution has already been employed in applications like mapping drone flight routes, tracking the location of rental equipment, studying the movement of animals, and much more.

Tunnll: A Sustainable Urban Bus Service for Struggling Small Towns

Kirill Blazhko

Tunnll is a next-generation mass transportation system for small towns. Hundreds of small towns around the world cannot afford public transportation, and if they are able to offer it at all, the waiting times are very long. This leads to a growing dependence on personal cars, which are one of the main contributors of greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and traffic congestion.

Tunnll specifically targets small towns (with populations between 3,000 and 25,000 people) where local public transport is not financially viable and private bus operators cannot operate at a profit. Powered by a cyber-physical system that uses Big Data from Copernicus Sentinel-2, OpenStreetMap maps, and GNSS real-time location data, Tunnll replaces bus routing with real-time pedestrian routing of passengers. This makes it more efficient than fixed-timetable bus services and on-demand minibus services.

Real-Time Location Verification of Mobile App Users

Gijs Wissing, unveiler

Unveiler is an early-stage software-as-a-service solution that wants to bring location verification to the FinTech industry. It integrates with existing applications and allows companies to detect the exact locations of mobile app users – from anywhere, in real time, and without direct interaction.
Using next-generation space tech, Unveiler also includes a security feature that helps protect FinTech applications from cyberattacks.

Want to know the winner of this year’s challenge?
Then join the Space Awards via livestream on 14 December 2021. Register now for free!

The Challenge

Over the years, many great ideas based upon Galileo have been translated into start-up companies across Europe. Indeed, ESA Space Solutions has supported many of these through its Europe-wide network of ESA Business Incubation Centres and other initiatives.

The purpose of the ESA Space Solutions Scale-Up Challenge is to support such high-potential start-ups to enter the next phase of their development – to scale-up!

Start-ups can be using Galileo to help plan, monitor, predict, and improve solutions in any sector; from transport to agriculture, and from smart cities to maritime.

Applications to the ESA Space Solutions Scale-Up Challenge are welcomed from start-ups across Europe – both from newcomers and from those who have already been supported by ESA.

Rewards 2021

Cash Prize
EUR 10,000 cash prize for the winner of the Challenge
Scale-up Consultation
Consultation on ESA Space Solutions scale-up opportunities for the most promising submissions
ESA Investor Forum 2022
Invitation for the Challenge winner to pitch his solution at the ESA Investor Forum 2022

Additional Rewards

Extra EUR 10,000 cash prize if your concept gets selected as Galileo Masters 2021 Overall Winner

Chance to win one of six tailored Galileo Incubation prizes worth up to EUR 62,000 each

Evaluation Criteria

The ESA Space Solutions Scale-Up Challenge is looking for start-ups that have already developed an MVP and who are looking to demonstrate this in the market and rapidly scale-up.

Innovation of Space Connection

How innovative is the use of Galileo and how crucial is it to the core product/service?

Scalability of the Business

Does the start-up have the potential to rapidly scale?

Robustness of Business Case

Has the business case been validated by potential users/customers?

Technical Feasibility

To what extent has the technical feasibility of the MVP been achieved?

About the ESA Space Solutions

Since the early 2000s, ESA Space Solutions has been seeking entrepreneurs with innovative ideas in using space technologies or developing applications to create new products and services in a non-space environment. Born as support to Europe’s space programmes, many technological innovations have turned out to be key to successful solutions for terrestrial markets. The transfers from Space to Earth enhance the know-how and competitiveness of Europe by creating new start-up companies and leading to new jobs and growth. The programme provides multiple entry points such as ESA Business Incubation Centres, where entrepreneurs can further develop their business plan and grow their new venture, the ESA Business Application programme where we support businesses from ideation to pre-commercialisation and ESA Technology Brokers that provides solutions to industry through access to a wide range of advanced and disruptive technologies developed by the space industry. ESA Space Solutions is part of the Directorate of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications as ESA’s door to entrepreneurship.


European Space Agency (ESA)

Matthew Edwards
Business Incubation Officer

Hall of Fame

Discover all previous winners of the Galileo Masters

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Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO)

Ines Kühnert
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