Following the fourth edition in 2020 in remote mode, ActInSpace returned in 2022, and it was a total success. ActInSpace 2022, back to an entirely in-person format, took place on 18ᵗʰ and 19ᵗʰ November simultaneously in 34 countries and 66 cities, and Portugal didn’t miss the opportunity.
We lived the most intense 24h of our year and we have once again felt the spirit of live competition. It was a great opportunity to meet new entrepreneurs from all over the country with new and motivated solutions to old and new challenges. From saving our planet to boosting new space commercial markets, we had a lot of fun. We shared meals, naps and power plugs. Mentors were coming in and out, and in the blink of an eye, 24h were over.
For AIS Portugal this was a great return and, not surprisingly, it got enthusiastic again. Once again we filled the auditorium at Instituto Pedro Nunes in Coimbra, at the heart of the Portuguese space downstream accelerator.
We were slightly fewer in this return, but the five teams accepted the challenges and did not stand still. We felt the hackathon environment again, with the young competitors sharing information and filling the room with novel, out-of-the-box ideas.
The event started, as usual, with a welcoming video presentation from the international organisation CNES, ESA Space Solutions and Aerospace Valley. And exactly at the same time, in these 66 cities all over the five continents, more than 2700 participants began hacking the planet powered by space. Portugal was not left behind. Almost 25 participants from all over the Country were working hard day and night, powered by IPN / ESA Space Solutions Portugal and its partners. This year we had three sponsors, the Coimbra Municipality and companies Our Watch Leads and Spotlite, both incubated at IPN. They provided prizes and technical support through expert availability and dedication. Coincidence or not, Our Watch Leads was the Portuguese winner in 2020, with an app based on citizen active contribution combined with EO data to fight climate change within green spaces.
The liveliness is already a brand image, this year provided by the NEI (Student Nucleus of Informatics Engineering at the University of Coimbra). They brought buzz lights with “surprise minute challenges” that they could do at home and share the photos with us. They promoted active games this year and we could also provide participants with console and traditional games.
Our spicy lasagna also returned to the business accelerator for all participants and mentors.
For us, the best part, before we started the 5 minute pitch session to the jury, was the Astronaut challenge, in which the teams took very original photos with our astronaut from the ESA Business acceleration program. It was a tough competition! The teams were very creative and captivating in their incredible ideas giving the jury a hard task to evaluate and decide the winning team.
The most wanted prize was taken by Vestigia Lunae, with TEKA. This team proposed to store human knowledge on the moon and to ensure humanity’s legacy eternally. They shared the podium with the Moon-Opoly team that offered to explore rare materials on the earth on the moon.
ActInSpace 2022 was incredible again! We hope to see you back in 2024.