OneWeb Launches 2021 Innovation Challenge to Identify New Ideas and Collaboration for Innovation in Space

  • Invites industrial and engineering partners, academia, and research professionals across sectors to present proposals to innovate a new generation of satellites.
  • The successful entrants will receive the opportunity to work on OneWeb’s satellite programme and drive the future of space communications.

LONDON, 23 April 2021 (OneWeb PR) — OneWeb, the global communications network powered from space, today announced the launch of its first Innovation Challengean invitation to find innovative technologies, products and solutions, that will advance the world of satellite connectivity and spaced-based communications.

The open innovation challenge offers engineering, science, creative talent, research professionals, and subject matter experts from around the world the opportunity to redefine existing mindsets in satellite design, production, orbit, flight operations and responsible de-orbiting.

The challenge aims to harness ideas that will continue to improve and transform satellite-based connectivity solutions and bring forward new design ideas for future Low Earth Orbit Satellite Communications technologies. OneWeb is looking for industrial partners from any sector, alongside academia, students or research partners, to present proposals for how either existing or new technology could be applied to innovate the satellites of the future – from design and production to flight management and end of life removal.

OneWeb’s current generation of satellites feature many components that come from terrestrial technology and OneWeb expects this open innovation challenge to yield further new technology from industries outside the space sector, including automotive and Formula 1, aeronautical, micro-electronics, materials sciences and other industries.

“Space is the future for communications on Earth. To get there, we are building a technology roadmap that continuously redefines existing mindsets with new ideas, innovations, and exciting partnership opportunities. The opportunity is to play an active part in the definition and execution of OneWeb’s next generation satellite programme. The winners will join a growing list of companies with access to OneWeb’s resources to help grow their ideas and be part of our global supply chain,” said OneWeb CTO Massimiliano Ladovaz.

UK Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “Our space sector is thriving, and this exciting new competition by OneWeb will help it to grow even further by drawing on the best that British industry and the next generation of researchers have to offer.

“As we build back better, initiatives like this will be essential to making the most of the talents of the UK’s innovators, and I look forward to seeing what comes of it.”

UK Space Agency Director of Growth Catherine Mealing-Jones said: “As space offers increasingly diverse possibilities for scientific and commercial progress, this campaign is a great way to generate new ideas and invite more individuals and businesses to be a part of our growing industry. The space sector strives to be more ambitious, sustainable and inclusive, and the next great leap forward could be just around the corner.”

Elodie Viau, Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications at the European Space Agency, said: “ESA strongly supports innovation in the space industry to enable Europe to succeed in highly competitive global markets. We are delighted to support OneWeb’s initiative to identify innovative ideas and to bring them to reality. Investing in space improves life on Earth.”

To enter, entrants must first register themselves in one of two challenge categories, then submit short written proposals before 17th May 2021.

Commercial entities will compete in the Industrial Partners category to be part of co-engineering a new generation of satellite, with the opportunity to supply components for OneWeb’s constellation.

Academic and research-based entities will participate in the Student / Research category with successful entrants eligible for an invitation to attend a rocket launch event, and up to five paid internships working on OneWeb’s satellite programmes.

Finalists will be shortlisted in June, when six will be invited to present their proposals to the OneWeb Innovation Challenge jury, with the awards announced on 21 June 2021.

Space is a global, shared resource. The Innovation Challenge is part of OneWeb’s innovation programme to foster smart new innovations in space communications for the benefit of everyone on Earth – responsibly, sustainably, and together.

To enter the challenge, please visit to register, and submit your proposal by 17 May.