October 2017–December 2020

Copernicus data on way forward

Phenomena such as global challenges caused by growing populations, increased demand for resources and climate change necessitate detailed information about our planet. Earth Observation (EO) data can provide an answer.

Since 2014, the satellites of the European Copernicus Programme have delivered EO data free of charge to anyone. The wealth of data holds tremendous potential for new services in the environmental, transport, energy and other sectors.

From space data into applications

EO data is often perceived as somewhat difficult to deploy. Data amounts are large, and tools may be complicated for novices to use. On the other hand, potential end users are often unaware of the possibilities that EO data can provide.

BalticSatApps was established to increase awareness about the data provided by the European Copernicus Programme, improve access to the data, and stimulate demand and innovation through co-creation and iterative development methodologies. The project also aimed to develop an acceleration programme focusing on EO business.

Making users of EO data and the developers of services utilising EO data meet

BalticSatApps has organised a series of educational events, as well as innovation generation events, and an acceleration programme to facilitate use and increase interest in EO as a business area. Audiences have received comprehensive information about EO and Copernicus in order to help them to unleash their creativity, adopt EO data, and possibly even develop a business of their own in EO.

How has it worked?

Initial activities in BalticSatApps aimed to find out about the special characteristics and obstacles of using EO data in various Baltic Sea region countries. Based on the findings, the project set out to offer tailored education to potential users.

In order to generate new economic activity that leverages EO data, the project then organised innovation generation events (idea challenges, hackathons and workshops) to develop new ideas based on societal and company needs.

Consequently, some participating teams were able to take their solutions to be real commercial products with the help of the BalticSatApps EO Acceleration Programme, with the possible complementing help of other space business support instruments, such as ESA BIC. The BalticSatApps EO acceleration programme was co-developed by BalticSatApps science and technology partners in Tartu, Estonia, Turku, Finland, and Cracow, Poland.

Proof it worked?

  • The project managed to connect the space sector with other sectors, with industry representatives from various industries joining our events. Over 300 different companies have participated in BalticSatApps events out of their own interest in hearing more about the opportunities provided by EO and Copernicus.
  • Innovative new EO startups were established in partner countries with the expert assistance of BalticSatApps. Some of them have already received additional funding to develop their business further. Some have also been able to take their business ideas into further development under complementing innovation initiatives, such as Copernicus Masters.
  • The project reached a large crowd of developers that received information and hands-on support related to how to develop EO applications. They received expert feedback on their business ideas, and were guided about how to move forward with the development of their idea.

Vision of BalticSatApps

The BalticSatApps vision is that new solutions leveraging EO data can make the Earth a better place to live through a better understanding of its natural phenomena and developments shaping its future. In addition, EO can add to the well-being of Europe and other regions through the creation of new innovative companies and increased employment within the EO industry.