His innovation is based on augmented reality (AR). This technology is set to conquer the world in the coming years. The Slovak ESA Young Graduate trainee Peter Vaník has won the Netherlands Challenge of the European Satellite Navigation Competition with his idea, which combines satellite navigation (GNSS) with AR. “I’ve had the privilege to work with some of the most talented and passionate people in the world; it’s been fantastic.”

Where were you based previously?

‘I studied Geography with Politics and later Information Technology in Glasgow, and I spent five months in Toulouse during my gap year in between the two degrees. Toulouse is a major European aerospace centre, which inspired me to look for a career in the space industry.’

So you are now based in Noordwijk?

‘I’ve been here since October 2017. The traineeship puts me at the intersection of space tech R&D, business and politics, so it has been an incredible opportunity to learn about the space industry.’

Finalist!

‘Yes, I managed to reach the European ESNC final with the idea. It combines new and existing technologies with GNSS to allow people to express their creativity on a world scale. I’m happy that the jury recognised the potential of such a project.’

What is the idea?

‘It takes advantage of a new technology called the AR cloud to place user-generated content in the world and render it in AR on your phone or tablet. Think of Pokémon Go, for example. My idea was to connect it to existing 3D modelling technologies and create a sandbox tool for people to visualise ideas with the entire world as the playground.’

Has the award helped?

‘Of course! I will use the technical and business support which is part of the award to develop the idea further. The SBIC also benefits from an extensive partnership network, and the more people you meet, the more doors open. Over the following months, I will give it my all and see what adventure it leads me to next.’