European Commission

EC EU Space for “Blue Economy” Challenge

The EC EU Space data for “Blue Economy” Challenge is looking for solutions that have the potential to stimulate new markets and to contribute to environmental protection related to the so-called “Blue Economy”.


Stay tuned! One of these finalists will become the EC EU Space for “Blue Economy” Challenge winner!

EOS Viewer: The First Commercial EO Platform to Provide Global Oil Pollution Intelligence
Approximately two million tons of oil end up in the oceans every year, most of which goes undetected.
Although the health of the oceans is a topic that is gradually raising concerns and gaining in visibility among the global community, the cost and complexity of maritime surveillance prevent current technologies from providing cost-efficient and scalable solutions to the problem.
EOS Viewer is a digital web service that allows users to proactively monitor areas of interest, detect and characterise oil spills, identify their sources, and forecast how they will drift and evolve over time. The solution, which is based on radar/optical satellite monitoring and artificial intelligence, leverages the surveillance capacity of Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 for detailed observations, as well as Sentinel-3 for major disasters.
By working with oil companies, public authorities, and insurance companies, EOS Viewer hopes to promote better practices and reduce the risks and costs associated with oil spills in marine environments.

Juan Peña

Sea Warden: Monitoring Aquaculture During a Pandemic
Today, aquaculture production accounts for half of global seafood production (115 million tonnes in 2018, FAO). Encouraged by consumer demand, much of the aquaculture industry is embracing production standards that mitigate negative social and environmental impacts. While adherence to responsible production practices has traditionally been verified by annual in-person farm audits, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for a remote auditing capability.
Sea Warden replaces manual audits with a phone app that analyzes satellite data and data provided by farmers. Here, Sentinel-1’s synthetic aperture radar imagery makes it possible to ensure that floating fish farms are in the correct position and contain the permitted number of net pens. Sentinel-2’s multi-spectral imagery can also indicate whether fish and shrimp ponds need to be emptied of water. In addition, Sea Warden can make sure that key equipment like oxygen-providing aerators is in use with the help of high-resolution commercial imagery.

Zack Dinh

Waterjade: River Flow Monitoring and Discharge Predictions with EO
Companies that deal with water supplies or hydropower need to know how much river water inflow they can expect in the next operational period. Currently, they rely on historical data to estimate inflow and its impact on their plants. Due to climate change, however, this approach has become obsolete, creating inefficiency in water usage or, in extreme case, even service interruptions.
Waterjade® processes big data from satellite images, in-situ stations, and numerical weather predictions. It features a new modelling approach that combines artificial intelligence and physical models to predict water inflow based on weather developments in upstream catchment areas.
Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-3 data is used to infer the water level of rivers and streams, and Copernicus C3S to produce seasonal forecasts.
The results include continuous remote monitoring of river levels through satellite data and predictions of river discharge for upcoming periods according to the weather recorded in upstream catchment areas.

Matteo Dall´Amico

The Challenge

The European Commission’s “Green Deal”, published at the beginning of this year, describes the ambitious goals to bring Europe to the forefront of environmental protection and in the implementation of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Against this background, this challenge encourages the submission of innovative proposals based on EU Space data that have the potential to contribute to environmental protection related to the so-called “Blue Economy”.

The key requirement is that the solutions can demonstrate “added-value” in the use of Copernicus and Galileo/EGNOS data for their development, the expected market impact and the societal benefits. The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data Analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning and Cloud Computing as supporting technologies is encouraged.

Submissions are welcome in any application field, including:

  • Maritime environmental protection
  • Maritime Industry (commerce)
  • Maritime Transport
  • Fishing
  • Safety

The EC EU Space for “Blue Economy” Challenge aims at increasing awareness of the potential EU Space data has to respond to global climate and environmental related challenges, but also to stimulate innovative projects that have the potential to open up new markets. The proposals shall prove technological feasibility.

Prizes 2020



EUR 10,000

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 EU Space Data for new Business Applications Challenge will be assessed against the following criteria:

EU Space data connection

What EU Space data or inputs do you use? In case of Sentinel data, please specify from which mission. If you combine them with other data sources, please describe them.


Why is the project innovative in the sense that you use EU Space data or combine them in a way that offers a new application? Demonstrate the technical feasibility of the project.

Potential market up-take

Describe the potential or expected market-up of the solution and the future users (businesses, consumers, public authorities etc.). If you have first market experience, please describe it. Describe your business model and how you envisage the entry into commercial relations.


Demonstrate that your team have the required technical and business expertise of the team to successfully implement the project and bring it to market.

About the European Commission

The European Commission is supporting startups under the two Space Programmes, Copernicus (Earth observation) and Galileo (Satellite Navigation) and through a number of initiatives to stimulate the development of innovative products or solutions based on EU Space data. This year’s EC Challenge is set up by the new Directorate General for Defence Industry and Space.

European Commission


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