INNOspace Masters – Innovations for Sustainable Infrastructures
in Space and on Earth.

The INNOspace Masters, initiated by DLR Space Administration in 2015, is an annual innovation competition embedded in the INNOspace® initiative.
The competition successfully promotes the development of new space technologies as well as the transfer of technologies, services and applications from space into other industries and vice versa. Together with ESA Business Incubation Centres (BICs) in Bavaria & Northern Germany, Hesse & Baden-Wurttemberg as well as Airbus, OHB and DB Netz AG DLR offers five different competition categories in the INNOspace Masters. As a participant, you select the challenge from these categories that best matches the focus of the innovation as well as the maturity and innovation level of the idea.

  • Ideas for the DLR Challenge are (usually) in the pre-competitive development phase and can present research results or demonstrators.
  • Ideas for the ESA BIC Challenge are usually in the initial phase with an idea at the “proof of market” stage or near-to-market prototypes have already been developed.
  • Ideas for the Airbus, OHB or DB Netz AG Challenge are already in the innovation and/or integration phase with existing technologies, systems, services and/or solutions.

More than 400 submissions have been received from companies, SMEs, start-ups, universities, research institutes, non-university research institutions and individuals from 18 European countries since 2015. The best submissions from the different categories and a main winner will then be awarded at the annual INNOspace Masters conference. So far, 5 overall winners and 57 challenge winners (including 2nd and 3rd prizes) have been awarded prizes worth EUR 6.7 million by high-ranking representatives from politics and business. This prize pool enables the winners of the INNOspace Masters, with the support of the respective Challenge Partners, to implement their ideas in concrete innovation projects.

The INNOspace Masters 2019/2020 addressed worldwide SMEs, start-ups, universities and non-university research institutions. Overall, 316 participants submitted 117 ideas from 15 different countries. The innovation competition is looking for forward-looking ideas and solutions that are made possible by the transfer of expertise and technology between space and other sectors.

The competition thus makes a significant contribution to promoting innovation and commercialising space throughout the entire value creation chain.

INNOspace® initiative to promote innovation and new markets

Space has always been a driver of innovation and a key technology. But how do forward-looking inventions become new products, processes and services? How can industry use developments and innovations from space? How can a transfer of expertise from the space industry to different sectors of the economy be successful?

To do this, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Space Administration launched the INNOspace® initiative on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy in 2013. INNOspace is an initiative within the framework of the “National Programme for Space and Innovation” by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy and has been part of the German government’s New High-Tech Strategy since 2014. It is intended to stimulate innovative inventions and technology transfer between space and other sectors of the economy. The exchange of expertise and technologies is to take place in both directions: As a “spin-off”, i.e. the commercialisation of space technology and expertise in non-space industries, and as a “spin-in”, i.e. the use of technologies from non-space industries into space. Multiplier effects open up new markets and create economic added value in downstream markets and outside space.

Further information can be found here.

AZO – Your Partner in Competition & Innovation

AZO Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen is an international networking and branding company for the European space programmes, supporting entrepreneurship with more than 500 companies founded in Europe. For almost 15 years, AZO has established the leading European space cluster innovation network for the satellite downstream market, while providing the necessary marketing and promotion platform, incubation and expert network, as well as regional funding programmes with the objective to increase the uptake of business cases. AZO organises it’s “Innovation Masters Series”, the most important space-related innovation competitions: Galileo Masters, Copernicus Masters, INNOspace Masters, Space Exploration Masters as well as the Copernicus Hackathons in close cooperation with the European Commission (EC), Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology Germany (BMVI), European Space Agency (ESA), German Aerospace Center (DLR), as well as a number of major industrial partners such as Airbus, Merck, DHL, SAP, T-Systems, CGI and many others. In all competitions, AZO awards product innovations with well-known partners and established associated accelerator programs in almost all competitions. Additionally, AZO manages its ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) Bavaria. This incubation programme has supported more than 148 company foundations solely in Bavaria to date.

AZO Facts & Figures

  • AZO’s global space innovation networks: >15,000 participants (entrepreneurs & inventors), > 20 million EUR prize pool, 48 European Partner regions, over 600 industrial & public stakeholders
  • Entrepreneurship: AZO supported > 5,836 Business Cases with 500 company foundations in Europe and 148 company foundations in Bavaria
  • Venture Capital: AZO runs a very successful business angel network which invested more than EUR 130 million Venture Capital in 2017

INNOspace Masters

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