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10 Petabytes of free Earth observation (EO) data is generated by the Copernicus Programme every year. Copernicus is Europe’s most ambitious EO programme and provides full free and open access to data for the development of applications in a wide variety of domains. The big data produced by EO holds huge potential for the creation of innovative solutions across many different markets.

CGI is a partner of the leading Earth observation competition Copernicus Masters. With the Big Data Big Business Challenge, we are looking for solutions with global potential that use Copernicus data to address real business problems. We will work with the winning idea to help build their business.

Why is CGI Involved?

CGI recognises the huge potential of the EO market. We want to work alongside small and medium enterprises and research organisations to bring the most innovative new solutions using the free and open EO data from the Copernicus programme to our clients.

We understand EO. CGI has built our capability to provide applications and services delivering insight from EO data as well as designing and building cloud-based exploitation platforms to enable EO applications to run alongside the huge volumes of EO data now being generated.

What are we Looking For?

In our challenge, we are looking for solutions with global potential that use Copernicus data to address real business problems. Solutions should be commercially viable and demonstrate added value to existing organisations. This could be demonstrated as either a disruptive change to the way an organisation does business, or by showing that the organisation will benefit from realisable cost efficiencies. The most compelling solutions will directly apply Copernicus data to provide new operational services to businesses and should already exist in prototype form or can be rapidly prototyped. The focus is on new application concepts, not the infrastructure required to develop and deploy these.

We are particularly interested in the following markets and potential application areas, although good solutions in any business area are welcome:

  • Energy: Submission to support site surveys, monitor pollution, or inform environmental regulatory requirements
  • Utilities: Submissions to monitor networks/assets for threats, target maintenance needs, or enable more efficient operations
  • Transport: Submission to enable more efficient route planning and monitoring, or more efficient logistics
  • Forestry: Submissions to provide novel insights for more effective forest management or supply chain tracking
  • Agriculture: Submissions to support national scale crop monitoring, early yield prediction, or regulatory compliance checking
  • Insurance: Submissions to improve the prediction of event likelihood/impact, or assist with post-event assessment and reaction

The winning solution will have real market potential solving a clearly identified customer need, be technically feasible but demonstrate clear innovation through its technology or business approach.

Why enter the CGI Challenge?

As the fifth largest independent global IT service provider, CGI has a significant presence across market sectors. We offer the ability to leverage this scale by promoting the winning solution to our industry teams and relevant customers. We are unique in being able to offer this combination of industry expertise and EO capability.

We will also offer business development assistance and technical support to scale the solution for commercial operation. We will work with the winner to tailor the support package to best meet their needs.

There are also the Copernicus elements to the prize with €5k of satellite data and access to the Copernicus Accelerator Programme for eligible participants.

This is our second year as a challenge sponsor and we are now supporting our winner from last year in developing their great idea. Our winner last year was Saturnalia, a young team with great energy from Pavia in Italy who have an exciting proposition to use EO data and special-purpose weather stations to provide early forecast of wine quality to investors and other stakeholders. We are helping by opening doors and creating opportunities that they would struggle to open as an unknown SME.

Come on and Give it a Go

The Copernicus Masters is a fantastic competition encouraging and showcasing the best innovation in the application of EO data to real world problems. Together with a committed set of partners sponsoring challenges it is looking to help grow the EO market in Europe.

So, if you’re out there with a good idea to apply Copernicus data, come on and enter before the end of June.

About this author

Andy Thompson

Andy Thompson

Vice President Earth Observation

Andy leads CGI’s earth observation team within our space division .

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