The future is in safe hands, if the concepts submitted for the New Zealand Aerospace Challenge 2019 are anything to go by.
ChristchurchNZ and Airbus are pleased to announce the 18 participants of the New Zealand Aerospace Challenge 2019 virtual incubator programme.
The goal of the Challenge is to seek out innovative ideas of how the agricultural sector can use space technology to be more sustainable.
Specifically, participants are asked to design solutions to identify, monitor or measure water or soil pollution using satellite data and unmanned aircraft technology.
Over the next five months these ideas will be developed and prototypes created ready for a two-day event in October demonstrating the technology at a ‘pitchfest’ and awards event in Christchurch.
Entries were judged by Airbus Head of Technology Asia-Pacific Cyrille Schwob alongside New Zealand’s top space, agri and tech industry leaders representing eleven organisations. See the full list of judges here.
“Airbus has been impressed by the proposals received from the participants. These span the full spectrum of the space and agritech industries and included future-focused technology such as the use of remote sensing, artificial intelligence and unmanned aircraft.
“The quality of the submissions reflects the strong culture of innovation we see in New Zealand, especially among students, incubators and start-ups,”Airbus Head of Technology Asia-Pacific Cyrille Schwob
The virtual incubator programme will provide participants with:
- Access to Airbus’ Sandbox and Verde satellite imagery platform and available datasets
- Masterclasses on design thinking, rapid prototyping, data analysis, and the latest in unmanned aircraft and space technology as applied to agriculture
- Advice and mentorship from key partners such as Xerra (formerly Centre for Space Science Technology), University of Canterbury, Airways, and Blinc
- Assistance in licenses and flight testing of prototypes, where applicable
- Commercialisation advice on market fit, pitch coaching, viable product development and business case creation.
ChristchurchNZ is hosting and delivering the Challenge, and General Manager Innovation and Business Growth Richard Sandford said it is a brilliant opportunity for the city to showcase its thriving aerospace industry.
“Christchurch is fast becoming the hub for NZ’s aerospace industry. Not only are our open, flat landscapes a natural fit for testing, but the city has a depth and breadth of industry experience in supporting sectors such as advanced manufacturing, engineering, geospatial data management, and agritech.
“With support from a global giant like Airbus the possibility to create something really powerful and practical is limitless,” said Sandford.
The Challenge is the first deliverable under the Letter of Intent signed between the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Innovative Partnerships programme and Airbus in October 2018.
The New Zealand Aerospace Challenge 2019 incubator participants are (by region):
Sensors and Smart Systems Laboratory, Massey University
Kuaka Environmental Analysis
The Intelligent Vision Systems Laboratory
Drone Technologies NZ Ltd
See profiles of each of the participating teams at nzaerospacechallenge.com