With the prize pool of 1.5M euros this year’s Copernicus Masters contest 2017 is bigger than ever. Copernicus Masters is the largest international competition, where anyone can propose ideas and design applications and business concepts related to commercial use of Earth observation. The mission of the competition is to utilise data produced by Europe’s Copernicus environmental monitoring programme and its Sentinel satellites and develop new products and applications for a widening array of businesses.
This year’s edition features 14 challenges offered by Copernicus partners including European Commission, ESA as well as t-Mobile, CGI and more. The European Commission will host a total of six challenges covering topics such as sustainable development and big data. The best 40 ideas emerging from the competition will receive support. In addition to money, the winner will be invited to Kourou, French Guiana, to watch the launch of ESA’s Aeolus Earth Explorer mission, which is scheduled to lift off at the end of the year.
ESA will lead a Sentinel Small Satellite Challenge and offer €1 million to design and develop a satellite, along with free launch services and a cash prize of €10 000. The Agency will also provide access to training facilities, IPs as well as business and marketing support.
Other challenges to be solved include disaster management, big data, telecom, transportation, energy and health.
To give you some insights of the competition, VSpace interviewed Grega Milcinski, CEO Sinergise, overall winner of Copernicus Masters 2016. His company is building large turn-key information systems primarily in the fields of agriculture and real-estate administration. Sinergise newly released the EO Browser that has got 1.1 million processed requests by nearly 12,000 users.
"Copernicus Master Competition is an extremely efficient way to get exposed to a wider audience. Earth Observation market is not well established yet and it is in general difficult to test ideas and solutions. There are not many ways to demonstrate that your solution works. But bringing your idea in the international competition in front of experienced people from the field, provides very useful feedback.” - comments Milcinski, and continues
“Coperinucs Masters provided us an international recognition. After winning a competition, we were approached by several big industry players, who were previously too busy to talk with us. They have trusted the evaluation committee to “filter the noice” and gave us an opportunity to work with them. The boost from victory was extreme. We started with just a few users and a prototype, which nobody, apart of us, believed in. But now, only 12 months later, we are running a service used globally by research and commercial users. We have even supported a similar competition run by NASA. We are happy to help Copernicus Master competitors as well - if someone would like to use our services to built the prototype more efficiently, they should contact us immediately. We will be happy to help.”
So if you want to develop new solution for European space, detailed information of the contest and the application process can be found here. Copernicus Masters is open for both EU and non-EU residents. Apply before June 30.