EO Future Challenge

The ESA EO Future Challenge is looking for solutions in the areas of Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning to explore the benefits of integrating Copernicus Earth observation data into a product or service. The EU led Copernicus programme and its family of Sentinel satellites provide users with free and open, near-real-time data on a global level for use across a wide range of applications in many industries. The ESA EO Future Challenge is designed to provide disruptive solutions in the up and coming areas of AI, IoT and Machine Learning, with a platform to demonstrate how they are using Earth Observation (EO) data (in particular Copernicus data) to enhance their products or services. Solutions should clearly demonstrate how Copernicus data will provide added benefits to their users and explain the process for implementation.

Submissions are welcome in any application field, including:

  • Smart Cities
  • Transport and Mobility
  • Health
  • Tourism/Leisure
  • Agriculture


The ESA EO Future Challenge aims to increase the exposure and understanding of Earth observation data in the AI, IoT and Machine Learning markets. Those tasked with evaluating the submissions to this challenge will therefore focus on the potential for technological feasibility, rather than its maturity.


How to Participate


  • EUR 10,000 Cash Prize
  • Substantial satellite data quota worth EUR 5,000 (financial support by EC)
  • Access to the Copernicus Accelerator programme (if eligible)


  • Innovation: How innovative is the idea within the market? Does the idea relate to Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning?
  • Relevance: Does the use of Copernicus data present an asset for the solution?
  • Technological feasibility: Does the idea include a sound technical basis which will provide a realistic chance to see the solution brought to market maturity within a reasonable time frame?
  • Commercial viability: Does the solution have real market potential?


The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. To contribute to the success of Copernicus ESA is exploiting its 35 years of expertise in space programme development and management. While the Copernicus programme is politically led by the European Union (EU), ESA is the overall coordinator of the Copernicus Space Component and will, inter alia, ensure the uninterrupted delivery of data from the Copernicus Sentinel satellites and from an important number of Copernicus Contributing Missions at national, European and international level. Following the launch of Sentinel-1A on 4 April 2014 the Copernicus programme has entered its operational phase, serving users with an ever-increasing mix of satellite imagery and other data.