Copernicus Masters Space Applications Boost Emergency and Transport Management

All too often, natural and man-made disasters cause global humanitarian crises. Authorities and teams on-site face multiple difficulties in managing critical situations.

Fortunately, Europe’s Earth observation (EO) programme Copernicus provides valuable information for important applications and services to react promptly. Through continuous data and pioneering applications, enabling the evaluation of changing environmental conditions, Copernicus even helps in forecasting natural disasters. Moreover, these assets are useful to further develop transport management in an efficient and sustainable manner for our growing cities. Therefore, the Copernicus Masters competition dedicates different topic-specific challenges and calls participants to submit emergency management and digital transportation applications.

Team Up with Europe’s Leading Space Stakeholders

Copernicus Masters participants now have the opportunity to showcase their business idea and collaborate with the European Commission (EC) Stevenson Astrosat Ltd. and the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). The most innovative participants are awarded with extraordinary prizes and the best applicants of these Challenges will be also granted access to the prestigious Copernicus Accelerator programme, if eligible. This EC initiative provides a tailored business coaching scheme to entrepreneurs delivered by experienced mentors with valuable expertise. Moreover, the winners have the chance to receive a ticket to the next satellite launch in Kourou. In addition, cash prizes support packages and substantial satellite data quota are awarded.

The Copernicus Security Challenge wants to demonstrate that Copernicus offers significant potential to improve citizen security and safety. Participants in this challenge should thus propose applications that Copernicus and improve the security, safety, and defence of people. Possible examples include:

  • Civil security applications to improve the prediction, monitoring, and management of natural disasters, for public emergency services or insurance companies
  • Applications to support defence objectives and military operations
  • Services to improve the design, monitoring, and management of humanitarian operations

The Astrosat Challenge is specifically in search of new applications that can be added into its RAPID platform, the Recovery and Protection in Disaster system. The winner can present the application to existing and potential new RAPID customers. The application can be focused on specific types of disaster scenarios such as flooding and earthquakes or can be made suitable to address a range of different situations.

The BMVI Challenge is seeking for Copernicus-based transport applications at the local, national, Europe-wide, or even global level. The ideas submitted can target any mode of transportation and user groups, such as those involved in traffic planning, infrastructure operation and maintenance, commercial stakeholders, and private transport. The winning idea is provided with a tailored support package including access to the expertise of Copernicus-related agencies, cloud computing facility and Copernicus data archive CODE-DE (COpernicus Data and Exploitation Platform – DEutschland).

Tracking Emergency Situations from Space

The Copernicus programme provides precious information to enable monitoring and mapping of natural catastrophes, such as wildfires, floods and landslides. In addition, a variety of services utilise the opportunities provided by Sentinel satellite data to develop forecasting models and support prediction of such events. In disaster mitigation, a well-planned response is vital to assuring the safety, health, and security of citizens and minimising the economic consequences. The Copernicus satellite-based services thus provide timely and accurate geo data to support governments, agencies, and aid workers in managing post-disaster coordination. In addition to offering information for monitoring, mapping and managing disasters, the Copernicus programme is the basis for a number of services that make forecasting possible.

Copernicus Emergency Management Service (EMS)

The Copernicus EMS is the distinct service of Europe’s highly diverse EO programme for support in response to emergency and natural disaster situations. Actors mainly involve Civil Protection Authorities and Humanitarian Aid Agencies such as the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The service’s components include worldwide maps as well as early warning and forecasting systems. In addition, this data is complemented by dedicated in situ and open data sources. The following startup shows impressively how to make smart use of Copernicus data.

Game-Changing Copernicus Masters Startups Bring Forth Innovation

Young companies with forward-looking ideas, products or services can be game-changing. Geomatic Ventures Limited (GVL) is exactly one of those aspiring companies. Their comprehensive satellite based ground motion surveys are already making a huge impact. This Copernicus Masters Overall Winner 2014 offers complete ground coverage over all classes of terrain and land cover. The fact that the company is able to survey all land cover types, including vegetation where habitually DInSAR (Differential Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) algorithms struggle, makes it unique nowadays. By having developed a smart system that can identify and monitor very precise surface ground movements as an early warning system, their surveys are of high interest for a wide range of industries, including oil and gas, civil engineering, geohazards, mining and climate change.

Future-oriented participants are encouraged to take part in the Copernicus Masters to turn their business idea into reality.

Register now to witness this year’s most brilliant Copernicus Masters business cases at and don’t miss out on Europe’s biggest space event.

We look forward to seeing you in Tallinn!

About the European Space Week
The European Space Week brings together the most important space stakeholders, companies, partners and visionaries in Europe pushing the topic of space in Europe and beyond. It is organised by the European Commission (EC) under the auspices of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU and co-organised by the European Space Agency (ESA), AZO Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen and Garage48.

Copernicus Masters and the Copernicus Accelerator

AZO has launched the Copernicus Masters in 2011 on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA) and with strong support of world-class partners as part of their mission to foster the User Uptake of Copernicus services. The Copernicus Masters is an international competition which awards prizes to innovative solutions for business and society based on EO data. The Copernicus Masters has developed into the moving force of promoting cutting-edge solutions. In 2016, the European Commission has launched the Copernicus Accelerator. This one-of-a-kind programme is focused on providing a tailored business coaching service for up to 50 finalists in the competition. The submission phase for the Copernicus Masters 2017 runs until 30 June 2017.

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