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OneWeb announces five Innovation challengers and three academic Innovators to collaborate on future low Earth orbit satellite technology

OneWeb, the low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, today announced the finalists in its open Innovation Challenge 2021 to create new innovations, products, and solutions for small satellite technology.

More than 300 Innovators from 19 countries took part in the challenge, in association with the UK Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the UK Space Agency, and European Space Agency.

OneWeb invited engineering, science, creative talent, research professionals, and subject matter experts from around the world to propose ideas that redefine existing mindsets in satellite design, production, orbit, flight operations and responsible de-orbiting, and they only had six weeks to do so.

Five Innovators have been successful in the Industrial Partners award category and will now enter a co-engineering phase together with OneWeb to further develop their ideas.

Three Innovators in the Academia / Research category have also been named, with one winner invited to attend a OneWeb/Arianespace launch. The two runners-up will join OneWeb’s Innovation Programme to complete an R&D project.

We would like to thank everyone who took part in this satellite innovation challenge and we are grateful for the amazing responses from all of the entrants across the globe who submitted their ideas to OneWeb.

OneWeb’s Chief Technical Officer Massimiliano Ladovaz said: “Huge congratulations to the five Industrial category winners and three academia winners announced today. They will join a growing list of organisations with access to OneWeb’s resources to collaborate, grow, and potentially secure a place in our global supply chain. The teams honoured today will be the first to join our Innovation community. We were blown away by the response to this challenge, and on behalf of OneWeb, I want to make a special mention to everyone who took part – the calibre of the entries was so high that we will continue to engage with many other participants as we go forward.”

The Innovation Challenge 2021 honours are as follows:

INDUSTRY CATEGORY WINNERS (alphabetical order):


A technological research institute accelerating science, technology research & transfers to industry. Main fields of expertise include materials & processes, energy, systems engineering and modelling, AI, and communications.


Mbryonics pioneers the use and industrialization of FreeForm optics and photonic integrated circuits for space systems.


Morpheus Space disrupts the New Space industry by introducing agile constellations – a fusion between cutting edge electric propulsion and artificial intelligence.


Oledcomm is a LiFi technology leader, developing solutions for applications in automotive, aeronautics, education, defense, and healthcare industries. Its flagship product LiFiMAX received an innovation award at CES, Las Vegas.


R3-IoT combines cutting edge satellite communications technology with the best of IoT to offer unique end-to-end data services to the 90% of the planet that lacks traditional communication infrastructure.


1. Fraunhofer

Dr. Erik Beckert – Head of Department “Opto-mechatronical Components and Systems”

2. Imperial College London

Prof. Julie A. McCann – Head of Adaptive Emergent Systems Engineering Group

3. Digantara

Space tech specialists in debris monitoring systems, incubated by the Indian institute of Science (IISc)

The Innovation Challenge 2021 is part of OneWeb’s Innovation Programme to find and foster smart new innovations in space communications, to connect ideas for good, for the benefit of everyone on Earth – responsibly, sustainably, and together.

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