German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure

BMVI Digital Transport Challenge

The German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is looking for solutions that use Copernicus data to solve major challenges faced by transport systems today.


Stay tuned! One of these finalists will become the BMVI Digital Transport Challenge winner!

IMSbridge – Remote Sensing & Data Analytics
IMSbridge is an automated and fully remote monitoring system that provides decision support for optimising the maintenance of critical assets.
By combining structural engineering with AI and InSAR data, the team behind IMSbridge is developing a new product to democratise the use of structural monitoring systems. It is building an end-to-end service and following the software-as-a-service model to provide decision support that is essential to improving integrity and extending useful life in critical asset management. In doing so, the team is overcoming the limitations of maintenance teams and traditional structural monitoring systems by merging remote sensing and in-situ data with powerful data analytics tools.
IMSbridge’s long-term strategy is to achieve a fast and scalable solution for structural maintenance optimisation in connection with critical assets like bridges, viaducts, tunnels, dams, and slopes.
With remote sensing and advanced data analytics, the team plans to significantly reduce the operating costs of critical assets and make maintenance more efficient and sustainable through reliable data-driven decisions.

Ricardo Carmona

Safe Passage
To this day, many of the world’s estuaries remain uncharted and unsafe to navigate. Water currents, floods, and storms frequently move mud and sand, shifting the location of navigable channels. Vessels operating in these dangerous areas rely on local knowledge and manual depth readings in the hope that channels have not moved since the last safe passage. As a result, prime areas for fishing, leisure, and commercial traffic remain underused. For rescue services that need to navigate at speed, knowing the course of a channel is vital to reach casualties without becoming casualties themselves.
Safe Passage is a mapping system and alert service that will aid commercial, leisure, and rescue craft in navigating treacherous waterways worldwide. Using satellite data from Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2, it maps dangerous estuaries and automatically detects changes in channel locations. This information is then shared with other vessels via Digital Navigation Charts.
Safe Passage is being developed in partnership with Nith Inshore Rescue (a volunteer lifeboat service based on the Solway Firth in the UK) to ensure it will immediately improve the safety of coastal waters.

Ciara McGrath

Safe Navigation on Ice in Polar Regions
Navigation in the Arctic is difficult and dangerous. With little to no infrastructure available for transportation, Arctic communities rely almost entirely on navigation across seasonally frozen waters. The number of fatal accidents has increased because the possible travel windows over frozen seas and lakes has decreased. TransIce Nav is an application that provides fast and reliable navigational information for travelling safely across ice. Using Sentinel-1 and -2 imagery and the Copernicus Marine Services, TransIce Nav analyses environmental conditions such as the extent, thickness, and concentration of sea ice to determine the safest travel routes. The application is largely inspired by Google Maps and offers an easy-to-use interface. Users (primarily tourism agencies and indigenous communities) will benefit greatly from TransIce Nav as it allows them to reliably plan their excursions and transportation. The application saves users time while reducing the cost of insurance and lost goods or equipment. Even more importantly, it also helps save lives by preventing fatal accidents.

Tabea Rettelbach

The Challenge

Solutions can solve challenges on the local, national or international level and can target any mode of transportation. Participants are encouraged to use Copernicus data along with additional data sources such as traffic information, or other mobility-related data.

Areas of interest to the BMVI include:

  • Transport infrastructure: Ensure the ongoing quality, safety and maintenance of road, rail, or aviation infrastructure
  • Environmental impact: Monitor or improve the impact of transport on the environment, such as emissions, oil dependency, or reduction of natural habitats
  • Freight transport and logistics: Develop new concepts to deliver goods as fast as possible to their destination – but also taking cost, noise pollution and the environment into consideration
  • Maritime safety: Ensure or improve the efficient and safe operations of maritime transport, considering additional factors such as fuel consumption, weather forecasts, ship tracking etc.

Prizes 2020


EUR 5,000


6 months access to the cloud computing platform CODE-DE and advanced training. Winners are invited to upload and publish their algorithms on CODE-DE


Access to the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) business networks


Attendance and presentation at a transport related event of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) (if eligible)

Satellite Data

Possibility to access EUR 10,000 worth of commercial datasets from the Copernicus Contributing Missions in the Copernicus Data Warehouse (financial support by EC)
Extra EUR 10,000 Cash Prize if your concept gets selected as Copernicus Masters 2020 Overall Winner
Additional Prize


Submissions to the BMVI Digital Transport Challenge will be evaluated against the following criteria:


Does the solution present a novel/new approach to solving transport challenges?

Societal benefits

Does the solution show significant value for today’s transport systems, society and/or the environment?

Technical Feasibility

Is the idea technical feasible ?

Copernicus Connection

Does the solution use Copernicus data to create added-value?

Commercial Viability

Does the solution have real market potential?


About BMVI

This challenge has been issued by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) with support from the DLR Space Administration. Together with its executive agencies, the BMVI addresses issues related to transport and mobility, digital matters and spatial development in Germany. The BMVI is responsible for German participation in the Copernicus programme design along with the European Commission and other European players. It consolidates national interests and coordinates national accompanying measures.

Acting on behalf of the Federal Government, DLR Space Administration designs and implements Germany’s Space Programme, which integrates all German space activities on the national and European level. These activities include Germany’s national Space Programme and Germany’s contributions to the European Space Agency (ESA) as well as the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). In addition, the DLR Space Administration shapes and monitors the Space topic within the European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.


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