European Earth Monitoring Competition Accepting Applications

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Image of the GMES Masters Trophy. Source: Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen.
Image of the GMES Masters Trophy.  Source: Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen.

GMES Masters Trophy. Source: Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen.

Following the success of the European Earth Monitoring Competition (GMES Masters) in 2011, the 2012 competition began June 1, and is accepting applications until Sept. 16.

The prize pool consists of about ‰âÂ335,000, including cash, commercial realization of the winning ideas, data access, and the chance to enter the incubation program of one of Europe‰Ûªs seven European Space Agency (ESA) Business Incubation Centres (BICs).

The GMES Masters ideas competition seeks to find innovative, market-oriented ideas that use the GMES Earth-observing program. GMES gathers data from Earth-observation satellites and in-situ sensors, which is then given to policymakers and public authorities for environmental legislation purposes.

Students, entrepreneurs, developers, and SMEs are eligible to apply for the 2012 competition in the following categories:

‰Û¢ Ideas Challenge

‰Û¢ ESA App Challenge

‰Û¢ DLR Environmental Challenge

‰Û¢ T-Systems Cloud Computing Challenge

‰Û¢ European Space Imaging High-Res Challenge

‰Û¢ Astrium Radar Challenge

‰Û¢ Best Service Challenge.

The winners of each category (excluding the Best Service Challenge) will compete for the title of ‰ÛÏGMES Master‰Û and additional ‰âÂ20,000 in cash and data worth ‰âÂ60,000. ESA provides the GMES Masters participants with a pilot GEOServer that provides centralized access to data products of pre-operational GMES services.

Photograph of the 2011 GMES Masters awards ceremony in Munich. Source: Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen.

The 2011 GMES Masters awards ceremony in Munich. Source: Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen.

In the 2011 GMES Masters competition, more than 100 ideas were received from 17 different countries.

‰ÛÏThe way the first GMES Masters really resonated with participants showed us that we had our finger on the current pulse in starting it,‰Û Jean-Jacques Dordain, director general of ESA, said in a press article.

Last year‰Ûªs winner was the GEODAN project, EarthWatchers, which allows school children from around the word to help protect rainforests in western Borneo.

The 2011 GMES Masters awards ceremony in Munich. Source: Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen.

Partners in GMES Masters are the ESA, the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and T-Systems. The 2012 GMES Masters competition has two additional sponsors: European Space Imaging GmbH and Astrium Services. The competition also is supported by the European Commission.