Galileo is Paving the Way Towards Next Generation Applications

by | Dec 6, 2018

Marseille “ While the Earth's atmosphere and ground surfaces are well monitored by satellites, there are no satellites in its oceans to identify biodiversity or plastics. The Galileo Masters Overall Winner 2018, PlanBlue has developed an automated and standardised monitoring technology that will speed up climate legislation and aid underwater construction industries.


Hereby, Galileo data is incorporated in seafloor maps (geo-referenced) so that the exact same locations of the seafloor bed can be revisited. The intelligent software is linked to a specific underwater (hyperspectral) camera that facilitates accurate mapping of the seafloor. The high-quality data it produces can be used to explore the unknown 95% of the oceans whilst improving both conservation and industrial activities. In comparison to traditional monitoring, PlanBlue's technology is faster, more accurate, geo-referenced, and up to 75% cheaper. Its seafloor maps feature interactive color-coding and can be interpreted by anyone, from policymakers to the general public. PlanBlue provides a new monitoring technology that is changing the way maps and seafloors are assessed. It enables the tackling of present-day challenges such as climate change.


“Satellite navigation is an essential element of modern mobility and a key technology, particularly in the age of a data-driven economy. This is exactly where the Galileo Masters competition comes into play. It provides a public platform to the creative community, in order to help promising business cases turn into solutions that are commercially mature and generate added value for business and society.” explains Thorsten Rudolph, CEO of AZO Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen, the initiator and organiser of the Galileo Masters.


27 more business cases and Challenge winners were recognised during the Awards Ceremony in Marseille by high-ranking industry and institutional representatives, such as the European GNSS Agency (GSA), the European Commission (EC), the European Space Agency (ESA), the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). In addition, 20 partner regions across the globe awarded the best competition entries.


Carlo des Dorides, Executive Director of the European GNSS Agency (GSA), said, The Galileo Masters has once again proven to be a very effective promotional, scouting and support mechanism for new European GNSS applications. The GSA is proud to celebrate its 10-year cooperation in this useful initiative. The new applications inspired by this competition constantly advance the growth and use of European GNSS technology and help ensure that EU investment in space delivers real benefits to citizens.


With its 10-year commitment, the GSA has made a significant contribution in forming the Galileo Masters into the most successful ideas competition for satellite navigation in Europe. The Galileo Masters (former European Satellite Navigation Competition) is the leading network for satellite navigation. It annually awards the best services, products, and business ideas using satellite navigation in everyday life, spurring the development of respective market-driven applications and continuously searches the most outstanding business cases related to GNSS, in line with the EU Space Strategy. By fostering entrepreneurs and startups, the innovation competition has the long-term objective of strengthening Europe's competitiveness with high-tech space solutions on the global scale. Additionally, AZO established Europe's first E-GNSS Accelerator programme, funded by the European Commission (EC). This programme offers the top three pitching startups access to dedicated incubation programmes at their preferred incubation centre of the Galileo Masters network all across Europe worth EUR 180,000.


The Galileo Masters 2018 Awards Ceremony took place in front of an international audience during the European Space Week 2018 in Marseille, France. Next year's Galileo Masters submission phase will start on 1 April 2019.




About Galileo Masters

Initiated by AZO Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen, German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology, the Galileo Masters (former European Satellite Navigation Competition, ESNC) today is the leading network for satellite navigation. The Galileo Masters annually awards the best services, products, and business ideas using satellite navigation in everyday life, spurring the development of respective market-driven applications. With its 15th edition, the international innovation competition serves as an accelerating instrument for spacerelated entrepreneurs and startups, providing Europe with novelties. Since 2004, more than 11,500 developers took part with an overall prize pool worth EUR 13 million for more than 300 winners and 200 international judges assigned with the evaluation of submissions. Additionally, AZO established Europe's first E-GNSS Accelerator programme, funded by the European Commission (EC). For more information please see



About AZO

AZO Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen is an international networking and branding company initiating the most important space-related innovation competitions with more than 15,000 participants, over 200 industrial & public – and 400 international stakeholders. The Masters Series, presented by AZO consists of European Satellite Masters (ESNC), Copernicus Masters, Space Exploration Masters, and INNOspace Masters. AZO has been supporting entrepreneurship with more than 148 company foundations to date and the creation of 2,000 high-tech jobs in Bavaria with an annual turnover of about EUR 150 million. Additionally, AZO runs a very successful business angel network which invested more than EUR 130 million Venture Capital in 2016/17 as well as the ESA Incubation Centre (ESA BIC) Bavaria. For more information, please visit


April Issue 2024