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Winner of the SeRANISxfounders Challenge “Hitchhiker’s Guide to Orbit” announced

Nov. 2022: The best innovation ideas have been awarded with a ticket to space

On 21st of November 2022 the time had finally come – the start-up company PaTTs by Talos was able to successfully prevail against the other five finalists in an exciting final. Talos has thus secured a flight ticket on the SeRANIS satellite ATHENE 1. From originally almost 20 applications for the SeRANISxfounders Challenge, PaTTS by Talos presented the most convincing concept with its innovative satellite-based tracking system after a multi-stage selection process.

After intensive deliberation, the jury selected PaTTS by Talos as the winner, who can now also be on board in addition to the experiments of the SeRANIS mission. Colonel Marc Worch, who was allowed to represent the Inspector of the German Air Force, Lieutenant General Gerhartz, praised the potential of PaTT’s technology for Germany’s digital sovereignty and the needs of the Bundeswehr. Jury member Dr. Fritz Merkle, former member of the Management Board of OHB SE and experienced space pioneer, was also impressed by the inventive height of the winning idea and the excellent fit to the SeRANIS mission.

Other winners

SeRANIS project manager Prof. Andreas Knopp made other three participants a big surprise by distributing further flight tickets to the company NEOSAT, Seamless Connectivity for Space and the research initiative ASOPS. “We are pleased that we have designed our satellite so flexibly that we can also offer these three excellent candidates the prospect of at least partial realization of their ideas,” commented Knopp.

New territory for the Bundeswehr

In the SeRANISxfounders competition “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Orbit”, start-ups, founders and entrepreneurial research initiatives were invited to apply for a flight opportunity for their idea or technology on the Bundeswehr’s first research satellite in low-Earth orbit. “As an anchor customer, we want to be the technology platform for start-ups so that they can demonstrate their product and service ideas to their customers and investors directly in the mission-relevant environment – namely in space. That’s why we designed and launched this challenge in the SeRANIS project. It has always been part of our mission and we are thrilled with the great response.”

Perfect timing for SeRANIS

The former MP Dr. Thomas Sattelberger, who was also a prominent member of the jury, also pointed out these connections in detail and emphasized the importance of the SeRANIS mission and its innovative approach to promoting start-ups. During a visit in the summer of this year, Bavaria’s Digital Minister Judith Gerlach recently called for German start-ups to be taken into account in the conception and tendering of the project.

Munich in particular is considered a stronghold of innovative space start-ups and is also home to the SeRANIS winning company TALOS, although the foundation for the technology was laid at TU Dresden.

Opportunity and commitment

The managing director of TALOS, Gregor Langer, sees his company’s victory as both an opportunity and an obligation. “In the last six months, we have made breathtaking progress in our technological maturity, but also in the development of our business idea. We would like to thank you not only for the trust placed in us, but also for the valuable coaching by the Business Accelerator Founders of UniBw M during the boost camp phase.”

Prof. Rafaela Kraus, Vice President for Entrepreneurship at UniBw M, has set up a start-up offer with founders: “Our entrepreneurship programs are particularly aimed at researchers and future DeepTech founders, who can learn the latest entrepreneurial tools and train the skills required to turn a technology-based idea into a business model,” she adds.

Evaluation criteria and jury

The jury was made up of top-class representatives of space research, the Bundeswehr and entrepreneurship and, in addition to social relevance, evaluated how well the presented innovation ideas fit into the SeRANIS mission. Another essential criterion was the start-up idea of the presented solutions, as SeRANIS wants to promote young scientists and entrepreneurship as a basis for possible start-up companies.

Even if there can only be one first-placed champion, it is clear that all finalists can count themselves among the winners – either they were able to secure one of the coveted flight tickets or at least take the opportunity to present their own technology ideas to the jury as well as the audience and thus draw attention and curiosity about their current and possible future developments.

In the picture from left to right: Andreas Knopp (ProjL SeRANIS), Colonel Marc Worch (Bundeswehr), Gregor Langer; Fabian Geißler, Martin Laabs, Tony Bauer (all PaTTS by Talos), Dr. Fritz Merkle (jury member) // Copyright: UniBw M; Siebold;

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