The winners of this year’s Excellence in Space-based Information awards were unveiled during the final day of the 26th World Satellite Business Week, an annual event bringing together 230 speakers from more than 500 space industry organizations and in excess of 1,500 delegates from over 50 countries. The ceremony also rewarded two fast-moving startups from the sector for their early progress and high potential.
Paris, Washington D.C., Montreal, Yokohama, Sydney Friday 15th September 2023. An exclusive space sector awards ceremony celebrating outstanding achievements in the field of Earth Observation concluded today with four companies scooping the top awards, while stand-out startup businesses were also acknowledged through the highly regarded Finspace contest and inaugural Space Business Catalyst award. The event marked the finale of World Satellite Business Week in Paris, a flagship conference organized by Euroconsult, the leading space consulting and market intelligence firm.
The Annual Awards for Excellence in Space-based Information highlight exceptional commercial accomplishments and technology innovation from a range of cutting-edge space sector businesses. A shortlist is analyzed by an independent international jury of experts with the winners presented with their awards in front of a large audience of industry peers, forming part of the 500 space organizations and well over 1,500 delegates attending the conference from more than 50 nations for knowledge sharing and executive level networking.
The event concluded the 26th anniversary of World Satellite Business Week, with Excellence in Space-based Information Awards being presented to the following outstanding space companies:
ispace secured the Pioneer Space Business Award
Japanese lunar exploration company iSpace picked up the award following their ambitious Lunar mission, Hakuto-R Mission 1 in 2023, which proved the systems for all stages of flight until terminal lunar descent, thus paving the way for the follow-on Hakuto-R Mission 1 with both a lander and rover in 2024. iSpace was originally founded in 2010, and has a long term plan to develop a series of lunar landers and rovers to compete for contracts to locate and eventually extract lunar resources to support lunar infrastructure.
“I am honored to accept this award on behalf of the global ispace team. This past year saw significant advances in our business. We launched our first lander reaching lunar orbit and nearly landing the first privately funded, commercial mission on the lunar surface. We became a publicly traded company, growing from a small start up to an organization with offices on three continents. While this was occurring, we began planning and operations on subsequent missions, continually learning and iterating to achieve our vision, “Expand the Planet. Expand the Future.”Julien-Alexandre Lamamy, CEO at ispace Europe S.A.
Unseenlabs collected the Newcomer EO Operator / Information Business Award
French RF satellite specialists Unseenlabs collected this award for their impact on Radio Frequency signal detection for maritime situational awareness, making the sea safer for shipping, and detecting illegal fishing and pollution. Unseenlabs were founded in 2015 in Brittany, France, and have their own satellite constellation, from which they supply data to a wide variety of maritime end users.
“Receiving the Euroconsult Award for ‘New Comer Earth Observation’ is a remarkable recognition of Unseenlabs’ dedication to revolutionizing maritime surveillance. Our journey began with a simple yet vital observation: the oceans, teeming with life and opportunities, needed vigilant guardianship. With our pioneering space-based radio frequency technology, we’ve redefined what’s possible in maritime domain awareness. This award underscores our commitment to safeguarding our oceans, enabling us to offer accurate and timely insights that transcend the boundaries of time, weather, and concealment.”Clément Galic, Unseenlabs’ CEO and Co-founder
Bayanat secured the Leading EO Business Award
Abu Dhabi based Bayanat provides AI-enabled geospatial data solutions enabling cutting-edge geo-intelligence. In 2023, they teamed up with UAE’s flagship satellite solutions provider, to drive forward a comprehensive Space Program aimed at building national satellite remote sensing and Earth Observation (EO) capabilities within the UAE, commercially addressing business opportunities in the local and global EO market.
“We are truly honored to receive the Leading Earth Observation Business Award at the prestigious World Satellite Business Week. This recognition is a testament to Bayanat’s unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of innovation in earth observation. With an array of advanced satellite systems and data analytics tools at our disposal, we have been able to foster a deeper comprehension of the earth’s intricate dynamics. Our progress and work in the space domain would not have been possible without the support and collaboration of our trusted partner Yahsat. As we move ahead, we believe that our cutting-edge technologies and pursuit of excellence will continue to enable us to make a significant impact in understanding our planet from above. This award further fuels our passion to continue revolutionizing the way we harness the earth’s data for a more sustainable and resilient future for all.”Hasan Al Hosani, CEO at Bayanat
LeoLabs collected the Sustainable Development & Business Award
US based LeoLabs wins this award for their enduring work on monitoring the orbital environment to make Earth orbit more sustainable over the long term. LeoLabs provides space traffic management software and operates a ground radar network across a number of sites across the globe, enabling them to monitor, track and warn of space debris that may prove to be a space hazard. In 2023 alone, LeoLabs commissioned new ground radar facilities in the Azores, Western Australia and Argentina.
