This year’s Copernicus Masters competition is now open. With prizes totalling more than €1.5 million, the chance to design and launch a small satellite mission and much more, Europe’s leading competition for the novel use of Earth observation has never been so impressive.
The vast amounts of data produced by Europe’s Copernicus environmental monitoring programme and its Sentinel satellites is leading to an ever-increasing number of products and applications for a widening array of businesses.
Since 2011, ESA with the support of Germany’s AZO has organised the annual Copernicus Masters competition to inspire and help entrepreneurs bring their innovations to market.
It is the largest competition for the commercial use of Earth observation and awards outstanding ideas, applications and business concepts that make use of bespoke information in everyday life.
Josef Aschbacher, ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, said, “We’re very proud to have seen the Copernicus Masters develop into one of the innovation drivers for Earth observation.
“The launch of additional Sentinel satellites will continue to boost the commercialisation of related services.”
This internationally renowned competition is set to reach even greater heights as the prize pool has tripled since last year.
In addition to the €1.5 million set aside for prizes for different challenges, ESA has opened a Sentinel Small Satellite Challenge that offers €1 million to design and develop a satellite, along with free launch services and a cash prize of €10 000.
The aim is to stimulate novel satellite design, testing and manufacturing solutions that will lead to a small mission that complements the family of Sentinel missions or provides added value. Looking for ‘out of the box’ and ‘disruptive thinking’, this new challenge is in line with ESA’s Space 4.0 initiative.
The European Commission is also hosting a total of six challenges covering topics such as sustainable development and big data. Again, the EC will set aside money to help incubate the best 40 ideas emerging from the competition.
Along with a cash prize, the overall winner will be invited to Kourou, French Guiana, to witness the launch of ESA’s Aeolus Earth Explorer mission, which is scheduled to lift off at the end of the year.
The deadline for submission is 30 June. For full details about how to enter and the range of prizes, please visit the Copernicus Masters website.