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Copernicus Masters Competition Submissions Due by July 13

April 16, 2015  - By
The Coperinicus Masters Cup Photo: Anwendungszentrum GmbH

The Coperinicus Masters Cup
Photo: Anwendungszentrum GmbH

Copernicus Masters submissions of ideas, applications or business concepts involving innovative uses of Earth observation data are due by July 13. Along with cash prizes, the winners will gain access to an international network, corresponding data, start-up funding and other support valued at more than €300,000 ($322,444) total.

The amount of data produced by Copernicus, the European Earth observation program, and its Sentinel satellites opens the door to products and applications in a wide array of business sectors. The European Space Agency (ESA) and Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO) have thus initiated the Copernicus Masters competition to aid visionary entrepreneurs in bringing their innovations to market.

“Start-ups and SMEs in particular stand to benefit from the virtually limitless scope of the data Copernicus provides,” said Prof Dr Volker Liebig, director of Earth observation programs and head of the European Space Research Institute (ESRIN), ESA. “The ideas submitted to previous editions of the Copernicus Masters have already demonstrated this to impressive effect, as has the constantly growing number of companies that are developing products and services based on Earth observation data in ESA’s business incubation program.”

These companies operate in a diverse range of fields, where they address subjects such as resource efficiency in agriculture, construction and renewable energy. The Copernicus Masters also is looking for new services and products in forward-thinking segments such as big data, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, data visualisation and mobile applications, to name a few.

In this year’s edition, prizes will be awarded in topic-specific challenges sponsored by partners, including: ESA, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), T-Systems International GmbH, Satellite Applications Catapult Ltd., Greece’s National Cadastre and Mapping Agency (NCMA), CloudEO AG and European Space Imaging GmbH. The new University Challenge specifically addresses students and research assistants around the world.

“We and our partners are offering the participants space for innovation in areas that are already shaping the future — the Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 4.0, smart cities and renewable energy, for example,” said Thorsten Rudolph, AZO managing director. “We want to support them in realising their creative solutions to these global challenges.”

Research and industry experts will select the winner of each challenge. The overall winner and 2015 Copernicus Master will receive, along with their challenge prize, €20,000 ($21,478) in cash and a satellite data package worth a further €60,000 ($64,434), which is being provided with the financial support of the European Commission.

“Taking part in the Copernicus Masters gave us the chance to make some key contacts and gather valuable feedback,” said John Smedegaard, a co-founder of Ceptu, which won the CloudEO Farming Challenge in 2014. “The whole process was a huge help in advancing our idea and developing it into a commercial product through our new start-up.”

All of the winners will be announced this fall and recognized at an awards ceremony.

For details on this year’s prizes, partners and terms of participation, view the event website.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.