European GNSS Agency invites competitors to demonstrate drone applications using Galileo services

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) has launched a new competition to boost the adoption of GNSS solutions for drone applications across a wide range of sectors, that address the EU priorities such as the Green deal and support the EU Recovery Plan for Europe. The sky is not the limit competition builds on the success of GSA’s previous MyGalileoApp competition.

The sky is not the limit looks at drone-based application and services using Galileo either integrated in the flying platform, the ground control station, or other devices supporting the operation, such as smartphone or enabling U-Space services. Through this competition, the GSA wants to encourage the development of applications and services based on drones using Galileo EGNSS positioning, offering high accuracy and increased robustness, in order to stimulate business creation in this new market.

The competition is targeting EU start-ups, entrepreneurs, SMES and students, supporting the applicants in the creation of business opportunities in the fast-growing market of drone services. Innovative drone applications will serve the current EU priories including sustainability, digitisation, and resilience, and support Europe’s long-term competitiveness.

How does it work?

The aim of the contest is to design, develop, test and prepare for commercial launch a drone-based application and/or service able to provide a position fix by using Galileo-enabled receiver. The use of Galileo is understood in a broad sense, and not limited to the navigation components in the flying platform. The competition is open to integration of Galileo in any of the drone components, that is, the flying platform (autopilot or other payload), the ground control station, or any other devices supporting the implementation of the application, such as smartphone.

The competition rolls out in 3 Phases, from idea to business.

  • Phase 1: submission of an idea for application and a preliminary business case,
  • Phase 2: selection of 30 teams who will have to submit a demo version, a video of the app and the logs of the flights, and
  • Phase 3: 10 teams are selected for the final demo and to pitch in front of investors. Across the entire competition applicants will receive mentoring and coaching to develop the idea into a real application and business.

Drone applications and services

Each participating team shall propose an application / service targeting one of the following innovation areas:

  • Drones for European Green Deal;
  • Drones for European Digital Strategy;
  • Drones to Protect our European way of life; and
  • Drones for Resilience & the European Recovery.

The market related to drone applications and services is growing rapidly and European drone service revenues are expected to reach EUR 250 million by 2025. The European demand is estimated to reach EUR 10 billion annually, in nominal terms, to 2035 and over EUR 15 billion annually to 2050, creating more than 100,000 jobs. With GNSS receivers implemented on almost all new commercial drones, Galileo’s and EGNOS’ added value is pivotal for the development and growth of drone services and applications. In addition to designing and developing the application, contestants should prepare their drone-based application or service for commercial launch. The solution should leverage Galileo to provide a position fix. The use of EGNSS is understood in the broad sense, and Galileo can be integrated in the flying platform, the ground control station, or in other devices supporting the operation, such as a smartphone or even in the frame of U-Space services.

As the competition will be wide in scope, a broad participation of national and regional ecosystems via companies and research institutions in all Member States is expected.

“GNSS is a key enabling technology in this segment, ensuring robust navigation and reliability for a wide range of applications. The MyGalileoDrone competition aims to bring oxygen to European SMEs and entrepreneurs driving innovation. It will create jobs and growth in this promising market,” said Pascal Claudel, Acting Executive Director at the GSA.


The winner teams of the contest will receive the following Prizes:

  • 1st Prize of the GSA Evaluation Board: € 100.000;
  • 2nd Prize of the GSA Evaluation Board: € 60.000;
  • 3rd Prize of the GSA Evaluation Board: € 40.000;
  • 4th Prize of the GSA Evaluation Board: € 30.000


17/07/2020: Announcement of Contest & online kick off

31/08/2020: Phase 1 submission of Ideas

15/09/2020: Phase 1 evaluation, Announcement of teams to proceed to development phase

30/11/2020: Phase 2, App/Service Development, Submission of prototypes/demonstrators

15/12/2020: Phase 3, Online Demo day at EU Space Week, evaluation of phase 2, and announcement of selected teams to proceed to the Finals.

28/01/2021: Competition Finals at GSA, Flying demo, and Elevator pitch to investors

(Image: European GNSS Agency)

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