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ActInSpace is an international innovation contest initiated by the French Space Agency (CNES) uniting over 60 cities across 5 continents.

A satellite in space above the Earth

Have you ever dreamed of working with technologies developed for the conquest of space, or those made to make a rocket launch? You can stop dreaming - ActInSpace is the only contest in the world that offers the chance to work on CNES and ESA patents!

Have you ever dreamed of using space technologies to launch a start-up with a real impact on daily life? Search no further - ActInSpace’s first goal is to foster start-up creation.

ActInSpace® is an international innovation contest initiated by the French Space Agency (CNES) uniting over 60 cities across 5 continents. ActInSpace is supported by ESA and the ESA Business Incubation Centres network.

This is an international event bringing together entrepreneurs, students, job seekers, developers and creatives worldwide. For 24 hours, teams come together to work on real-life challenges alongside business mentors and technical experts and to imagine and design innovative services and products that find every day uses for space technologies or data.

The winning teams proceed to the national and international finals to present their project to an international jury of experts on technology transfer and business development. All teams with promising projects go on to receive guidance from ESA’s Business Incubation Centres and partner incubators to accelerate their project and turn their idea into a real company.

What are the key goals of ActInSpace?

  • to make people dream bigger and develop their entrepreneurial spirit, especially young people
  • to show people just how amazing the space sector is and how it can positively impact on our daily life
  • to demonstrate the socio-economic potential of the space sector and its ability to boost startup creation
  • to build a bridge between civil society and space agencies to make patent licensing more accessible
  • to encourage women to start technical companies

ActInSpace ran in 2018 and will return in 2020. See ActinSpace on Facebook.



Caoimhe Rooney, a postgraduate researcher in the Mathematical Institute, part of MPLS Division. She took part in the 2018 International Space University Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program in Australia, aimed at those hoping to enter the space industry. Read about her experience and what she hopes to do next.