ESA Business Incubation Centre Presents: Space4impact – Exploit space as an nabling technology for a sustainable society


Reducing hunger. Greener transportation. A more sustainable food production. Space can be a key enabling technology for a more sustainable society in a number of ways.

The key enabling space technology is called “satellite systems”. Satellite systems are constellations of satellites in orbit around the Earth which provide digital products and services. The most well-known satellite system is GPS. These product and services can benefit commercial corporations as well as government authorities, NGOs and ordinary citizens globally.

Satellite systems are enabling technologies in the sense that they can be applied to drive radical change in the capabilities of users – just like the internet has been an enabling technology.

There are three types of satellite systems which function as enabling technologies:

  • Satellite based navigation, positioning and timing: e.g. GPS and the European system Galileo
  • Satellite-based Earth Observation providing geo-related information, data and services: the European Copernicus system
  • Satellite-based communication: Providing global connectivity for IoT, media and internet
  • A number of satellite systems are already in orbit and more will follow in the years to come. This creates a huge opportunity for exploiting space as an enabling technology to the benefit of life on Earth.
  • Find inspiring examples at the website of the European Space Agency:

Keywords: Space, SDGs, sustainability, satellite applications, space technology

Innovation Challenge:

The key question of the challenge is:

  • How can applications of satellite systems – Earth observation, navigation and positioning and/or telecommunications – be exploited to the benefit of a more sustainable society?


Participants addressing the challenge should, of course, develop a solution which utilizes applications of space systems and which creates value for end-user. But they should also consider how to make the solution commercially viable – i.e. how to commercialize the solution in a startup or in an existing company. 

If a solution is developed which can be commercialized through a startup the European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre Denmark will support the maturation of the idea after completion of the challenge.

Point of contact:

Edvard Foss Email: