Leonardo and Telespazio reward Open Innovation projects at Expo 2020 Dubai — Italy Pavilion

The contest was dedicated to students and researchers from around the world with the aim of promoting technological innovation in the space industry



Published: Thu 16 Dec 2021, 4:40 PM

The awards ceremony of #T-TeC 2021, the Open Innovation space contest promoted by Leonardo and Telespazio, was held today at the Italy Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

To emphasise Italy's commitment to supporting the international value of the sector, the awards were presented on the occasion of the first Italy National Space Day.

Attending the event were the award-winning teams, with speeches by representatives of the European and Emirati space sector including Sultan Al Zeidi, principle engineer communications and electrical systems department of Space missions — UAE Space Agency; Luigi Pasquali, space activities co-ordinator of Leonardo and CEO of Telespazio; Pierpaolo Gambini, SVP of innovation and IP of Leonardo; and Marco Brancati, SVP of innovation and technology governance of Telespazio. The event was also a contribution to the Expo Knowledge and Learning Week.

This third edition of #T-TeC was open to young people around the world for the first time and over 70 students and researchers of STEM disciplines participated. The participants presented their innovative solutions as they challenged each other on four different macro-themes – space exploration, in orbit servicing, geoinformation applications and platforms, space situational awareness and space traffic management – considered of utmost importance for the present and future of the space sector. A committee made up of Leonardo and Telespazio representatives, members of the European (ESA), Italian (ASI) and Emirati (UAESA) space agencies, as well as industry experts coming from seven countries, analysed the 20 projects submitted assessing not only the innovative quality of the technological solutions presented, but also their sustainability.

Pasquali said: “This year had participants coming from universities of nine countries of the world. The fact that many teams are the result of international collaborations between universities of different countries is also particularly significant as it stands as proof that innovation – just like space – has a strong spirit of cooperation. It is precisely due to this peculiarity that we decided to announce the winners here at the Italy Pavilion. This international event par excellence is the perfect setting to underscore Leonardo’s commitment to promoting innovation and cooperation”.

The first prize of Euro 10,000 was given to the Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna (Italy) team who presented the ‘multi-purpose modular satellite services’ project (macro-theme: ‘in orbit servicing’) dedicated to the development of a small modular satellite able to extend the lifetime of the space assets in orbit while also mitigating the problem of orbiting debris.

Al Zeidi also stated: “It is a privilege to be part of T-TeC 2021, a platform to connect with brilliant minds here at Expo 2020 Dubai in order to explore new ideas and find new solutions for the challenges we are facing. From the UAE Space Agency background, I believe we need to facilitate the movement of researchers, and this can’t be done without the support of space agencies as well as of the companies. We really appreciate this initiative done by Leonardo and it was a privilege to have us as mentors for supporting new ideas."

The #T-Tec 2021 closing ceremony was held on the stage of the Italy Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, to which Leonardo contributed with its outstanding examples of space technology, such as the atomic clock and the robotic drill to be used in the ESA ExoMars 2022 mission to Mars, and of the future of aeronautics as represented by the AW609, the only tiltrotor set to receive civil certification, revolutionising vertical mobility.

This initiative is one of the activities promoted by Leonardo for Open Innovation: a sharing of innovation that has taken a key role in promoting new ideas and opportunities, with a long-term vision set out in the Be Tomorrow – Leonardo 2030 strategic plan.


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