For the second year in a row, Huntsville has been named the Mainstage host for the NASA International Space Apps Challenge. As Mainstage, Huntsville will again serve as the center for all Space Apps broadcasting, giving the city the unique opportunity to showcase its STEAM leadership to the world.
Powered by Urban Engine, an organization focused on bolstering entrepreneurship and innovation in the Rocket City, Space Apps will return to Huntsville Oct. 18-20 for a 48-hour sprint to solve some of the toughest challenges facing Earth and Space.
Over the years, Space Apps has become the largest global hackathon, engaging innovators from all over the world. In 2018, 200 events were hosted in 75 countries, with nearly 18,000 total participants. Each event brought together bright minds to look at NASA data and identify solutions to 20 challenges impacting our planet and beyond.
As a 2019 host, Urban Engine will focus on immersive education and student outreach, workforce development, and demonstrating the entrepreneurial spirit of Huntsville. The Mainstage speakers this year will demonstrate an eclectic mix of STEAM innovation talks and activities that will engage individuals, startups and students from throughout the Southeast.
“We are always excited to showcase our talent, and we welcome the international NASA Space Apps Challenge Mainstage back to Huntsville,” said Mayor of Huntsville Tommy Battle. “This event allows our many great thinkers, tinkers and doers to address a real problem and gain valuable experience, an important component of our workforce development efforts.”
This year, Urban Engine has plans to grow and advance Space Apps Huntsville through its new partnership with The Invention to Innovation Center (I2C) and The University of Alabama in Huntsville. The state-of-the-art new facility on Sparkman Drive will serve as the venue for Space Apps’ kick-off programming on Friday, Oct. 18, featuring panel discussions and hands-on workshops, as well as the Hackathon main event on Oct. 19-20.
“With a mission to foster, promote and accelerate commercialization of technology-based ventures through incubation, co-working, mentorship, funding and strategic support, I2C is an ideal strategic partner for Urban Engine as we continue planning an outstanding 2019 event,” said Executive Director of Urban Engine Toni Eberhart. “We’re thrilled that I2C has opened its doors to Space Apps and believe that its high-tech facility, designed to drive innovation, will be the perfect backdrop for the weekend.”
“The NASA Space Apps Challenge is a tremendous opportunity for the I2C community specifically our companies, students and faculty to engage, participate and innovate on a global stage” said Rigved Joshi, director at I2C. “We are proud to partner with Urban Engine and NASA to co-host the event at I2C - a venue primed for collaborations and creative collisions. We want to spearhead the space hacker movement on campus by unleashing our diverse talent pool across various student organizations that exist at UAH and look forward to supporting the teams with mentorship and strategic insights.”
Individuals and teams of technologists, scientists, designers, coders, storytellers, marketers, entrepreneurs and other problem-solvers are invited to participate in Space Apps 2019 and see which challenges NASA will present. The Space Apps Finale, where winners will receive a share of $10,000 in cash and other prizes will be held on Sunday, Oct. 20, at the Davidson Center at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.