Jul 05, 2016

European Commission Launches Copernicus Accelerator

To speed up the user uptake of the European Union’s Earth observation programme Copernicus, the European Commission’s Copernicus Accelerator will now foster the development of commercial space applications and products.

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Tremendous amounts of data from space – especially the kind produced by Copernicus – present countless opportunities, and are becoming an increasingly common component of commercial products and applications in numerous sectors of the economy. Fascinated by the possibilities in intelligent data analysis, young start-ups and scientists in particular are developing a growing interest in Earth observation and the big data it generates from space.

“The goal of the Copernicus Accelerator is to provide tailored support to new players who have innovative business ideas involving the use of space borne big data,” states Andreas Veispak, head of the I3 unit (Space Data for Societal Challenges and Growth) at the European Commission. “We’re very excited to offer a customised business development scheme to the 40 best applicants to this year’s Copernicus Masters competition.”

The Copernicus Accelerator Programme in detail

Until 18 July, individuals and teams from startups, SMEs, industrial companies, research institutes, and universities are invited to apply online for the Copernicus Accelerator programme while submitting their business ideas to the Copernicus Masters. The 40 best entrants in the competition, which must be either citizens of one of the Copernicus Participating Countries1 or have established their company in the territory of one of the Participating Countries, will then be selected for the programme by an international panel of experts by September 2016.

Through the Copernicus Accelerator, participants will receive support from experienced mentors and work with them on advancing their innovations over a period of several months. They will be able to determine the focus of this coaching, such as creating a business plan, acquiring their first customers, raising capital, etc.

Scheduled to last six to eight months, the Copernicus Accelerator will kick off with a boot camp that will invite all of its participants to Madrid from 24-26 October 2016. This event will form part of the Satellite Masters conference and the Awards Ceremony of the Copernicus Masters competition.

“This gathering will enable participants to meet their mentors in person, share their experiences, and take their business models to the next level,” reports Thorsten Rudolph, CEO of AZO, the company responsible for carrying out the Copernicus Accelerator programme and organising both the Copernicus Masters and the Satellite Masters conference. “The subsequent Satellite Masters conference will also be an excellent opportunity to connect with the who’s-who of the Earth observation industry, as well as potential customers, investors, and other partners.”

Do you have an idea that leverages the potential of Earth observation data to help overcome some of the biggest challenges of our time? Then apply now for your chance to obtain the support you need to turn it into reality!

Mentors wanted
Are you interested in helping the Copernicus Accelerator succeed by becoming a mentor and gaining access to the international Earth observation community? Experts in business, technical, and legal matters are welcome to apply to the programme’s organiser, AZO.