To promote new, innovative ideas in the space sector and ultimately transform them into start-ups, to fuel the enthusiasm and passion of STEM students, to strengthen collaboration among enterprises, universities and research centres.
These are the objectives of the fifth edition of #T-TeC, Telespazio Technology Contest, the Open Innovation competition organised yearly by Telespazio and Leonardo and presented by Marco Brancati, Chief Technology Innovation Officer of Telespazio, during the last 74th International Astronautical Congress (IAC).
Attendees of the #T-TeC presentation ceremony included Luca Del Monte, Head of Commercialisation Department at European Space Agency (ESA), Teodoro Valente, President of the Italian Space Agency (ASI), Erasmo Carrera, President of the Italian Association of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIDAA), Franco Bernelli Zazzera, President of the Council of European Aerospace Societies (CEAS), and Valentina Luchetti, Acting Executive Director of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC).
Once again this year, after the success of the 2022 edition (in which 20 different teams participated, made up of students and researchers from 21 different universities all over the world), the ambition of #T-TeC is to be a true enabler that allows start-ups to access incubator and accelerator programmes and, in this way, support the growth and development of ideas, from the initial phases of the project right up to maturity.
For this reason, in addition to the money prizes for the winner of the Idea category (five thousand Euro) and the three top teams of the Prototype category (ten thousand, six thousand and four thousand Euro, respectively), the team in the Prototype category presenting the project most ready to be transformed into a commercial offer, and that want to create a start-up, will have an extra opportunity. This team will be able to access the accelerator programme of Seraphim Space, an investment fund specialised in the space sector that, since 2017, has supported over one hundred companies worldwide and obtained over 2.2 billion dollars of investment. The new start-up will be able to fine tune and develop its project and also come into contact with potential investors in special meetings organised in London, San Francisco and Singapore.
In addition, the other winning proposals in the Prototypes category will have access to a 6-month incubation programme with Lazio Innova, an in-house company of the Lazio Region, Italy. Telespazio and Lazio Innova, through the Spazio Attivo Roma Tecnopolo, have launched a partnership to support the birth and development of entrepreneurial projects of high scientific and technological value formed by young teams from the world of science and research with the common objective of developing the space economy sector and related market segments.
Lastly, the possibility of supporting a Proof of Concept (thanks to Leonardo) will be assessed for one of the proposals that is ready for the laboratory verification of the achieved results.
#T-TeC participants will be able to choose to present their ideas and projects in one of the six main themes linked to sustainability in Space and on the Earth: “Space Exploration and Extra-terrestrial Exploitation”; “In Orbit Servicing towards a Circular Economy in Space”; “Geoinformation Applications, Platforms and Digital Twins for a sustainable Earth”; “Space Domain Awareness for the Protection of Space and Ground Infrastructures”; “Secure and Resilient Communications with future technologies”; “Positioning, Navigation and Timing Solutions for Earth and other celestial bodies”.
The fifth edition of #T-TeC will close officially on 10th December 2023, which is the last day to submit proposals. In the weeks that follow, the panel of judges will examine the projects and select the winners, who will receive their awards in Brussels in January 2024, during the 16th edition of the European Space Conference.
As occurred previously, the 2023 edition of the Telespazio Technology Contest can count on prestigious supporters. In addition to the traditional support of ESA, ASI, AIDAA, SGAC and CEAS, this year the contest will also have the patronage of the UK Space Agency (UKSA) and the Spanish Space Agency (AEE).
In the previous four editions, more than 270 participants from 42 universities in over 15 countries took part, submitting over 80 projects.
The rules and registration form for participating in the 2023 edition are available here.