Copernicus Blue Challenge

The Copernicus Blue Challenge is looking for brilliant ideas on how to use Copernicus data to tackle ocean and coastal needs and contribute to Europe’s Green and Digital Agendas.

The Finalists 2022

Discover the TOP 3 submissions to the Copernicus Blue Challenge below. Please note, that finalists are presented in an alphabetically order of their submission title.

Boosting Sustainable Aquaculture – Reducing Food Insecurity

Team: Eva Fernandez Rodriguez, Zahra Okba, Zachary Rowland, Lisah Ligono, Minh Trang Nguyen Thi, Georgia Christodoulou, Chukwuma J Okolie, Manav Bathija, Gagandeep Kaur, Seth Nyawacha

mitigating the increasing food insecurity caused by threats like climate change and overfishing. This industry is limited by the production and economic losses brought on by harmful algal blooms (HABs), which are increasing over time due to rising temperatures. In 2019, HABs led to economic losses of $100 million in Norway alone (UNESCO).
AIOFAR forecasts HABs using an algorithm that considers the main variables that drive algal blooms based on theoretical and experimental results, as well as the environmental characteristics of the area in question. Many of these factors can be scalably monitored using Earth observation data, including imagery from Copernicus, and then refined in concert with in-situ data gathered by locally deployed IoT devices. AIOFAR’s business strategy ensures local analysis and continuity for a variety of profiles in order to provide service and pricing that can be adapted to different company needs.

Coastal Resilience App – A Digital Tool for Managing Coastal Risks

Team: Pranav Pasari, Umang Buddhdev, Nikhil Pasari

The Coastal Resilience App is a comprehensive digital tool for identifying vulnerable coastal locations, evaluating coastal risks, and responding with sustainable resilience measures. It evaluates hazard and vulnerability indicators using multiple criteria and determines a coastal risk index, which is then spatially represented on a map. The underlying causal factors are also indicated, along with sustainable nature-based resilience measures. The Coastal Resilience App addresses a gap in the market for hyper-local coastal risk assessments that are flexible and transparent, incorporate the latest climate change data, and facilitate sustainable responses.
The solution provides better risk assessment for the insurance sector. This helps with the pricing of insurance products and widens the range of assets that are insurable. The resilience measures provided can also act as levers for reducing premiums. Finally, the Coastal Resilience App attributes costs to climatechange-related losses and damage, as well as protection value to ecosystem services.

MESPAC: An Ocean of Information

Team: Giuseppe Giorgi, Andrea Gulisano, Giulia Cervelli, Edoardo Pasta, Giuliana Mattiazzo

Surveys of wind/wave/current characteristics of offshore sites for renewable energy projects can be extremely expensive and risky, and the data produced is often flawed in terms of its quality and transmission. The world surveying market amounts to EUR 12 billion, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.5%. The priority target market is the offshore wind sector, which is expected to grow by a factor of 10 by 2030. By using SatEO data (Sentinel-3A, -3B, and -6 MF and Jason-CS) and implementing advanced modelling techniques and AI algorithms to fill time and spatial gaps, MESPAC will provide site-specific results with higher definition and accuracy compared to coarser database solutions while cutting out all the bureaucracy required for in-situ campaigns. It will also supplement the SatEO data with smart, inexpensive sensors. By automating data analysis, MESPAC has the potential to reduce the time required by 30% to 42% (along with the costs involved) and ultimately ensure faster offshore blue economy projects. In addition, partnerships with authorities like DNV will provide for certification of the survey data for bankability purposes.

Want to know the winner of this year`s challenge?
Then join the Space Awards @ NSE – New Space Economy Expoforum 2022 in Rome on 1 December.

The Challenge 2022

Blue worlds cover over 2/3 of Earth surface bathing many regions and regulating climates on both a local and global scale. They are home to a great diversity of ecosystems and many human populations rely on them for their existence, but our oceans are now more vulnerable and threatened than ever. With this challenge, Portugal Space wants to promote innovative and business-oriented ideas for ocean and coastal areas that tackle global problems by making the best possible use of Copernicus data.

