The Copernicus Masters is a global innovation competition for commercial Earth observation applications and business use cases. The programme identifies and awards prizes to outstanding solutions, ideas, and business concepts that use Earth observation data to solve important social and commercial challenges.
Started in 2011, now in its 9th edition, AZO organises the annual innovation competition on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA). The platform is run with support from the space industry and institutions, including the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Commission, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Airbus, Planet, BayWa AG, Astrosat Ltd., CGI, the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), Satellite Applications Catapult Ltd. and AZO Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen, the organiser. Space in Africa is a Regional Associate for the Copernicus Masters competition in Africa.
The international competition is designed with the ideology that Big data produced by Earth observation holds huge potential for the creation of innovative products and services. A wide variety of industries and areas of public interest stand to profit from the advances of the Copernicus programme. The programme is run as a part of ESA’s mission to foster the User Uptake of Copernicus services and deepen its relationship with EO commercial ecosystem globally.
The Copernicus Masters Challenge
To enter the Copernicus Masters competition, participants are required to select a partner challenge that best fits their solution from a list of options. Participants will explain how their solution fits the selected challenge while filling the application form.
The following are available partner challenges and thematic areas of call for solutions.
ESA Copernicus 4.0 Challenge
ESA is looking for solutions that reflect the upcoming “golden era” in Earth Observation by demonstrating how new trends in EO can work together with the traditional EO satellites.
DLR Environment, Energy & Health Challenge
DLR is looking for innovative ideas that use EO data to drive the sustainable management of our limited natural resources and foster human well-being.
Planet “See Change, Change the World” Challenge
Planet is looking for new solutions that solve important sustainable development challenges faced by today’s population.
BayWa Smart Farming Challenge
BayWa is looking for innovative solutions that use new technologies, ideas and products to support sustainable agriculture.
Airbus sobloo Multi-Data Challenge
Airbus and sobloo are looking for solutions that use both Sentinel and Airbus EO data to deliver value-added services for specific communities and markets.
BMVI Digital Transport Challenge
BMVI is looking for solutions that use Copernicus data to solve major challenges faced by transport systems today.
Once they have chosen a challenge, they then register to our submission database, enabling them to submit their solution to the competition.
Social Entrepreneurship Challenge
The Copernicus Masters Social Entrepreneurship Challenge is looking for solutions using Copernicus data that solve social, cultural, or environmental issues and generate a positive return to society.
The Copernicus Masters Prize
The Copernicus Masters organizer and partners will select an undisclosed number of winners across various regions depending on the number of applications that fit the outlined challenges.
The winners of the challenges will leverage the Copernicus innovation platform to access leading international network, Earth observation data, startup funding, business development packages and much more!
In 2018, 16 business cases and Challenge winners were recognised at the “Space Oscars 2018” Awards Ceremony during the EU Space Week 2018 in Marseille, France.
The Overall Winner
The Copernicus Masters overall winner is chosen by an international panel of experts and will be awarded on stage at the festive awards ceremony. In addition to the vast promotional activities, the 2019 overall winner will receive:
Cash prize to the value of EUR 10,000
Possibility to access EUR 20,000 worth of commercial datasets from the Copernicus Contributing Missions in the Copernicus Data Warehouse (financial support by EC)
A place in the Copernicus Masters Hall of Fame
– The competition will begin on April 1, 2019. The ideas database will be closed on June 30, 2019.
Click here to submit a solution to the Ideas Database.
Joseph Ibeh is a Mandela Washington Fellow and Senior Analyst at Space in Africa. His experience spans industry research and market analysis with a focus on African-grown NewSpace companies, commercial space industry, national space programmes and real-life application of space science for sustainable development in Africa.