Start Your Success Story: From the Lecture Hall to the Board Room

Higher education is still on the front end of market forces to offer learners access to exclusive services and resources – which are currently only available to the traditional student. However, companies understand that staying ahead in a highly competitive economy requires the best talents, hence the best students. This implicates that academic institutions need to increase the powerful replication of business in seeking out such talented students. To enable emerging thinkers to pursue their pathways to success, universities need to have an appropriate strategy in place. For this reason, leading universities enter into strategic partnerships with innovation competitions creating an entrepreneurial environment to boost connections and to stimulate innovative ideas from concept to reality, also fostering the transformation of clever ideas into commercial ventures. Additionally, students can connect to entrepreneurs and interested companies. Simultaneously, institutions and businesses team up with competitions to identify bright solutions and top talent.

Such partnerships have become very relevant in the face of increasing economic pressure and global challenges. The need for interdisciplinary applications for commercial usage is vital regarding the growing complexity of challenges which need solutions: To lay the foundation, the University of Nottingham (UNOTT), UK, the Universität der Bundeswehr München (UNIBWM), Germany, the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Spain, l’École Nationale de l’Aviation Civile (ENAC), France, and the Politecnico di Torino (POLITO), Italy, collaborate with the leading European Satellite Navigation Competition 2017 (ESNC) and the Copernicus Masters Competition 2017. Both competitions invite students and research associates from any field of study to put their innovative business ideas into the limelight. The competitions heighten the exposure and credibility of student innovations on a global level while establishing links to the world of business and leadership.

The “ESNC University challenge” seeks to reach out to any young researchers working in areas of potential applications, such as IoT, Machine-to-Machine (M2M), sustainability, safety, transportation and mobile application areas, or the health business. Participating in such leading innovation competitions means high-quality education, enhancing companies’ competitiveness, and – at the same time – a valuable opportunity for international cooperation. The ESNC and Copernicus Masters missions are to spur the development of marketdriven applications based on satellite navigation and Earth observation technologies.

No matter what stage a pioneering idea is at, both competitions provide support for innovative ideas at each development level, with the ultimate aim to turn them into real business cases. Thus, the diversity offered and its entire network are best described as “service all along the value chain” serving as a Europe‐wide and effective support mechanism for entrepreneurs and startups.

Both competitions represent a network of innovation and expertise comprising 20 global partner regions. Within the past fourteen years more than 11,000 developers took part with a panel of currently more than 450 judges assigned with the evaluation of the submissions. Sign up now for the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) with your business idea related to satellite navigation. If your idea is relying on Earth observation (EO) data, please sign up here for the Copernicus Masters. Start your success story: From the Lecture Hall to the Board Room!

Regine Heue, Head of Marketing & Communications at AZO, is responsible for managing and directing internal and external communications, supervising public relations, and is the main media contact for the organisation.

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