• Sentinel-1 satellite
     Sentinel-1 satellite

Copernicus Masters Launches Annual Competition for Best Apps Employing EO Data

May 27, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
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The Copernicus Masters competition, launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO), seeks participants to submit ideas, applications and business concepts using Earth observation data that could lead to significant changes to the status quo in many fields. The international competition, with a deadline of July 13, offers cash prizes and support valued at more than 300,000 euros.

The competition aims to uncover innovations in big data, cloud computing, crowdsourcing and mobile applications. The overall winner—the 2015 Copernicus Master—will receive a specific challenge prize, 20,000 euros in cash and a satellite data package worth another 60,000 euros, sponsored by the European Commission.

The University Challenge aims to bridge the gap between experts in the Earth observation fields of research and academia and entrepreneurship. Students and research associates will compete to transform ideas into successful commercial ventures.

The ESA App Challenge looks for the best application idea using Earth observation data on mobile devices addressing one or more main thematic areas of the Copernicus program.

Greece’s National Cadastre and Mapping Agency (NCMA) sponsors the Spatio-Temporal Data Visualization Challenge to find the best ideas, prototypes or applications for advancing the visualization and display of multisource, multitype (raster, vector), multiscale, multiband 3-D spatial data over time.

The DLR Energy and Environmental Challenge wants new applications that address climate and mapping of the environment; especially welcome are ideas using Earth observation for sustainable energy.

The Satellite Applications Catapult Challenge invites innovators to create applications to exploit Earth observation data from satellites within the transportation and future cities domains.

In its international illustration challenge, GEO magazine seeks participants to give the planet a new face, encouraging contestant illustrators, designers and even Photoshoppers to submit work to the theme of “Transcending Borders—and Changing the Earth’s Image.” The grand prize is a VIP invitation to a 2016 ESA satellite launch at Guiana Space Centre near Kourou, French Guiana.

The European Space Imaging High-Res Urban Challenge wants solutions that extend the value of the recently collected 40-centimeter, eight-band, high-resolution satellite data corresponding to 305 Larger Urban Zones, which is the definition of urban areas as set by Eurostat, the statistical agency of the European Union. New applications should support decision makers in tasks such as strategic planning, environmental monitoring, crisis management, change management, trend analysis and urban solutions. This challenge is open only to residents of Europe and Africa.

The CloudEO Going Live Challenge seeks concrete plans for using CloudEO's ecosystem to transform partially or fully developed applications based on Earth observation data into operational commercial services.

All but the University Challenge are sponsored by a partner who specifies the rules and prizes. Prizes will be awarded by sponsors ESA, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), T-Systems International GmbH, Satellite Applications Catapult Ltd., NCMA, CloudEO AG and European Space Imaging GmbH.

The 2014 Copernicus Masters competition garnered 171 submissions from 43 countries. 

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