asked questions

Who Can Apply for the Challenge?

Anybody residing in New Zealand or New Zealand citizens living abroad whose intention it is to work on a solution that will be developed in New Zealand.  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?

Applicants for the incubation program closed at 5pm 30 April 2019.  Full applications for the Challenge are due 15 September 2019.

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

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

How are applicants evaluated?

All applications will be judged according to the following criteria:

  • Use of space and/or UAV technology (10 points)

    Leverage aerospace technology using satellite data, high altitude, or UA (including fixed wing) technologies to address the Challenge problem statement.

  • Technical feasibility, safety and rigor (10 points)

    Based on sound scientific principles and methods that adhere to safety regulations and requirements.  

  • Innovative solution (10 points)

    Novel and new idea.  Solution has not been brought to market yet.

  • Market viability (10 points)

    Must address market opportunity and scope, and a clear business case or plan for execution for bringing the product or service to market. Plan is easy to implement adopt and scale.  

  • Environmental impact (10 points)

    Maximum positive impact and benefit to society at scale

  • Team composition for execution (5 points each)

    Team has the background and experience to take the demonstrable solution or prototype to develop a viable business.  (e.g. See example team roles here.)

  • Prototype (20 points)

    Practical demonstration of the solution to the Challenge


Additional points (2 points each):

  • Evidence of impact within three years

    Forecasted and demonstrable business outcomes over a three year period that can potentially have a large impact toward solving the challenge problem.

  • Collaboration with multiple stakeholders

    Partnerships with different organizations and collaborators for building the product or service to accelerate development

  • Creative integration (from other technologies)

    Innovative use of existing technologies or industries in solving the Challenge

 Note: Applicants must adhere to NZ regulations for UAV operations when applicable.

What is the judging process?

Judging of the Aerospace Challenge will be in three phases.

In phase 1, an internal committee of industry experts will evaluate proposals and select up to twenty (20) top candidates that will be supported by the Aerospace Challenge incubator program.  The Challenge incubator program will support applicants with access to data, analysis, mentorship and more. 

In phase 2, judges comprised of academic, industry, and government representatives will evaluate each final submission to ensure it meets the Challenge criteria. The judges will then select up to ten (10) finalists to compete in the final demo and awards ceremony on 17 and 18 October 2019 in Christchurch. The judges may solicit additional information from the finalists.

In phase 3, the finalists will then be invited to demo their solution and present at a pitch session and awards ceremony in Christchurch. A panel of experts from different regions and New Zealand Aerospace Challenge 2019 partners will select one Grand Prize Winner and second and third prize winners on 18 October 2019.

What benefits do the participants accepted into the Challenge incubator program get?

Support from Challenge partners including but not limited to:

  • Airbus Sandbox platform and access to data

  • Mentorship through space and agritech specialists

  • Advice for conducting UA flight tests within recommended areas

  • Airways guidance and process for testing UA solutions

  • Use of SpaceBase collaborative online platform.

What data is available for testing our solutions?

Public and commercial sample data is now available on the resources section of the Challenge website or click here. You can also go on Airbus One Atlas toolkit and request for sample data directly.

For those selected to participate in the Challenge virtual incubator program, Airbus’s new platform Verde will be available to incubator teams.

Can we use any available satellite or UA data?

Yes. There is data already downloadable from the Challenge Resources page.

Or you can use any satellite or drones data that you have access to.

Do we need to use both satellite or UA technology?

Integrating both technologies would be one good way to address the problem but you can also use just satellite or UA data.  

Can applicants submit a full application without participating in the Challenge incubation program?

Absolutely! Applicants or teams can submit a full application up to 15 September, when full applications close.

Will travel to Christchurch for the demo and awards ceremony be paid for?

Travel within New Zealand and accommodations to attend the demo and pitch session on 17 and 18 October will be provided for the applicant or one member of each of the 10 finalist teams.  

What benefits do the final winners get?

