University Challenge


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 heighted 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.


Beinn Bike – A mountain bike route planning tool, submitted by Dr Steve Owens and Team, Beinn Bike, United Kingdom

PRIZE 2017

  • EUR 1,000 cash prize
  • Consulting package to develop your idea into a valid business case. Additionally, qualify your business for one of the 16 ESA BICs (worth up to EUR 50,000).
  • Substantial satellite data quota worth EUR 5,000 (financial support by EC)
  • Access to the Copernicus Accelerator programme (if eligible)
  • Ticket to the next satellite launch in Kourou


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