What is the Mars Habitat Challenge about?

Hagerbach Test Gallery is looking for pioneering startups to develop solutions for the visionary idea of living on Mars or other planets. Solutions include those that offer products/services that could make life on Mars possible. Be it solutions for constructing buildings/caverns, energy, air or water management, health & safety, transportation, food production, or communication. The ultimate goal is a self-sustaining habitat based on the principles of a circular economy.

The event is held annually and is supervised by Venturelab.


  • Application open till February 5, 2024
  • Ten selected startups will pitch their startup project on March 5, 2024 in front of a jury of high-ranking industry experts, including members from ACO, Amberg Group, Belloli, ESA BIC Switzerland, Implenia, Mission Earth First and SIKA.
  • The top five will undergo a public voting system in March/April, where everyone can vote for their favourite project. 
  • The top three startups selected will be invited to the customer event Hagerbach Test Gallery on May 3, 2024 where the winner be unvealed
  • One startup will be awarded with a proof of concept in the Hagerbach Test Gallery (value CHF 10'000).



ANYbotics AG, Zurich, Switzerland

Taking part in the Mars Habitat Challenge was a great opportunity to intensify our collaboration with the Hagerbach Test Gallery. Together with ETH Zurich, we used our four-legged robots ANYmal to autonomously explore unknown tunnel systems. The development was tested in the Hagerbach Test Gallery and made a significant contribution to the CERBERUS team winning first place in the Darpa Subterranean Challenge! 


Dr. Péter Fankhauser, Co-Founder & CEO

ANYbotics Website

Aura System srl

The Mars Habitat Challenge hosted by the Hagerbach Gallery was one of the best startups contests we have ever attended. The organization and the procedure are actually really fun and the final event is definitely worth it.

It is a contest that gives you the opportunity to get your brand known in Switzerland and it also gives you a lot of credibility as it is organized by a big and very technical company.

As Aura we had the opportunity to install one of our natural air purifiers in particular conditions to run tests and see how certain types of plants behave in such environment. Our systems are able to not only purify air with low energy consumption but also to better the life quality every day of the employees that are in contact with it.

Indoor air is forced to pass through our biofilter that is composed of a patented soil mix and selected plants that eliminate and absorb the pollutants through their roots. The result is a more natural, fresh and purified air. Our idea is to “recycle” polluted air. We will continue to monitor the air quality results in the Hagerbach Gallery for months to come.

We are doing this because air conditioning systems are the most polluting and energy consuming systems in buildings and with our technology this can change.

We are very happy and proud to have won the Mars Habitat contest as it gives everyone hope for a better and more environmentally friendly future.

Pietro Carloni, CEO 

Aura System Website

Participating in the Mars Habitat Challenge in 2022 proved to be a highly fruitful moment for SoHHytec. The exposure, collaboration opportunities, and valuable feedback received during the challenge were helpful in refining and advancing our green hydrogen solution offering and capabilities. The support provided by Subspace Energy Hub and Hagerbach Test Gallery post our victory has been indispensable, contributing significantly to our growth and success.

Our experience in the Mars Habitat Challenge was nothing short of exceptional. The challenge not only allowed us to showcase our innovative solutions for the Mars like environment eventually mimicking the scenarios for underground terrestrial infrastructure, but also provided a unique platform to connect with like-minded industry experts, researchers, and potential partners. The collaborative spirit fostered by Subspace Energy Hub and Hagerbach Test Gallery has been a driving force behind our continued dedication to advancing sustainable energy solutions.

Our green hydrogen equipment, known as ARB, holds the world record for green hydrogen production, a result of over 10 years of dedicated research and development. With the collective experience of our team, we've brought a groundbreaking product to the market. ARB not only produces green hydrogen but also generates heat, electricity, and oxygen simultaneously. This Swiss innovation, backed by Swiss technology, exemplifies our commitment to pushing the boundaries of sustainable energy solutions.

SoHHytec Website

Impressions Mars Habitat Challenges