As overall winner of the New Zealand Aerospace Challenge 2019, you will receive:

  • A cash prize of NZ$30,000

  • Airbus satellite data vouchers

  • Support to commercialise your idea from industry and Challenge partners

  • A minimum of six months free access to a co-working space in Christchurch to further develop and maximise your ideas for commercial potential 

In addition, second and third place winners will receive NZ$5,000, Airbus satellite data vouchers and co-working space in Christchurch. 

When would the finalist be notified?

Finalists will be announced by 5 October.

 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 demo and pitch session on 17 and 18 October 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. 

What are the requirements for the initial proposal?

  • Background of the applicant or team members

  • General technical approach

  • Specific aspect of problem being addressed

  • Projected plan and schedule

  • Specific request for technical support (satellite data, or other)

  • The proposal should be 2-10 pages or less

What are the requirements for the final application?

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

  • Abstract and description 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)

  • A prototype or proof of implementation (could be part of the video or detailed results of tech demonstration) 

What are the requirements for the finals?

  • A demonstration on 17 October validating your solution to either detect, monitor or measure agricultural pollution in water or soil.

  • A 5-minute pitch of the technology solution on 18 October

Will there be designated locations available for flight testing the technology solutions?

Teams prequalified to participate in the incubator may have access to approved testing areas and guidance from Airways for legal requirements and compliance for flying UAs.  Other applicants who are not part of the incubator but wish to submit a full application in September 2019 will still need to comply with all applicable Civil Aviation Rules and Airways procedures for flying UAs, and must arrange their testing independently according to the Rules.

What are the requirements for flying UAs to test solutions for the Challenge?

Teams must adhere to the all relevant Civil Aviation Rules for flying UAs. This includes obtaining proper certification, licensing, permissions and other legal requirements as outlined in Civil Aviation) Rule Part 101 and Part 102. If applicable, test solutions must also adhere to the conditions of any Part 102 exposition...

What support will be available for flight testing Challenge solutions prior to the final selection?

Airways will provide support to Challenge participants to ensure they can test their technology in appropriate areas. Challenge participants are encouraged to use Airways’ unmanned traffic management (UTM) system as it can provide information around live tracking, airspace awareness and improved safety of their operations.  Airways will provide more information about this to Challenge participants. 

Who will be evaluating the applications?

Applicants will be evaluated online by judges coming from academia, industry and government experts in space and agritech.  A panel of judges, comprised of agritech and space specialists, entrepreneurs, and local and national government representatives will determine the winner during the final demo and 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 finalised evaluations throughout the Challenge application period. All applications must be submitted by the 15 September 2019 deadline.

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 unauthorised transfer of proprietary information between the teams. The primary contact individual for each team must be unique.

Can an applicant submit more than one application?

As an individual, an applicant can only submit one application. This means if one individual is in multiple teams, they can only be the principle applicant for one team.

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 finalist (announced on 1 October), the short description (500-word abstract) of their proposed solution will be shared publicly during promotion of the 17-18 October final demo and awards event.

Can a finalist (selected 1 October) revise their solution before the final pitch on 17 October?

After an applicant is selected as a finalist, and invited to present at the awards event, they may revise and update their presentation for the awards. 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 15 September 2019.

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 demo and awards event on 17 and 18 October, 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 general technical resources, and links to videos and reports related to the Challenge. These will be available through the website.

For those teams prequalified to participate in the Challenge Incubator Program (Announced 20 May), additional resources, tools and mentorship will be accessible to them through the incubator-access section of the SpaceBase platform.

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

For those qualifying to participate in the Challenge Incubation Program, the Sandbox platform will be made available to them to access customised data and analysis tools.  Support from Challenge partners for help in technology demonstrations, testing and mentorship will also be provided during the duration of the incubator process (May- September 2019)

In addition, SpaceBase will be adding general information and tools for the duration of the Challenge and answering questions from applicants through the website.