The Competition

Earth observation and the big data it produces hold huge potential for the creation of innovative products and services. Myriad industries and areas of public interest stand to profit from the advances of the Copernicus programme. On behalf of ESA, Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO) and its world-class partners launched the Copernicus Masters in 2011 as part of its mission to foster user uptake of Copernicus services.

This international competition awards prizes to innovative solutions for business and society based on Earth observation data. After receiving more than 700 submissions from nearly 60 countries, the organisers have selected and rewarded 40 winners over the past five years. These services offer an exciting glimpse into the future of Copernicus services along the entire value chain and affirm the growing importance of Earth observation in virtually every sphere of our daily lives.

In this year's edition, prizes worth EUR 600,000 are awarded in topic-specific challenges sponsored by a number of world-class partners, including: the European Space Agency (ESA), the German Aerospace Center (DLR), T-Systems International GmbH, Satellite Applications Catapult Ltd., the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), and Stevenson Astrosat Ltd. In addition, the University Challenge specifically addressed students and research assistants around the world.

The Copernicus Masters competition presents big news for its current edition: the winners of each challenge1 are not the only participants to be awarded prizes and turn their ideas into successful applications. For the first time ever, the finalists will also greatly benefit from the participation in this competition, thanks to the new Copernicus Accelerator initiative, funded by the European Commission and organised by AZO.

Experts from the realms of research and industry were tasked with selecting the winner of each challenge. The overall winner - the 2016 Copernicus Master - received (along with their challenge prize) EUR 10,000 in cash and a satellite data package which is being provided with the financial support of the European Commission.

All of the winners were announced as part of a festive Awards Ceremony on 25 October 2016 in Madrid, Spain.

Pre-register now for the 2017 edition of the Copernicus Masters.


1 Participants of the Copernicus Accelerator must be either citizens of one of the Copernicus Participating countries or have established their company in the territory of one of the participating countries.

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