European Space Agency (ESA)

ESA Copernicus 4.0 Challenge

The ESA Copernicus 4.0 Challenge was looking for solutions that reflect the upcoming “golden era” in Earth Observation by demonstrating how new trends in EO can work together with the traditional EO satellites. 

The Challenge

Copernicus 4.0 will rely on a combination of large and traditional satellites with SmallSats. Constellations of NanoSats, HAPS (High Altitude Platform Stations) and drones are certain to become important contributors of EO data, complementing the more traditional fleet of the Copernicus Sentinels and Contributing Missions. In addition, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data Analytics, Internet of Things, Machine Learning and Cloud Computing will become the new challenge in software tools, indispensable when handling and analysing the massive flow of data coming from this new generation of EO sensors. The most compelling solutions to this challenge will clearly demonstrate the benefits for user communities and the technical challenges.



Submissions are welcome in any application field, including:

  • Smart Cities
  • Transport and Mobility
  • Health
  • Tourism/Leisure
  • Agriculture
  • Security

The ESA Copernicus 4.0 Challenge aims to increase the exposure and understanding of Earth observation data in the software domain (AI, IoT and Machine Learning, Cloud Computing and Data Analytics), as well as the hardware domain (HAPS, nanosats, smallsats). Those tasked with evaluating the submissions to this challenge will therefore focus on the potential for technological feasibility, rather than its maturity.




EUR 10,000



Possibility to access EUR 10,000 worth of commercial datasets from the Copernicus Contributing Missions in the Copernicus Data Warehouse (financial support by EC)


Submissions to ESA Copernicus 4.0 Challenge will be assessed against the following criteria:


How innovative is the idea and its proposed expansion within the market?


Does the addition of Copernicus data provide the solution with a point of difference over similar solutions?

Technological feasibility

Does the technical implementation of Earth observation data allow for future scalability that will answer business needs?

Commercial viability

Does the solution have real market potential?

About ESA

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. To contribute to the success of Copernicus ESA is exploiting its 35 years of expertise in space programme development and management. While the Copernicus programme is politically led by the European Union (EU), ESA is the overall coordinator of the Copernicus Space Component and will, inter alia, ensure the uninterrupted delivery of data from the Copernicus Sentinel satellites and from an important number of Copernicus Contributing Missions at national, European and international level. Following the launch of Sentinel-1A on 4 April 2014 the Copernicus programme has entered its operational phase, serving users with an ever-increasing mix of satellite imagery and other data.


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