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7 mins read 26 Apr 2021

Calling all innovators – Gravity Challenge 03 is on!

Gravity Challenge 03 is calling for start-ups, corporates and universities to help solve real-world problems here on Earth using space technology such as satellite imaging and IoT. Registrations are open until 27 April.

Gravity Challenge 03 registrations open until 27 April 2021

This is the third year for Deloitte’s Gravity Challenge, a now global innovation program that calls for innovators to solve real-world problems submitted by organisations across the world. Hosted at Lot Fourteen innovation precinct in Adelaide, registrations for Gravity Challenge 03 are open to innovators from corporates and universities, through to start-ups. Registrations close on 27 April 2021. 

The Gravity Challenge is proving so successful it has now expanded from an Australian initiative in its first iteration, to now include an additional 11 participants across the world making it one of the furthest reaching space innovation programs globally. Between Gravity Challenge 01 and 02, there was a 350 percent increase in entries covering a wide range of industries. Participant countries have increased dramatically this year and now include Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, France, Luxemburg, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Romania, and the Czech Republic.

The challenges are all real-world problems submitted by industry and organisations and span environmental and conservation issues, agriculture, healthcare supply chain management, and urban traffic flow. 

Deloitte Australia Head of Innovation Jason Bender said, “This year the challenge has expanded even further and participants from Japan, USA and Central Europe are now on the GRAVITY journey. 

“We’re expecting to see some deep and innovative thinking about solutions to global issues from sectors as diverse as Agriculture, Healthcare, Transport and Utilities. Gravity Challenge is about creating an environment for innovators from the space ecosystem to grow new ideas to complex problems and potentially create new jobs to boost economies across the world.

“It’s not just pie in the sky stuff, it brings valuable and innovative thinking to solve real-world problems across a multitude of sectors. The global pandemic has highlighted just how important it is to be future-focused in times of crisis.”

How the challenge works

Industry groups, businesses, and organisations are invited to submit real-world problems and challenges that they face that could potentially be addressed through space technology. These challenges are then narrowed to the final 12 challenges from 12 different organisations, that will be put to innovators to address. The challenges cover industries from Mining and Defence, through to agriculture, telecommunications, and health.

The Gravity Challenge runs over 9 months and is split into four different phases – Recruitment, Innovate, Accelerate and Scale.

Once entrants have their innovation team together, they can register for the Gravity Challenge 03 and have access to more detailed information about each challenge. Entrants can then select the challenge that appeals to them (challenges are listed below). 

After applying to participate, throughout May, teams will be asked to submit a video pitching their team. Each pitch will be evaluated and up to five innovators will be selected for each challenge to continue to the Innovation phase which runs from early June through to September.

Throughout the Innovate phase, the innovators have opportunities to collaborate with the challenge provider as well as having access to data, mentors and technology support. Innovators also retain the ownership of the IP of any solutions developed throughout the challenge and beyond. Final proposals and pitches will be due at the end of September. 

The winners will be announced in late 2021 and will work with the challenge, data and technology providers to form a commercial arrangement with the intent to roll out a pilot of the solution. 

Gravity Challenge supporters

Artists impression of the Innovation Hub which is host to the Gravity Challenge 03

The Gravity Challenge 03 is supported by Deloitte, AWS, Government of South Australia, South Australian Space Industry Centre and the Australian Space Agency to name just a few, and is hosted at Lot Fourteen innovation precinct in Adelaide, South Australia. 

South Australian Space Industry Centre Chief Executive Richard Price said, “It is great to be supporting GRAVITY Challenge through this fantastic event in 2021 as it continues to grow and expand into more countries across the globe.

“We are committed to ensuring that Australia takes its place as a global leader in space through developing new space technologies and attracting international attention and investment.

“Supporting events such as GRAVITY Challenge, which engages with space experts from across Australia, Europe and the UK is just one vital part of building those important international relationships for future collaboration.”

GRAVITY Challenge is supported by the following organisations: Deloitte, AWS, Government of South Australia, South Australian Space Industry Centre, Australian Space Agency, Agrifutures, Geoscience Australia, Australian Space Data Anaylsis Facility, Lot Fourteen, Airbus, Land Services SA, Maxar, Pivotel, Southern Launch, Saber Astronautics, SmartsatCRC, xOrigin, Satelitte Applications Catapul and Stone & Chalk.

The Challenges

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation challenge is focused on whale populations and opportunities for ocean-based solutions to the climate crisis. Credit: Isaac Kohane /flickr

The 12 challenges for Gravity Challenge 03 span vastly different industries and are submitted from organisations around the world. 

AWS:  How can developers leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies for image analysis, on orbit, to accelerate and improve the identification and analysis of a high value event of interest (e.g. plumes of smoke indicating a warning of bush fire), and optimize the efficiency of the delivery of intelligence to users on Earth? Watch the video for more information. 

Bardsley X:  SOS: How might we save our soils and regenerate degraded land?

German Automotive OEM:  Connected supply chain (track and trace of trucks) real-time transport tracking and predictive route planning for overall operational Improvement of the connected supply chain. 

City of Aachen:  City of Aachen, like many other cities in the metropolitan region of North Rhine-Westphalia is confronted by environmental effects caused by congested urban traffic and particulate matter pollution. The goal is to help us find new de-carbonization options for example by introducing an improved traffic flow. 

Electranet:  Clear on transmission line clearance. Help us accurately detect electricity line sag to ensure public and environmental safety and enable greater renewable energy output.

Luftansa Technik:  Luftansa Technik wants to look at the future scenario of aircraft connectivity, which is currently limited by the state-of-the-art technologies (usually satellite communication) and does not provide passengers with the same quality of service they are used to outside an aircraft cabin. The goal is to help us find new options and ways to enable the next generation of aircraft connectivity for example, by looking at new communication technologies in flight.

NASA Harvest:  Crop Type Mapping – NASA Harvest, faces the challenge to correctly identify the crops detected in satellite imagery. To tackle this challenge, ground-based teams have collected additional data points in the format of images and other information to be mapped with the satellite data. The primary goal is to map this additional data to the satellite imagery and create high-quality labels.  

Responsible Risk:  Valuing Nature – better assessing financial risk: Dynamic data is needed for Investors to describe both impacts on Natural Capital assets and dependencies on Eco-system Services.

Roche: Driving Better Access of Healthcare Services and Supplies. How can real-time satellite data support supply chain management to drive better access to healthcare services and supply?

Rural Bank: Equip Australian farmers with climate management tools to build resilience and strengthen business viability.

UK Hydrographic Office: Optimisation of satellite and environmental data to minimise vessel strikes on marine mammals during port approach and departures. 

Whale and Dolphin Conservation: How might 21st Century technology solve the mystery of global whale populations and unlock the opportunities of Ocean-based solutions to the climate crisis?

Apply for Gravity Challenge 03