University Challenge


The Galileo Masters University Challenge addressed students and research associates with a background in aerospace and GNSS-specific courses of study, in particular with the aim of fostering the transformation of bright ideas into commercial ventures.


Those are the TOP 3 submissions to the University Challenge. Congratulations to the winning solution!

FreeWheel – Discover Your Route to Freedom
FreeWheel is a platform that allows people with reduced mobility to freely discover the way to their preferred destinations. It proposes a decisive tool that enhances the independent mobility of wheelchair users while exploiting the GNSS-based positioning available on smartphones. FreeWheel is based on automatic, crowd-sourced data acquisition from devices located in a dock attached to the wheelchair. Heat maps are populated with data gathered from these devices, and maps are then converted into a web mapping and navigation service. Automatic data collection and real-time navigation will be realised in a smartphone application. By making use of both GPS and Galileo (dual-frequency) signals, it is possible to enhance positioning within urban environments, which is likely an area of significant interest for wheelchair users. Furthermore, the smartphone-based positioning capabilities could be augmented by integrating additional sensors (for inertia, for example) along with the actual constrained dynamics of wheelchairs. The accessible paths available will be stored, and historical data could be exploited later as a means of efficiently supporting the development of new urban infrastructure.
Submitted by Lotfi Massarweh
GNSS Cooperative Exchange Framework for Android Smartphones
Today, many of the location-based services (LBS) related to urban mobility rely on smartphones. The availability of raw GNSS measurements on Android phones has opened up the possibility of exchanging such measurements for improved accuracy, precision, robustness, and availability. Collaborative ranging and cooperative positioning (CP), if implemented with the smartphones’ ultra-low-cost GNSS chipsets, can enable a plethora of applications that support a modern smart city framework.
Cooperative Android Positioning System for Localisation (CAPS-Loc) proposes developing an optimal framework on Android smartphones for the exchange and near-real-time exploitation of raw GNSS measurements, as well as improved LBS. It is slated to provide three key functionalities: A network structure for the real-time exchange of measurements, one white box for the combination of measurements by means of time synchronisation, and a second white box for the integration of collaborative data into the main navigation algorithm. Aside from being a server-based system, CAPS-Loc is expected to use a phone-to-phone mode based on Wi-Fi direct to ensure continuity of its service when no network is available.
Submitted by Giampaolo Marinaro
IS4H2O – A Compact Airborne GNSS-R Device for Water Content Detection
The measurement of soil moisture is the key for smart water management in agriculture. Accurate control of crop water stress and detection of flooded areas increase productivity and prevent water loss.
Nowadays, the majority of solutions involve a grid of sensors stuck in the ground (based on the relation between conductivity and moisture), which implies limited coverage and high invasiveness.
Another effective technique is GNSS reflectometry, which exploits the power ratios of direct and backscattered GNSS signals from the ground to determine water content.
The growing number of GNSS constellations and the availability of cheap, compact, and lightweight RF receivers and processing units have made it possible to develop a GNSS-R sensor for commercial UAVs. The IS4H2O (I Search for Water) solution unleashes the potential of GNSS-R with low-cost, wide-range, non-invasive surveys. Thanks to its unique characteristics, GNSS-R can be part of the growing number of smart tools for agriculture that will soon make the sector even more competitive and environmentally friendly.
Submitted by Enrico Zanda


High-quality GNSS education is a driver of innovation, a means of enhancing companies’ competitiveness, and a valuable opportunity for international cooperation. To bridge the gap from GNSS research and academia to entrepreneurship, the Galileo Masters University Challenge addresses students and research associates with a background in aerospace and GNSS-specific courses of study, in particular with the aim of fostering the transformation of bright ideas into commercial ventures.

In addition, the Galileo Masters University Challenge seeks to reach out to any young researchers working in areas of potential applications, be they prospective automotive engineers, logistics providers, game and other mobile application developers, or health promoters. The competition heightens the exposure and credibility of student innovations on a global level while establishing links to the world of business. The evaluators will focus on creativity and market needs rather than the technological perfection of the business ideas submitted.


Prize Package by GNSS Research & Applications Centre of Excellence (GRACE)

The GNSS Research & Applications Centre of Excellence (GRACE) will provide

EUR 500 cash prize for the winner,
A dual frequency smart phone*,
12 months virtual incubation and business consultancy support (a EUR 5,000 value)*,
Participation at the Awards Ceremony 2019 (Travel expenses up to EUR 500)
* only upon delivery of a project plan, outlining the possible collaboration with GRACE

E-GNSS Accelerator Support

E-GNSS Accelerator Support

Chance to win one of three tailored E-GNSS Accelerator incubation prizes worth EUR 62,000 and an E-GNSS Accelerator crowdfunding prize worth EUR 35,000 (if eligible)
Extra Prize Money
An extra EUR 10,000 cash prize will be
allocated if your idea gets selected as
Galileo Masters 2019 Overall Winner
Overall Winner Only



A hot desk in the UNIP Space Business Incubator (duration 1 year)

1 year free membership

1 year free membership

1 year free membership of the Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN)



A free ticket to the International Navigation Conference


The competition heightens the exposure and credibility of student innovations on a global level while establishing links to the world of business. The evaluators will focus on creativity and market needs rather than the technological perfection of the business ideas submitted.

About the Partners


AZO Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen

AZO has established a global network for innovation and entrepreneurship.

AZO supports product innovation and company foundations in the field of commercial space applications along the entire value chain – from the idea all the way to market entry. The company has extensive experience in organising innovation competitions such as the Galileo Masters, the Copernicus Masters (Earth observation), the StartupWorld Awards (laser photonics and robotics), as well as the INNOspace Masters (New Space Economy), app developer camps and conferences, and manages ESA BIC Bavaria.


GNSS Research & Applications Centre of Excellence (GRACE)

GRACE is part of the University of Nottingham’s Nottingham Geospatial Institute (NGI), an internationally recognised centre of excellence in surveying, positioning, and navigation technologies.

GNSS Research & Applications Centre of Excellence (GRACE)

University of Nottingham Innovation Park (UNIP)


University of Nottingham (UNOTT), UK

University of Nottingham

Supported by

UK Space Agency

UK Space Agency



Royal Institute of Navigation

Royal Institute of Naviation (RIN)

Nottingham Scientific Limited (NSL)

Nottingham Scientific Limited (NSL)

University Partners

University of Nottingham (UNOTT), UK

University of Nottingham

Politecnico di Torino (POLITO), Italy

Politecnico di Torino (POLITO)

Fondazione LINKS

The LINKS Foundation – Leading Innovation & Knowledge for Society is a non-profit private research foundation. LINKS promotes, conducts, and strengthens innovation and research projects. LINKS is the result of the merge of two distinguished research and innovation institutions: ISMB (Istituto superiore Mario Boella), focusing on ICT, and SiTI (Istituto Superiore sui Sistemi Territoriali per l’Innovazione), focusing on Territorial Systems and Smart Cities.

LINKS Foundation


GNSS Research & Applications Centre of Excellence (GRACE)

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