PA Consulting wins International Space Apps Challenge

27 June 2014

A team from PA Consulting Group has been won 'The International Space Apps Challenge', an incubator innovation program organized by the NASA. The five consultants of the global consulting firm won the award for the best concept in the category 'Galactic Impact'.

Every year the NASA organizes 'The International Space Apps Challenge', a competition that focuses on finding innovative solutions for space exploration. Citizens from all over the globe are invited to submit their best concepts that contribute to improving future space missions. This year more than 8,000 participants developed ideas, and through local and regional selection rounds – held at 95 locations around the world on April 11 and 12 – a small number of nominees were announced for the grand finale.

Space App Challenge

All finalist projects were evaluated by a panel of NASA experts based on five criteria: impact, creativity, product, sustainability, and presentation. Winners were announced in six categories.
Best use of Data | Best use of Hardware | Best Mission Concept | Galactic Impact | Most Inspiring | People’s Choice |


In the category ‘Galactic Impact’ the project ‘Sky-Snapper’ was awarded first place. The initiative aims at boosting the battle against air pollution. According to the World Health Organisation every year 7 million deaths can be linked to air pollution. To better understand the impact of air pollution and counter the increasing threat, more data is needed to track air pollution. Sky-Snapper does exactly this – the platform and app allows the public to send their photos of the sky. These sky images are subsequently assessed by the tool and by combining the large data from the 'crowd' an accurate picture can be portrayed of polluted areas. In addition, by monitoring progress over time the app aims to serve as valuable input for national and local authorities.

The team

The team behind the innovative solution consists of: Ben Noble (Mobile solution developer), James Shepherd (Web services developer), George Buckingham (Web front-end developer), David Stanton (Mobile developer) and Finlay Edridge (Consultant and social media). All five consultants work in the IT Delivery Practice of PA Consulting Group.