Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Apply for the Challenge?

Anybody residing in New Zealand or New Zealand citizens living abroad.  If applying as a team or company, the principal applicant must reside in New Zealand or be a New Zealand citizen living abroad.

What are the start and end dates for the Challenge application?

Applications are accepted starting 1 February 2018 and close on 30 April 2018.

Can individuals apply for the Challenge or only teams/organizations?

Both individuals or teams/organizations can apply to participate in the Challenge.

How are applicants evaluated?

All applications will be judged according to the following criteria: (1-5 points each)

* Use of Space Technology – Leverage space technology or data to solve problem

* Technical Feasibility and Rigor – Based on scientific principles and methods

* Innovative Solution – Novel and new idea

* Market Viability – Clear business case or plan for execution

* Scalability – Plan for mass adoption

* Ease of Implementation – Cost-effective, easily adoptable and implementable

* Environmental Impact – Least harm to the environment

Additional Points: (1 point each)

* Evidence of impact within two years

* Collaboration with multiple stakeholders

* Creative integration (from other technologies, etc.)

* Team composition for execution

Preference will be given to applicants that demonstrate proof of concept in the form of a prototype to validate their ideas or solutions. (Additional 1-5 points)

What is the judging process?

Your application will be evaluated by regional judges within your region - as indicated in your application. One finalist will be chosen from each of five regions of NZ (listed below). The five finalists will then be invited to present at a pitch session and awards ceremony in Christchurch at Tech Week on 24 May 2018. The national judges will use the same criteria as the regional judges.

What are the regions applicants can apply to?

You will need to indicate in your application form the region you are a resident of:

  • Northland, Auckland, Bay of Plenty

  • Hawkes Bay, Gisborne, Waikato

  • Wanganui, Taranaki, Wellington

  • Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast, Canterbury

  • Southland, Otago, Dunedin

If I am a New Zealand citizen living abroad, which region should I submit my application to?

If you are a NZ citizen living abroad, indicate the NZ region you are best affiliated with.

What benefits do the final winner get?

The final winner gets $40,000 cash prize plus 6 months of desk space at a local incubator and access to mentorship in your region. Travel and accommodations to attend the Pitch session on 24 May will be provided for the applicant or one member of the team.   

All applicants will also be invited to lifetime membership in the SpaceBase community portal (currently in Beta).

What benefits do the five regional finalists get?

Finalists will get at least three months of desk space at a local incubator and access to mentorship in region. Travel and accommodations to attend the Pitch session on 24 May will be provided for the applicant or one member of the team.  

All applicants will also be invited to lifetime membership in the SpaceBase community portal (currently in Beta).

Is travel to the final pitch session for regional finalist covered?

Travel and accommodations for the final Pitch session on 24 May will be covered for one individual or one member of the team.  

When would the regional winner be notified?

Regional finalists will be announced on or after 16 May.

What are the pre-conditions for final acceptance?

Finalists must sign a statement of terms and conditions (T&C) and confirm that they will attend the final pitch session on 24 May in Christchurch.

Does my application need to be a new idea or can it be an existing solution used elsewhere?

We encourage new and innovative ideas to solve the problem but also welcome technology already being applied in different industries or problems that may be repurposed to solve the Challenge problem.

Who owns the intellectual property (IP) to the idea or solution to the Challenge?

Applicants have complete ownership of their IP.  

The Challenge has two parts.  Do applicants need to complete both parts?

Applicants are encouraged to submit solutions to both parts of the Challenge - but they can choose to work on either part of the problem statement and submit that solution as their application.

What are the major requirements for the application form?

  • Background/curriculum vitae (CV) of the applicant or team members

  • Abstract of proposed solution (maximum 500 words)

  • A pitch deck describing idea or prototype (a file consisting of a maximum of 20 slides, and less than 10 MB)

  • A five-minute video describing their team, solution, and plan of implementation (submitted as a link to video hosting site, such as YouTube - with a password, if desired)

Who will be evaluating the applications?

Applicants will be evaluated online within their regions by local judges coming from academia, industry and government experts.  A panel of judges, comprised of Antarctic and space specialists, entrepreneurs, and local and national government representatives will determine the winner during the final pitch session.

Can an application be revised once it has been submitted?

The application portal (Slideroom) allows applicants to save work on the application and applicants can continue to add, edit and revise at any time - using the “Save and Exit” option.  However, once the application is finally submitted - using the “Submit” button - you will NOT be able to make any changes. Once you hit the “Submit” button, the application will be submitted for judging. This is done to allow more time for judges to evaluate finalized evaluations throughout the Challenge application period. All applications must be submitted by the 30 April deadline.

Can an applicant submit more than one application?

As an individual, an applicant can only submit one application.

Can an applicant be a member of more than one team?

An individual may be a member of more than one team, as long as both teams are aware of the individual's participation and contribution to each team, and there is no unauthorized transfer of proprietary information between the teams. The primary contact individual for each team must be unique.

Can applicants (individuals or teams) share information about their proposed solution?

During the competition, applicants can decide whether they share any information, or how much information they chose to share, to other individuals, teams, or the public. If an applicant becomes a regional finalist (announced 16 May), the short description (500 word abstract) of their proposed solution will be shared publicly during promotion of the 24 May final pitch and awards event.

Can a finalist (selected 16 May) revise their solution before the final pitch on 24 May?

After an applicant is selected as a finalist on 16 May, and invited to present at the final pitch event on 24 May, they may revise and update their presentation for the pitch event. It is not required to alter or revise their presentation in any way. Any changes should only involve minor updates or enhancements to their proposed solution or presentation, and not any significant change to the proposed solution which allowed them to be selected as a finalist.

Can individuals join teams during the competition?

The composition of a team may change up until the application is submitted. The deadline for submissions is 30 April.

If a team wins the prize, how is the prize divided among team members?

It is up to a team to decide (if they become a finalist) who would make the presentation at the final pitch event on 24 May, and (if they win) how to allocate the final prize award. The team submission identifies a contact person for the team and ChristchurchNZ will interact with that contact person as representative of the team.


How can an individual or team find technical information about the Challenge?

After the start of the Challenge, SpaceBase will be working to provide technical resources, training, and links to videos and reports related to the Challenge. These will be available through the website. Individuals and teams are invited to create accounts on SpaceBase and join in chat discussions (public and private) about aspects of the Challenge.


What tools are available to help teams work on the Challenge?

SpaceBase will be working to make available technical information, training, videos, and discussion forums for individuals and teams working on the Challenge. SpaceBase will be adding these tools for the duration of the Challenge and answering questions from applicants through the website.