ActInSpace is an international innovation contest initiated by the French Space Agency (CNES) and supported by the European Space Agency and the ESA’s Business Incubation Centres network. It has been held since 2018. On November 13-14, 2020 around 3600 competitors from 61 cities took part in the hackathon.
In 2020, Noosphere for the first time became an ActInSpace Ukrainian local lead, gathering participants from Dnipro, Odessa, Kharkiv, Cherkasy and Kyiv. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this time the event took place in an all-virtual format. Despite some technical problems, Noosphere, as an experienced host of such hackathon’s, coped with these issues without drama and provided a comfortable working atmosphere for all. “Everything was cool, taking into account the online format. Looking forward to next year to meet more people, eat pizza and wear merch,” – commented a participant in an anonymous survey.
The event’s global organizers announced 51 challenges related to real-life problems in the field of Earth and in space such as education, healthcare, worldwide Internet connection, space technologies, etc. The participants were given 24 hours to take on one of the challenges. They then presented their projects to the local judges.
In total, there were 104 registered participants at the Dnipro location, who presented 12 different projects. The teams came up with innovations such as an AR studying platform for pupils and students, a tool to provide worldwide Internet-connection using satellites, health monitoring software that directly notifies your doctor, and more.
As usual, experienced mentors helped teams to improve their ideas and prepare pitches. Among the mentors this time were PhD of Engineering Sciences in DNU and the head of the Noosphere Engineering School, Tetyana Bulana, lecturer of KPI and teacher at the Junior Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Anna Saryboga, space startup founders and CEOs, Stanislav Plyusnin and Pavlo Usatiuk, and software developers Olena Stolyarova and Oleksandr Stepanov. In particular, Maxim Kopystko, who won the NASA Space Apps Challenge Dnipro 2020, became ActInSpace Dnipro consultant on successful pitching of projects. “Almost all the participants are so talented engineers and scientists. I think we’ll hear about them and their developments very soon!” – expressed an opinion Stanislav Plyusnin.
Michael Ryabokon, Chairman of NGO “Association Noosphere”, PhD in Economics, headed the competition judges. Doctor of Engineering Sciences, Professor, and Honored Worker of Education of Ukraine, Olexandr Petrenko, and Victor Serbin, SETS founder and CEO, joined the judging panel.
The judges selected “WARM WALL on the moon” as the winner. The winning team presented a highly efficient lunar module that converts solar radiation into electricity and heat, an innovative concept that has the potential to generate electricity without the use of fossil fuels. The winners will go on to represent Ukraine at the International ActInSpace final.
Space events, particularly, hackathons are of great importance as they encourage young people to learn sciences, devise solutions to actual problems facing society, and develop technologies. That’s why Noosphere supports events such as ActInSpace and the NASA Space Apps Challenge, and holds its own competitions such as Star Track, Noosphere Engineering Race, BestRoboFest and others.
We wish our winners the very best luck at the International ActInSpace final!