ESA Grand Challenge

The ESA competition inspired by ESA's Space 4.0 strategy.


ESA Grand Challenge is a competition that proposes inspiring goals far from market reach, to extend the limits of human ability. It awards a money prize for the accomplishment of a feat. The challenges may be technical, scientific or societal.

Some of the most famous prizes include the Longitude prize (1714–1765), the Orteig Prize (1919–1927) and the prizes from the X Prize Foundation.


The Grand Challenge is derived from ESA’s Space 4.0 strategy.

Space 4.0 represents the evolution of the space sector into a new era that promotes interaction among governments, private sector, society and politics, also through new challenges.
The European space sector can become globally competitive only by full integration into European society and economy. This integration is possible only through a sustainable space sector closely connected with the fabric of society and economy and easily accessible.


G-nous supported the European Space Agency in several activities including the scouting of new potential sponsors, targeting the competing teams, managing the steps of the competition.
G-nous is also managing Metalysis – ESA Grand Challenge. Metalysis in South Yorkshire has spent more than a decade developing and scaling up its electrochemical technology. This is a process that converts refined oxides and ores directly into valuable metal alloy powders, used in 3D printing for aerospace, automotive and high-value manufacturing.

Metalysis – ESA Grand Challenge is sponsored by UK’s Metalysis and worth €500,000. It will reward new technology that will help to create metals from resources found on other planets.


Startups, institutions, industry, academia


Partners: ESA, Metalysis

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