INNOspace Masters – Space 4.0: New ideas for the next space Generation


Spin-in technology transfers driving innovation in the New Space Economy
An increasing number of innovative ideas from a wide variety of sectors are finding their way into space applications and ushering in fundamental changes to the surrounding industry landscape. Dubbed the “New Space Economy”, a newly established global community of innovation and entrepreneurship is profiting from new sources of capital outside of the usual institutional budgets. The number of private stakeholders involved in defining payloads and manufacturing and operating satellites and launch systems has grown exponentially in a very short time.

© Airbus Defence and Space

Here, new technologies and processes from other industries can provide the space sector with unexpected avenues for future development. They are giving entrepreneurs the chance not only to stake out better market positions, but to expand their offerings and tap into all-new markets, as well. Indeed, such innovations have the potential to revolutionise the entire value chain.

Prizes for Space 4.0 innovations
The competition is focused on start-ups, larger companies, universities, non-university research institutions, and consortia or individuals whose plans involve transferring technology and expertise from other industries into the space sector.

The INNOspace Masters ideas competition was looking for concepts and solutions under the theme “Space 4.0“ in three different categories – from 14 November 2016 until 13 February 2017 – that address current user issues, present forward-thinking ways to implement payloads, and seek to optimise the production of satellites and launchers.


Selection and announcement of winners
Following the submission phase, all complete entries will now undergo anonymous evaluation by a jury of experts from the competition’s partners. The winners of the individual categories and the overall winner will be announced at a festive awards ceremony to be held on 17 May 2017 as part of the INNOspace Masters “Space 4.0” conference (Humboldt Carré, Berlin, Germany).

Along with extensive marketing and communication activities and a global network of contacts, the winners will receive technological and business-related support services from first-rate partners capable of providing the best possible assistance as they turn their concepts into reality.

The INNOspace Masters ideas competition
The INNOspace Masters competition is being organised by the Space Administration of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) as an embedded component of the INNOspace® initiative. Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO), an experienced specialist in managing idea competitions, will be carrying out INNOspace Masters 2016-2019 on behalf of DLR. Partners of the competition are Airbus Defence and Space, and the ESA Business Incubation Centres Bavaria and Darmstadt.

Competition categories

The INNOspace Masters’s awards innovative ideas for satellite payloads, new applications and business models as well as solutions for the optimisation of processes, components or subsystems for the intelligent design and production of satellites and launchers in different degrees of maturity and innovation in three competition categories.

Participants could select the prize that best suited the focus of their projects, as well as their innovativeness and maturity:

What topics were addressed in the INNOspace Masters ideas competition?

INNOspace Masters was in search for new ideas for the next space generation from 14 November 2016 to 13 February 2017 under the theme “Space 4.0”.
In this context, the following examples were topics of special interest:

  • Satellite payloads for innovative applications and business models
  • Platform concepts for more flexible subsystems
  • Development and realisation of intelligent components capable of bearing information
  • Automation, robotics, and troubleshooting in manufacturing
  • Innovative, cost-efficient concepts for drive systems and ridesharing
  • Industrialisation of the Ariane-6 production process
  • Improvements and new developments in NDI quality assurance methods
  • New standards for processes and interfaces