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December 9th, 2019
Galileo Sets the Stage for the Uptake of AI in Aviation

Galileo and EGNOS spread aviation services to areas where ground infrastructure is not physically or economically viable. The accurate and reliable positioning and timing information provided by the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) creates the necessary baseline for the uptake of artificial intelligence (AI) in such safety-critical sectors. Aeroficial Intelligence develops data-driven solutions to increase operational efficiency and considerably reduce fuel consumption in the aviation industry. The startup’s business intelligence system “Performance Cockpit” was named the 2019 Overall Winner of the international innovation competition Galileo Masters during its Awards Ceremony on 4 December in Helsinki, Finland.


Helsinki – Over the past two decades, digital systems have increasingly relied on GNSS technologies for positioning, navigation and timing information on a global scale. Artificial intelligence (AI) has the ability to capture, interpret and manage more data more efficiently and accurately than ever before, impacting the economic growth of industries. Combining GNSS information with intelligent big data processing methods makes it possible to cross-check results and ensure that data received about an object (vehicles, aircraft, people, animals, etc.) has accuracy and value.

The 2019 Galileo Masters Overall Winner Aeroficial Intelligence is using GNSS and AI to track aircraft by deploying this data to predict upcoming traffic situations, delays, and related operational processes at and around airports. Since the world’s aircraft fleet will more than double in the next 20 years, almost 20,000 additional aircraft are expected to be put into operation each day. Today, many airports are already operating at their capacity limits. This leads to severe bottlenecks within aircraft operations. The delays not only result in high costs related to passenger compensation rights, taxiing-out time queues before entering the runway additionally lead to the excessive and unnecessary burning of fuel. Aeroficial Intelligence’s Performance Cockpit is a software solution that provides unique performance indicators on more than 40 flight operational KPIs and several predictive modules, helping airlines, airports and air navigation providers (ANSPs) to quickly identify bottlenecks, predict upcoming delays and manage air traffic efficiency.

“As digitalisation, the sharing economy and AI, which use GNSS for positioning, navigation and timing, are rapidly developing with a wide-ranging scope of application fields, the importance of Galileo is still increasing,” explains Thorsten Rudolph, CEO of AZO Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen, the initiator and organiser of the Galileo Masters. “It is precisely these key future developments that hold great potential for young, innovative companies – a fact impressively reflected in 4,200 innovative entries submitted to the Galileo Masters and 11,968 participants from over 78 countries since 2004.”

26 more prizes recognised the year’s most exciting GNSS-based business solutions during the Awards Ceremony in Helsinki. Six Special Prize winners along with the Startup of the Year and Idea of the Year were honoured by high-ranking industry and institutional representatives, such as the European GNSS Agency (GSA), the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). In addition, 18 partner regions across the globe awarded the best competition entries.

Carlo des Dorides, Executive Director of the European GNSS Agency (GSA), said during the Awards Ceremony, “innovation is vital for the global competitiveness of the European economy, and space technologies are a key driver of innovation in Europe. The partnership between GSA and Galileo Masters help us secure a direct link with the space applications community, providing us with first-hand experience of emerging needs and solutions, while the awards intend to celebrate those who raise the bar for services, products, and business solutions by using Galileo and EGNOS unique features.”

By fostering entrepreneurs and startups, the Galileo Masters has the long-term objective of strengthening Europe’s competitiveness with high-tech space solutions on a global scale. Additionally, AZO established Europe’s E-GNSS Accelerator programme, funded by the European Commission (EC). This year for the third time, this programme offers the top four startups access to dedicated incubation programmes at their preferred incubation centre of the Galileo Masters network all across Europe and one crowd funding campaign with the partner FunderNation worth EUR 280,000.

The 2019 Galileo Masters Awards Ceremony took place as the festive highlight of the European Space Week in Helsinki, Finland. Next year’s Galileo Masters submission phase will start on 1 April 2020.


About Galileo Masters

Initiated by AZO Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen, German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology, the Galileo Masters today is the leading network for satellite navigation. The Galileo Masters annually awards the best services, products, and business ideas using satellite navigation in everyday life, spurring the development of respective market-driven applications. For 15 years, the international innovation competition serves as an accelerating instrument for space‐related entrepreneurs and startups, providing Europe with novelties. Since 2004, almost 12,000 participants took part with an overall prize pool worth EUR 13 million for more than 370 winners and 200 international judges assigned with the evaluation of submissions. Additionally, AZO established Europe’s first E-GNSS Accelerator programme, funded by the European Commission (EC). For more information please see


About AZO
AZO Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen is an international networking and branding company initiating the most important space-related innovation competitions with more than 15,000 participants, over 200 industrial & public – and 400 international stakeholders. The Masters Series, presented by AZO consists of the Galileo Masters, Copernicus Masters, and INNOspace Masters. Additionally, AZO organises the Copernicus Hackathons by the European Commission. AZO runs a very successful business angel network which invested more than EUR 50 million Venture Capital in 2018. Additionally, AZO manages it’s ESA Incubation Centres (ESA BIC) Bavaria and Northern Germany. The ESA BIC Bavaria incubation programme has supported more than 162 company foundations solely in Bavaria to date. Since May 2019, AZO jointly operates the ESA BIC Northern Germany (NG) located in Bremen. For more information, please visit