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Global space hackathon returns to launch local entrepreneurs

26 October 2020


Wright Technologies

Above: Wright Technologies on their zero gravity flight experience. Right: Wright Technologies in Toulouse, France.

UniSA’s Innovation & Collaboration Centre (ICC) is hosting a 24-hour international space hackathon in November that will see students, entrepreneurs and developers working together to use existing space technologies and data to design, improve or develop new applications to solve real-world problems.

Co-organised by the French space agency, Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and the European Space Agency (ESA), ActInSpace is delivered by the ICC with support from the South Australian Government and the South Australian Space Industry Centre.

Associate Director of the ICC, Jasmine Vreugdenburg says the event is designed to develop and encourage entrepreneurship in the many talented young South Australians who have great ideas.

“This is an important event on the ICC calendar because we want to inspire the next wave of space enthusiasts who can contribute to the space industry in South Australia,” Vreugdenburg says.

“Given the state’s focus on growing the space sector and supporting new space ideas through our Venture Catalyst Space program, this hackathon is a real opportunity to bring together new and existing talent to generate new ideas and solutions that may have potential to grow into new businesses with the space sector.”

The team that won the hackathon when it was first staged in Australia at UniSA in 2018, Wright Technologies, won the opportunity to travel to France and compete against 32 countries in the global finals.

The grand prize was a trip to France for a zero-gravity flight experience, which the team also won (pictured above).

Wright Technologies team member Kosta Canatselis says the experience gave them the confidence they needed to start their business.

“ActInSpace gave us the foundation to get our team together, identify a problem, build a concept and pitch our vision to a huge international audience - it changed everything for us,” Canatselis says.

“It helped us see we could take our vision, build an idea from concept and potentially disrupt an entire industry. It gave us exposure, networks, support, and broke down the barriers to help us validate and test what we were working on.”

Following the competition, the group successfully applied for the ICC’s six-month space incubator program, Venture Catalyst Space, to further develop their business.

Premier Steven Marshall says it was encouraging to see so many young South Australian’s taking part in the 2020 event.

“ActInSpace is a fantastic event that combines creativity with technology and innovation and gives our young entrepreneurs and innovators across Australia a perfect opportunity to unleash their true potential,” Premier Marshall says.   

“Encouraging entrepreneurship and inspiring young people to pursue careers in space is key to growing Australia’s already thriving space industry, and this competition gives our brightest minds the chance to show the rest of the world what they are capable of while preparing them for hi-tech space jobs of the future.”

ActInSpace presents a great opportunity for South Australia and France to demonstrate their commitment to grow a successful partnership within the space industry. 

Participants of the event will work in teams over the 24-hour period with the support of technical and business mentors to solve challenges set by sponsors like Airbus.

In 2020, 45 countries will take part in the ActInSpace Hackathon from 75 cities around the world.

Interested participants can register on the website

  • Information session, ask questions about the event, help in forming teams and meet the global champions
    • Thursday 29 October, 12-2pm, UniSA City West Student Lounge
  • ActInSpace competition
    • Friday 13 November 12pm – Saturday 14 November 6pm. Register

The event is free to participate and open to anyone over the age of 18 years.

Media contact: Georgia Minarelli email mobile: 0413 314 726

Wright Technologies in France

South Australian Government

University of South Australia