University Challenge

The Copernicus Masters University Challenge is looking for students and research associates to compete for the chance to transform their bright ideas into successful commercial ventures. Seeking to bridge the gap between Earth observation research and entrepreneurship, this challenge is designed to offer a creative platform for developing the most cutting-edge ideas using Earth observation data. In addition to establishing links to the world of business, the University Challenge increases 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.

Submissions are welcome in any relevant application field, including but not limited to:

  • Agriculture
  • Transportation
  • Emergency management
  • Environmental protection
  • Renewable energies
  • Tourism/leisure


How to Participate


  • 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)


Submissions to the University Challenge will be evaluated against the following criteria:

  • Innovation: Does the solution demonstrate a novel application of Earth observation data?
  • Copernicus Connection: Does the solution use Copernicus data to add value for end-users?
  • Technical Feasibility: Does the solution apply Copernicus data in a technically feasible way?
  • Project Sustainability: Does the solution have real market potential?


AZO is an international networking and branding company for European space programmes, supporting entrepreneurship with more than 500 companies founded in Europe. Over the last 15 years, AZO has established the leading European space cluster innovation network for the satellite downstream market. AZO organises the “Innovation Masters Series”, the most important space-related innovation competitions: European Satellite Navigation Competition, Copernicus Masters, INNOspace Masters, Space Exploration Masters