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Three Czech firms’ virtual-reality project headed to Toulouse for ActInSpace hackathon final in June

The project won the national round, which took place on 25-26 May 2018 at the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague

Three Czech firms’ virtual-reality project headed to Toulouse for ActInSpace hackathon final in June
  • the winning project, Farway, visualises space, terrestrial and undersea missions
  • the Czech round of the ActInSpace hackathon was organised by ESA BIC Prague and the Czech University of Life Sciences and was held on 25-26 May 2018
  • more than 30 participants on nine teams competed in the event
  • national rounds were held at the same time in 70 other cities in 34 countries on five continents
  • the ActInSpace hackathon final will take place in Toulouse, France, on 27 June 2018

The Czech national round of the ActInSpace hackathon was held at the Czech University of Life Science in Prague on Friday and Saturday, 25-26 May 2018. Over the course of 24 hours, more than 30 participants on nine teams sought innovative uses for space technologies from the French National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) and the European Space Agency according to predefined tasks. The jury selected as the winner the Farway project of team VRUE4, which plans and visualises the course of missions not only in space, but also on land and in the depths of the ocean and identifies possible risks of such missions.

Organised by CzechInvest’s ESA BIC Prague space incubator in cooperation with the Czech University of Life Sciences, the first edition of the Czech national round of the international innovation competition ActInSpace was held in Prague under the auspices of CNES and ESA. National rounds of the competition were concurrently held in 34 other countries around the world. ActInSpace is the only competition that allows participants to work with patents of both of the aforementioned space agencies.

The winning team of the Czech national round was composed of five members from the firms Pixlboss, 2Realistic and iNFINITE Production, which operate and compete against each other in the field of virtual reality. “We have always been attracted to challenges and space, so we joined forces for ActInSpace. The next step will be to verify demand for our concept,” says Josef Večerník, member of the VRUE4 team.

At the end of June, the originators of the Farway project will take part in the hackathon final at the Toulouse Space Show, where they will present their concept to internationally recognised technical and business experts in the field of space technologies. The will also compete with the winners of the national rounds of all participating countries for attractive prizes. For example, the winner of the international round will receive a training session in an Airbus A320 simulator, the possibility to experience zero gravity, and a financial contribution for data from satellite images and support for founding their own start-up.

“The purpose of the hackathon is to support entrepreneurialism in the space sector. Czechs have something to show in the field of space business, so we are pleased that ActInSpace was held in Prague this year,” says Jana Šmotková of CzechInvest. “We will monitor the concepts that came out of this competition and we hope to eventually welcome some of the projects to our incubator, where they can look forward to, for example, comprehensive consulting and hours of mentoring.”

“The Czech University of Life Sciences greatly values the fact that it could be part of such a prestigious competition as ActInSpace, not only as a provider of facilities, but also through active participation in the event. This is evidence that modern technologies play a significant role in life sciences today,” emphasises Jana Kašparová, spokesperson for the Czech University of Life Sciences.

The Czech round of the ActInSpace hackathon was part of Czech Space Year 2018, during which a number of space-themed events are being held for the general and expert public. Space Year will culminate in autumn with a celebration of the anniversary of the Czech Republic’s accession to ESA. An overview of events and all related information are available at czechspaceyear.com.