Vake | Catch wins 2019 ESA Space App Camp

ESA Space App Camp Winners 2019

An app that will help wild fisheries achieve sustainable operations using Copernicus Sentinel-3 data took home the top prize at this year’s Space App Camp at ESA’s Earth observation centre in Frascati, Italy.

The Norwegian winning team, which was participating as winner of the ESA prize at the 2019 FOSS4G hackathon in Bucharest, developed the Vake | Catch App, which will help fisheries be more efficient and optimise catch quotas, as well as help governments stop unregistered and unregulated fishing worldwide. Combining Copernicus Sentinel-3 data with actual numbers on catch in Norwegian waters will result in better visualisations and predictions on the correlations between chlorophyll and sea temperatures with how fish swim through the ocean and how abundant they are.

The first prize was awarded by ESA’s Copernicus Policy Coordinator, Thomas Beer. He says, “I would like to thank everyone who made this happen. From all the App Camps I have seen, this one was exceptional owing to the overall quality of the ideas and the team spirit I experienced this week.”

Following a selection from about 100 applications, ESA invited 24 developers from nine countries to attended the 8th edition of the App Camp.

The goal was to come up with innovative and off the beaten track ideas for apps using Earth-monitoring data – particularly from the European Copernicus programme – and make satellite information accessible to the everyday user through smartphones.

Each of the six teams had a week to create an app from one of five categories: smart farming, sustainable development, future living, smart cities and digital transport. All teams were encouraged to apply to one of ESA’s Business Incubation Centres and to submit to develop their ideas further and to submit them to the Copernicus Masters 2020.

The week-long camp culminated with presentations of the six projects to a jury, followed by an inspiring presentation by ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli who detailed his journey of becoming an astronaut and the importance of observing our Earth from space.

The Space App Camps bring programmers together to develop creative and innovative apps that make Earth observation data – particularly from Copernicus – accessible to a wide range of citizens. This unique one-week event was initiated by ESA in 2012 and has since been organised by AZO Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen.

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