Building an idea into a product or service is a daunting journey – “how do I start?”, “how do I find customers?”, “when should I pivot?”, and another myriad of questions come up in the process. There is no single recipe that works for all start-ups, and many do not dare to embark on this journey or stop on the way.
However, there are tools that can assist you in steering your business in the right direction. And if you’re building a product or service that uses Copernicus data or information – look no further than the Copernicus Incubation Programme.
With six Copernicus Sentinel satellites in orbit, the Contributing missions and in situ sensors, we’re producing over 12 TB of Earth Observation (EO) data per day. What can you do with this data? Well, almost anything – from farming (see satellites + Augmented Reality application farmAR) and monitoring bee activity, to forest fire alerts and Earth Observation social networks – the applications we’ve seen so far are numerous and very different. With more Sentinels (e.g. Sentinel-3B to be launched in the Spring of this year) and the upcoming DIAS platforms that will allow an easier access to Copernicus data, it is the right time to get started or to scale up your EO business.
About the Copernicus Incubation Programme
The Copernicus Incubation was launched by the European Commission to assist start-ups and scale-ups in using the opportunities brought by the Copernicus full, free and open data. The Programme will award 50,000 EUR equity-free funding to 20 start-ups every year to boost EO data-based businesses. The selected applicants will also have access to a new network, tools and opportunities that can help early-stage start-ups as well as already operating businesses that aim to further grow. The Copernicus Incubation Programme is implemented under contract of the European Commission, by Verhaert. Masters in Innovation, an SME based in Belgium.
Who Can Apply?
Start-ups, groups of entrepreneurs, university, research or corporate spin-offs based in the EU28, Norway or Iceland are eligible applicants. This programme requires joint applications: the start-up needs to apply together with a support programme that agrees to incubate the start-up if it receives the funding, but the start-up must be the lead applicant and sole beneficiary.
How to Apply?
There are several cut-off dates every year. The next one is 15 March 2018. Applications are submitted using the Copernicus Incubation Programme website.