The new year has started, and we are already hands on new projects. Looking back at 2016, we can agree it was a dynamic and meaningful year. Amphinicy was granted with two funds for SMEs which supported our sales and marketing activities as well as business development of our innovative product, Blink. We were busy and "out there" and would like to share our travel diary for 2016.
Wish we could turn back time to the good old days of 2016. Not only are we enthusiastic about business in space - we also like to travel the Earth. Our potential market being practically the whole globe, it is not strange that our everyday thoughts include places from Americas passing the EMEA to the far Asia-Pacific. Taking into account we develop software products that can be used in growing Earth observation industry – faraway places are getting even closer, and our feelings of being citizens of the Blue Planet become deeper and stronger.
Setting the Agenda
We had our travel schedule planned ahead for the whole year with two great aims. The first was to promote Amphinicy's broad expertise and products in the global satellite market and the second was to study the market conditions on the business development of our innovative product, Blink.
Amphinicy at Conferences and Exhibitions
The promotion of our expertise and products in the global satellite market was co-sponsored by the City of Zagreb with national grants for internationalisation. For the last couple of years, we have been investing our time and creativity into rounding our 20+ years knowledge into ready-to-use satellite products. This is a small but rather important step for Amphinicy that is shaping us as a brand that can apply for significant international programs as well as to contribute to boosting up NewSpace missions. In 2016 we have exhibited at the leading satellite shows which, aside from regular promotions at exhibit space and attending conference programs, also included many networking events and B2B meetings. Funding aside, financial support helped us to plan better and to implement and monitor results of those activities.
The European Commission Acknowledgement
Blink is a software-based solution for ultra-fast satellite telemetry acquisition and processing. Being high performance, flexible and affordable, Blink can bring benefits especially to Earth observation missions which collect terabytes of remote sensing data and Earth imagery every day. Blink caught the attention of the European Commission and received SME Instrument funding for the feasibility study, being one of 5 Croatian projects receiving this type of grant so far. We visited major industry stakeholders in their offices where we presented our project and were getting answers to the key questions regarding development direction we shall take with Blink. We also learned a lot about the industry and upcoming satellite missions from their top professionals and executives. In all our travels, we prove the most fruitful way to guide a development of an innovative product is exactly that – meeting clients in person and learning about their needs.
Now, we would like to walk you through the places to be and when, if you are an SME in the space sector.
March in Washington D.C. – Satellite Show and NASA Visit
Satellite Show in Washington D.C. is most probably the biggest exhibition and show in the satellite industry in the world. It was our first time exhibiting at a booth, so we prepared a special demonstration for three of our satellite products. We built a model of satellite antenna using LEGO Mindstorms set of motors, bricks and circuits and 3D printed model of a satellite dish. In this demo our mobile app SatScout was moving the satellite dish to point to a predefined GEO satellite in orbit, Monica controlled antenna’s azimuth and elevation and was taking care that values are in the right range and Blink was processing satellite data and exposed results of the demo acquisition on its rich reports.
Amphinicy at Satellite Show in Washington, D.C., March 2016
Beside great success of the Satellite Show, the highlight of our trip to Washington was a visit to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland. It was a tourist-like tour to NASA's space research laboratory. We could sneak a peek to development and operation of several NASA and international missions the centre is conducting – something we would usually watch in science documentaries.
Amphinicy Team visiting NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland
June in Toulouse, the Capital of European Satellite and Space Industry
In June 2016, we visited Toulouse Space Show in France. It is a major global forum dedicated to the progress in space infrastructure, technologies and applications which takes place in Toulouse every two years. You already had a chance to read about our expedition to this space and satellite industry centre. For organising business meetings, we had the support of the Croatian branch of the European Enterprise Network.
The event gathered 3 000 participants from 50 countries – space start-ups, SMEs, international space agencies, big business and space institutes, business consulting companies, even advisors of how to establish a subsidiary in France and students looking for internships. We find this event necessary to put into our calendar and are looking forward to the next show in 2018!
A Theme Park Cité de l’Espace opened in the honor of the human space explorations, in Toulouse, France
September in Western Europe – Amsterdam, London and Paris
September is reserved for IBC Show in Amsterdam and VSAT Global in London. The last stop of our trip was the World Satellite Business Week, an annual executive meeting taking place in Paris. One week event organised by Euroconsult, the leading global consulting firm specialised in space markets was broken down in 4 sub-events. For Amphinicy, especially impressive was the Earth Observation Summit where we got insight into current state and prospects for the EO industry. Aside from this excellent conference full of thematic round table discussions, presentations and a social program, Euroconsult offers many other services including periodic market reports being an essential reference tool in our everyday work.
Amphinicy at IBC 2016, in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Other Ways of Being Present
Beside satellite conferences and exhibitions, there are other ways to be present in the industry. Since 2006, Republic of Croatia is a member state of EUMETSAT, the European intergovernmental organization for meteorology. It gives Croatian companies an opportunity to compete for EUMETSAT’s satellite tenders. EUMETSAT is hosting industry days several times a year to introduce interested audience with requirements and specifics of their new missions and projects. Amphinicy was part of the event in November 2015 in Darmstadt, Germany.
Being a successful beneficiary of European Commission’s framework program Horizon 2020, we were invited to present our SME Instrument application best practices on Space Info Days in Ljubljana, Slovenia in April 2016. This is yet another excellent way to promote our products, keep up with trends, exchange ideas and build networks for new cooperation.
We hope we gave you a clue about the importance of being active when you are developing innovative products with global potential, as well as to make use of funding opportunities – we are all invited to use them purposely.
We hope we see each other soon in exhibition alleys! ;)
LEGO Satellite Ground Station everybody would like to operate :)
Project Blink has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 699132.
This article reflects only our view and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
The City of Zagreb has funded a part of marketing and promotional activities through the SME internationalisation program.