“”We’re honored to receive Euroconsult’s Sustainable Development & Business Award. LeoLabs was founded on the understanding that space is not an isolated domain — it’s a critical driver of the world’s economy and an important foundation for scientific discovery. Therefore, it’s in all of our interest for every mission in space to operate safely. Unfortunately, the rapid growth of traffic and debris in low Earth orbit has put that in jeopardy. To mitigate this, more accurate, reliable, and immediate information is needed. That’s why we’re building the world’s most comprehensive, commercially owned object catalog, supplying the data and insights needed for effective mission planning and decision-making. This award affirms that we’re on the right path and motivates us to continue our work building a more sustainable space.”Dan Ceperley, LeoLabs CEO and Co-founder
Friday also saw the winner of the 7th Finspace startup pitch competition announced. A regular feature of World Satellite Business Week since 2017, the Finspace contest is widely regarded as one of the highlights of the conference and acknowledges the year’s most avant-garde and innovative start-ups in the space sector. The comprehensive judging panel is made up of experts capturing a broad spectrum of experience from finance, with Seraphim Capital CEO Mark Boggett and Promus Ventures Founder Mike Collett, as well as sustainability and government with SpaceResources.lu Advisory Board Member, Jean-Jacques Dordain and Founder & CEO of ThrustMe, Ane Aanesland. Also supporting the decision-making process with technical expertise and market understanding are Tina Ghataore, president of Mynaric USA and Euroconsult’s CEO, Pacome Revillon.
This year the victorious startup was spacecraft propulsion company Pale Blue, who have enjoyed another year of milestones, including successfully testing their innovative system in orbit during January and securing new commercial partnerships with the likes of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and South Korea’s Yonsei University. The exciting Tokyo-based business was founded in 2020 and aims to disrupt the propulsion industry through the use of water as a propellant for its high performance spacecraft thruster.
“We are truly honored to receive this recognition and we would like to express our gratitude to all concerned. The biggest honor goes to the team who supported the company to attain its overwhelming success over the past few years. We will continue striving to make the space more accessible by providing a greener, reliable and sustainable solution for spacecraft mobility.”Jun Asakawa, CEO at Pale Blue
Meanwhile, the complementary inaugural Space Business Catalyst award, created by event partner Thales Alenia Space and linked to their Turin and Toulouse located space accelerator programme, went to in-space qualification and R&D startup Space DOTS, based in London. Earlier this year, the company successfully closed its $1.5m pre-seed round as it looks to further develop its mini on-orbit laboratory technology by building a prototype of its Barnacle DOT product.
“Celebrating today, we are deeply honoured to receive the Space Business Catalyst Award from Thales Alenia Space. This accolade marks the inception of a transformative, enduring partnership, highlighting the pivotal role Space DOTS is set to play in shaping the future of the in-space economy. At Space DOTS, our mission is to redefine the conventional approach to material testing for space missions, laying the groundwork for a sustainable circular space economy. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Thales Alenia Space for this remarkable recognition. And we are proud of our relentless team and steadfast investors who have all contributed to this incredible achievement. With great anticipation, we look ahead to the journey before us, as we collaboratively steer the space industry towards unprecedented evolutions.”Bianca Cefalo, CEO and Co-founder at Space DOTS Inc.
Beyond the clear credibility benefits, recipients of the Annual Awards for Excellence in Earth Observation, Finspace and Space Business Catalyst award, as well as the Satellite Communications Awards presented earlier this week, gain access into a high-visibility alumni network where they will gain from building relationships and sharing opportunities with other major commercial space stakeholders, as well as free tickets to the event itself. Startup winners are also boosted with their choice of market intelligence reports from Euroconsult’s extensive catalog, helping further arm the early-stage space firms with the knowledge they need to grow their business.