Space Challenge 2023 - Rules

Challenge Rules


Challenge Categories

The Challenge will have two categories of applicants

  • University and Startups
  • High School Students

Up to 30 top applicants total from both categories will be invited into an online research incubator. Teams will receive support for the duration of the Challenge, including:

  • Support in accessing relevant data needed for testing solutions
  • Mentorship and training from technology and environmental specialists
  • Webinar sessions on satellite technology and challenge topic areas

At the end of the development period, up to 3 finalists per category will be selected to participate in the final demo and pitch sessions in Auckland (TBC) where the winning teams will be announced.


Stage 1 Requirements:

To get short listed into the incubator/mentorship programme, applicants living in New Zealand, Australia, and the Pacific Islands are invited to submit:

  • A short proposal of the idea

Requirements for the proposal:

  • Background of the applicant or team members (CVs)
  • General technical approach
  • Specific aspect of problem being addressed
  • Projected plan and schedule
  • Specific request for technical support (satellite data, or other)

Application Period for Proposal : 18 May – 31 August 2023

Stage 2 Requirements:

Final submissions for eligibility to be one of the 6 finalists:

  • A video demonstration of your solution
  • Presentation deck of your solution

Applicants may submit a full application without participating in the Challenge incubator programme.

All six finalists will be invited to demo their solutions and present at a final pitch and award session in March 2024 to be held in Auckland (TBC). Travel expenses for a representative of the team is currently not covered and will depend on sponsorship levels to be announced at a later time.

Deadline for Full Application: 25 February 2024

Stage 3 Requirements:

Six finalists (3 University/startup and 3 High School) will participate in a demo and pitch session on 15 March 2024 in Auckland (TBC).  Judges will use the same judging criteria to determine the two grand prize winners.  Grand prize winners for each category will be awarded cash prizes and mentorship for continuing their research. 

Judging Criteria

All proposals and applications will be judged according to the following five criteria (10 points each):

  • Use of space technology – leverage space technology to address the problem
  • Technical feasibility, safety and rigor – based on scientific principles and methods
  • Innovative solution – novel and new idea
  • Implementation – Plan is easy to implement, adopt and scale
  • Environmental impact – maximum positive impact and benefit to society at scale

Applicants will receive additional points for the following four criteria (2 points each except Team composition for 5 points):

  • Evidence of potential impact within three years
  • Collaboration with multiple stakeholders
  • Creative integration (from other technologies, etc.)
  • Team composition for execution

Additional for Stage 3 and Finals (20 points)

  • Prototype – practical demonstration of solution to the Challenge


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