In particular, Portugal Space welcomes solutions that also integrate EGNSS or Satcoms and the use of very high-resolution imagery into their business plans.

For this Portugal Space is partnering with Indico Capital, IPMA, the AIR Centre and Instituto Pedro Nunes.

Rewards 2022

Cash Prize
EUR 10.000 cash prize for the development of your winning idea in Portugal.
Conference Pitch
Invitation to pitch at the All Atlantic and New Space Atlantic Summits in 2023 (including expenses for one and two people respectively).
Pre-Incubation Programme
IPN will offer Direct Access to its pre-incubation programme.
ESA BIC Portugal Invitation
Invitation to apply to ESA BIC Portugal (including related technical support). Funding is subject to application approval by TEB.
Space Awards Participation
Support to attend the Space Awards (including expenses for two people).

Additional Reward for the Overall Winner 2022

Cash Prize

EUR 10,000 if your concept gets selected as Copernicus Masters 2022 Overall Winner

Evaluation Criteria 2022

Portugal Space is looking for innovative, business-oriented solutions that facilitate ocean and coastal applications and fully exploit Copernicus’ capabilities. Integration of EGNSS, satellite communications, and VHR imagery is especially welcome.

Space Assets

How relevant are Copernicus (required), EGNSS, satcoms, and VHR data to your solution?

Technical Merit

How innovative is your idea? Does it advance the current state of the art?

Business Plan

How profitable and scalable is your idea? Are end-users clearly identified and involved?

Team Composition

Does your team have the required technical, managerial, and business skills?

Green and Digital

How does your idea contribute to the European Green Deal and Digital Agenda?

About Portugal Space

Portugal Space, the Portuguese Space Agency, is an organisation that was created by the Portuguese government to implement the National Strategy for Space (Portugal Space 2030). The agency’s primary purpose is to promote and strengthen the country’s space sector – including the corresponding ecosystem and value chain – to the benefit of society and the economy in Portugal and the rest of the world by acting as a business and development unit for research entities and companies.
In addition to coordinating the country’s participation in ESA, ESO, EST, and the SKA Organization, Portugal Space is a national representative to the European Commission for matters related to space.

Supporting Partners 2022

Indico Capital

Indico invests in tech and sustainable companies. Its tech funds target unique Web3, Software as a Service (SaaS), marketplaces, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), fintech, cybersecurity and digital companies. Investments in tech companies range, mostly, from Pre-Seed to Series A (from 100k to 10M euros), selectively backing companies at Series B and C as well.
Indico Capital has just launched the Blue Fund to invest in blue economy start-ups and SMEs.

Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera
The Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere, I. P. (IPMA, IP), is a public institution with the responsibilities, at national territory level, in the areas of the sea and atmosphere. Focusing its research efforts on projects that accrue to direct applications for use in operating activities, pursuing continuous improvement in the information made available to its users whether for commercial use or public service and in particular directed to the safeguard of people and property.

AIR Centre
The Atlantic International Research Centre (AIR Centre) is an international collaborative organization that promotes an integrative approach to space, climate, ocean and energy in the Atlantic. The AIR Centre is driven by and at the same time supports emerging technological innovations and advances in data science.

Instituto Pedro Nunes (IPN)
Created in 1991 through a University of Coimbra initiative, Instituto Pedro Nunes (IPN) is a private non-profit organisation which promotes innovation and the transfer of technology, establishing the connection between the scientific and technological environment and the production sector.
In the space sector, IPN is the coordinator of ESA Space Solutions Portugal and has a broad experience in initiatives related to entrepreneurship and innovation both at ESA and the European Commission levels.


Portugal Space

Joan Alabart
Industrial Relations and Projects Officer / Space Exploration, Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Hall of Fame

Discover all previous winners of the Copernicus Masters!

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