Oct 12, 2012

Audience Selects SnowMonit as Winner of the GMES Masters Best Service Challenge

Estimated Article Reading Time: 2 min.

Between July and September 2012, more than 100 ideas were submitted in the framework of the second GMES Masters ideas competition. The GMES Masters was initiated by the European Space Agency (ESA), the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and T-Systems and is supported by the EU, European Space Imaging GmbH, and Astrium GEO-Information Services. In 2012 it rewards the best projects and business ideas for GMES commercial services in seven categories:

  • Ideas Challenge
  • ESA App Challenge
  • DLR Environmental Challenge
  • T-Systems Cloud Computing Challenge
  • European Space Imaging High-Res Challenge
  • Astrium Radar Challenge
  • Best Service Challenge

Winners of the Best Service Challenge 2012

While dedicated experts are currently assessing the proposals submitted in six of the 2012 GMES Masters categories, the winners of the Best Service Challenge have already been selected by the competition’s online audience. This year, almost 900 visitors to the GMES Masters website voted for the Earth observation service they found most beneficial to European citizens.

The clear winner of the Best Service Challenge 2012 with a total of 3,477 votes was SnowMonit – Monitoring Snow and Water Equivalent. Submitted by the Italian company Geobeyond SRL (via Francesco Bartoli), this service enhances natural resource management and early-warning tools for detecting hydropower generation and areas at risk of drought. It thus addresses the GMES Masters’ focus area of emergency management. SnowMonit is also designed to integrate and improve current services that treat snow avalanche information, snow accumulation, and derived parameters such as snow water equivalent for mapping the management of resources (hydropower, water) and the predictability of mountain hazards. This near real-time service will be able to enhance the situational awareness of nowcasting and forecasting products at the local, regional, and cross-border level. As the winner of the Best Service Challenge, Geobeyond SRL will benefit from a substantial satellite data quota made available through financial support from the European Commission.

Taking home second place with 3,407 votes was Fire Outbreaks – Prevention and Fast Reaction, submitted by Marco Talone for the Italian company Serco S.p.A. and SMOS-BEC. Fire Outbreaks aims to prevent uncontrolled fire outbreaks and the serious ecological damage they cause every year while facilitating the fast responses needed to manage such events.

Earth Snapshot – A Daily View of the Planet was ranked third by the GMES Masters online audience. By publishing satellite images every day, this online portal enables both specialists and laypersons to monitor environmental issues such as desertification, glacial melt, and deforestation. The service was submitted by last year’s Best Service Challenge winner, Luca Melano for the company CHELYS srl.

All other winners of this year’s GMES Masters will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on 25 October 2012 to be held in Munich. The overall winner of the competition – the GMES Master – will be selected from amongst the winners of the Ideas Challenge, ESA App Challenge, DLR Environmental Challenge, T-Systems Cloud Computing Challenge, European Space Imaging High-Res Challenge, and Astrium Radar Challenge and will receive a cash prize of EUR 20,000, as well as a substantial satellite data quota made available by the European Commission.

The results of the competition will be published on the competition website, www.gmes-masters.com, on 26 October 2012.
For further information on the GMES programme, please refer to www.esa.int/gmes and http://ec.europa.eu/gmes.