Copernicus Services Challenge 2017


In addition to the Sentinel satellites, the Copernicus programme offers access to a set of services that provide free products in six thematic areas (Atmosphere, Land, Marine, Climate Change, Emergency and Security; see With this Challenge, the European Commission wanted to demonstrate that the Copernicus services provide added value in many different applications areas. Possible examples include:

  • An application to use products from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service to improve predictions on solar panel energy production
  • A service that uses products from the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service to improve erosion monitoring in coastal areas
  • An application that uses products from the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service to improve forest monitoring and biomass production
  • An application that augments the resolution of products from the Copernicus Climate Change Service to improve adaptation to climate change at the local level

The Challenge was open to all profiles: entrepreneurs, start-ups, students, SMEs and large companies, research centres, university departments, and public organisations at the European, national, and local level.

The European Commission was looking for innovative ideas based on products from one of the six Copernicus services. Applications that only use data from the Copernicus Sentinels will not be considered eligible.

The projects proposed should have delivered concrete value for users (which should ideally be involved in the design of the project from the beginning) and be technically feasible. Applicants should have had a clear plan for their project’s short- and long-term financing. The best teams were asked to combine both technical and business expertise and show a strong commitment to the Project.

Submission was possible from 1 April to 30 June 2017, all completed proposals are undergoing evaluation at the moment.


DroneSAR – Transforming drones for search & rescue, submitted by Leo Murray and Team, DroneSAR, Ireland

PRIZE 2017

  • EUR 5,000 cash prize
  • Substantial satellite data quota worth EUR 5,000
  • Access to the Copernicus Accelerator programme (if eligible)
  • Ticket to the next satellite launch in Kourou


  • Use of Copernicus data and services with respect to the Challenge topic
  • Project potential (Is the project innovative? Does it create value for the users? Is it feasible technically?)
  • Sustainability of the project (Have potential users/clients been involved in the design of the project? Are they willing to pay? How does the applicant intend to finance the project? Why is the project better than competing endeavours?)
  • Quality of the team (technical and business expertise, understanding of the thematic area at hand, commitment to the project)


The European Commission is one of the main institutions of the European Union. It implements the policies, laws, and treaties of the European Union. In particular, the European Commission manages several Space Programme, including Galileo (the European GPS) and Copernicus, which provides free Earth observation data and services for environment and security. Copernicus products are used for instance to help save lives at sea, improve our response to natural disasters, and allow farmers to better manage their crops.