The Copernicus Masters competition seeks innovative ideas for space data applications

Copernicus Masters: Submit your space idea

This year’s Copernicus Masters competition, previously known as the European Earth Monitoring Competition,is open for novel ideas on how Earth observation data can benefit businesses and society.

The competition, which was launched in 2011 by the European Space Agency (ESA), the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and T-Systems, and endorsed by the European Commission, is open to companies and scientific institutions registered in, as well as adult individuals with citizenship in, ESA member states and other cooperating countries.

Copernicus Masters 2013 seeks novel ideas on how Earth observation data can benefit businesses and society. Participants can choose from a total of nine challenges covering topics such as environmental monitoring, cloud computing and mobile services, as well as the innovative use of radar and very high-resolution satellite imagery. With a prize pool of €350, 000 in cash prizes, technical support, data packages and business incubation, the goal of the project is to foster product development and entrepreneurship in Europe.

"The ideas presented in the Masters' first two years have demonstrated that innovative Copernicus applications entail a substantial economic potential, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-up companies," said ESA’s director general Jean-Jacques Dordain.

The ESA App Challenge will award the best application idea that uses Earth observation data from European satellites on mobile phones with a €10,000 cash prize. The winner will also get the chance of further developing the project within one of the seven ESA Business Incubation Centres located across Europe.

Last year, a Norwegian company AnsuR Technologies AS won the prize with an application that uses crowd-sourcing for more efficient disaster management and rescue operations. The ASIGN app encourages people who happen to be present in disaster zones to take pictures of the situation on the ground, and then combines these images with satellite data.

In the Best Service Challenge category, the proposals should aim at increasing awareness of existing Earth monitoring capabilities and their benefits. The Ideas Challenge seeks innovative commercial solutions and the European Space Imaging High-Res Challenge invites people to create new and viable applications using very high-resolution satellite data.

Those who are less technically minded can enter the GEO Illustration Challenge, using satellite imagery to illustrate humankind’s footprint on our planet in an artistic way.

With the exception of the GEO Illustration Challenge, which closes on 30 June, the submissions deadline for all other categories is on 15 September 2013.

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