Seeking to bridge the gap from Earth observation research and academia to entrepreneurship, the Copernicus Masters University Challenge was looking for students and research associates to compete for the chance to transform their bright ideas into successful commercial ventures. This challenge was designed to offer a creative platform for coming up with the most cutting-edge ideas using Earth observation data. Submissions were welcome in any relevant application field, including agriculture management, automotive, emergency management, environmental protection, marine monitoring, mobile applications, renewable energies, and tourism/leisure. In addition to establishing links to the world of business, the University Challenge heightened the exposure and credibility of student-driven innovations at the global level. Those tasked with evaluating the ideas submitted will thus focus on creativity and market needs rather than technological maturity.


SpaceToPlace - EO to Empower UNESCO Site Managers, submitted by Prof Dr Alexander Siegmund and Team from Research Group for Earth Observation (rgeo), Dept. of Geography, Heidelberg University of Education & Heidelberg University, Germany


  • Along with a EUR 1,000 cash prize, the winner will receive a consulting package he can use to develop his idea into a valid business case, with the aim of qualifying for one of the 16 ESA Business Incubation Centres across Europe. Corresponding incubation packages are valued at up to EUR 50,000.
  • The winner will benefit from a substantial satellite data quota worth EUR 10,000 made available with financial support by the European Commission.
  • The Copernicus Masters competition presents big news for its current edition: the winners of each challenge1 won't be the only participants to be awarded prizes and turn their ideas into successful applications. For the first time ever, the finalists will also greatly benefit from the participation in this competition, thanks to the new Copernicus Accelerator initiative, funded by the European Commission and organised by AZO.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Innovativeness (advantages/improvements over existing solutions, innovation level)
  • Copernicus relevance (significance of the use of Earth monitoring data for realization, added value through Copernicus)
  • Technological feasibility
  • Description market of potential and customer benefit

1 Participants of the Copernicus Accelerator must be either citizens of one of the Copernicus Participating countries or have established their company in the territory of one of the participating countries.

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