#T-TeC, the sustainability challenge in Space and on Earth

08 November 2022

The fourth edition of the #T-TeC, the Telespazio and Leonardo Open Innovation contest, open to STEM students, researchers and university researchers all over the world has now gone live. Franco Ongaro, CTIO of Leonardo: “The next generation of engineers will be asked to reinvent everything around us. Taking part in a competition is the best way of understanding the true value of an idea.” 

New solutions to support the future challenges of the space sector. An open innovation initiative promoted by Telespazio and Leonardo targeted at researchers, start-ups, research centres and academies. #T-TeC was launched to harness the potential of the next generation, challenging participants to tackle the issues that will shape the space sector in the next few decades. The top three projects will be awarded cash prizes and the winning team will also be able to take part in an acceleration course to develop their project at the Leonardo Business Innovation Factory. The closing date for competition entries is 27 November.

“We also want to search for ideas outside of our innovation pool - underlines Franco Ongaro, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer of Leonardo -.  Research and innovation are the basis of our work but in this context, it is also essential to look around you. The Leonardo method ranges from university research - we collaborate with over 90 universities and have launched dozens of PhDs - to our Labs, which today employ over 100 researchers, through to the search for innovative start-ups and new ideas”.

 “At the start - adds Ongaro - #T-TeC was only seen as a competition for identifying the innovative ideas of the next generation, for generating a dialogue with the new levers of the sector. This year we want to take the next step and make the winning team part of the Business Innovation Factory, our acceleration programme. The chosen group will participate in the acceleration programme of Leonardo and LVenture, our partner in the BIF, with the support of a mentor to maximise its business effects. In fact, we noted how some submissions in previous years of the competition were mature enough to have been considered as genuine startups”.

“Today, thinking about the future first and foremost means touching on the key issue of expertise – continues Ongaro. In the next few years, for example, there will be an increasing demand for two skills. Everything that pertains to digitalisation: data scientists, artificial intelligence and in general people that can manipulate digital systems, not just in the sense of software but also the electronics that enable the software to function. My generation, those of us who weren’t born and raised with digital technology, struggles to be innovative. Another area that makes direct use of a series of STEM skills is sustainability.  The next generations will have to work to save the planet and saving the planet essentially means reinventing everything around us.”

The teams taking part in the 2022 edition of #T-TeC will focus on six macro topics closely related to sustainability in Space and on Earth: “Space and Extraterrestrial Exploration”; “In Orbit Servicing towards a Circular Economy in Space”; “GeoInformation Applications and Platforms for a sustainable Earth”; “Space Domain Awareness for the Protection of Space and Ground Infrastructures”; “Secure and Resilient Communications with future technologies”; “Positioning, Navigation and Timing Infrastructures and Solutions for Earth and other celestial bodies”.

“Taking part in a competition – concludes Ongaro - is a way of doing something more than just saying: yes, I had a great idea but then just carried on with my day. If you don’t enter it in a competition you’ll never know to what degree that idea is worth pursuing. It is always worth taking part”.

To find out more and enter the competition, visit the dedicated page at #T-TeC 2022.