The ESA Space Solutions Prize awards the proposal with the best business model among the entries to all challenges of the Space Exploration Masters 2018.

A business model is the plan for how the business idea will generate revenues and make a profit. It explains what products or services the business intends to manufacture and market, and how it plans to do so, including what expenses it will incur. Nevertheless, an innovative and disruptive business model comes with technological elements – e. g. exploitation of smart apps, cloud technologies, GNSS positioning, navigation and timing, etc. – involving new stakeholders acting as strategic partners for the business case.


A EUR 40,000 contract between ESA and the winning team to deliver a feasible case study identifying the strategy to implement the business model.


The best business model will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Uniqueness or novelty: this defines what sets the business model apart from others of its kind on the market; e. g. is your business model based on a game-changing cost structure and/or revenue generation?
  • The future likelihood of making a profit from the business model or the business model’s ability to remain unique from the rest; e. g. how much work do you get others to do?; do you earn before you spend?
  • Comprehensiveness or how thoroughly it covers the entirety of the scope it is aimed towards
  • Inimitability: how difficult it is for others to emulate the same model due to the unique factors that make it up
  • Robustness or how well the business model withstands various tests and still remains viable
  • Sustainability or whether the business model has the ability to continue at a consistent rate or level
  • Ability of engaging new strategic partners and mitigating the risks from influencers not interested in the products/services
  • Scalability of the business: how easily the business model allows the owner to increase the size of the business without a significant impact on the bottom line



Technology Transfer and Business Incubation Office
Frank Salzgeber
+31 71 565 6208