The award ceremony of the #T-TeC 2022, the Open Innovation competition promoted by Leonardo and Telespazio, open to students and researchers from universities and departments, took place in Brussels as part of the fifteenth edition of the European Space Conference from all over the world with the aim of promoting technological innovation in the space sector among the younger generations, enhancing their ideas and intuitions and together imagining the technologies that will mark the future. The awards were presented by the Coordinator of Leonardo’s Space Activities and CEO of Telespazio, Luigi Pasquali, by the Chief Technology and Innovation Officer of Leonardo, Franco Ongaro, by the head of Innovation and Technology Governance of Telespazio, Marco Brancati and by the Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. The ceremony was attended by the Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA), Josef Aschbacher and the President of the Italian Space Agency (ASI), Giorgio Saccoccia.
Now in its fourth edition, the Telespazio Technology Contest – which in 2022 saw the presentation of 20 proposals by teams from 21 universities from 12 countries – will be transformed into a start-up incubator this year. In fact, the winning team, in addition to the cash prize of 10 thousand euros, will access an acceleration path for the development of the awarded project through Leonardo’s Business Innovation Factory (BIF).
Delft University of Technology
The first prize was awarded to a team from Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands) and the Observatoire de Paris (France) who presented the SAFE – System to Avoid Fatal Events project, an innovative software that can be easily integrated into any ground station capable of evaluating the probability of collisions in orbit and suggesting the optimal maneuvers to avoid them, minimizing fuel consumption and service downtime.
The second prize, worth 6,000 euros, was awarded to a team from Imperial College (UK), the Max Planck Institute (Germany), ETH Zurich (Switzerland), Stanford University (USA) and University of Oxford (UK). The name of the project is SPAICE and it aims to support In-Orbit Servicing by offering a solution based on photorealism enhancement techniques, i.e. the transformation of synthetic images (computer-generated) of spatial assets into a realistic-looking version . Thanks to the use of artificial intelligence, SPAICE provides accurate images, indispensable in operations in orbit aimed at approaching and engaging a moving object, such as refueling or repairing a satellite. The project will start a pre-incubation process by the I3P of the Polytechnic of Turin, which will allow the team to better prepare to aspire to a place in the incubation process of the European Space Agency at the Business Incubator Center of Turin ( ESA BIC Turin).
The third prize, worth 4,000 euros, was awarded to a team from the Milan Polytechnic, with the SunCubes project. The proposal is a candidate to provide an alternative to the current electric power supply system of the orbiting assets and consists in proposing a network of satellites for the main purpose of Rome, 24 gen. (askanews) – backed by satellite manufacturers for on-board electricity generation and storage systems.
A fourth team from the Polytechnic of Turin received the Test-it Award, which represents one of the novelties of this edition. In fact, the jury considered that the Constellation architecture in lunar orbit for energy wireless transmission on the Moon project, which aims to create an infrastructure in lunar orbit for the wireless transmission of energy to the surface of the Moon through a constellation of satellites, both ready for a “proof of concept” financed by Leonardo with the technical collaboration of Telespazio. This will provide the team with tools and resources to move from the idea to the experimentation and verification of the project in the laboratory.
Telespazio Technology Contest
“This edition of the Telespazio Technology Contest represents a confirmation and at the same time a change of pace in the history of this competition. For the first time, in fact, we have decided to promote a real pre-incubation and acceleration process that will help the most deserving projects transform into real and concrete solutions, capable of contributing to the growth of the space economy”, said Luigi Pasquali, Coordinator of Leonardo’s space activities and CEO of Telespazio: “Today we reward innovative ideas from students and researchers on frontier technologies, in compliance with an increasingly important sustainability also in the space sector”.
“Research and innovation are the basis of our activities – underlined Franco Ongaro, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer of Leonardo – in this perspective, strengthening a model of shared innovation is essential to find useful solutions to enrich our offer, our solutions, our products. Initiatives such as #T-TeC help create a direct channel with talented young people, start-ups and universities. We want to strengthen an open innovation system which today, for Leonardo, is represented by the collaboration with over 90 universities and research centers globally – with around 400 research projects in progress – over 90 PhDs funded in 2022 and more than 100 researchers engaged in the Leonardo Labs, the Company’s research laboratories dedicated to cutting-edge technologies”.
The initiative is part of the activities promoted by Leonardo for Open Innovation: shared innovation that has taken on a key role in promoting new ideas and opportunities, with a long-term vision outlined in the Be Tomorrow – Leonardo 2030 strategic plan.
This article is originally published on askanews.it