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Bringing EO applications to the market

Specific challenge:

If space investments made in earth observation are to generate economic return, it is essential that EO products and information generation are taken out of the research environment and products are put into the market. Such EO products often realise highly automated processes with minimum manual intervention. For such applications and developments to succeed, the product needs to be shaped according to users’ demands, to be validated and proven. This needs to be achieved in an environment integrated at the user, in order for users to accept the innovative potential which the product promises. This will require also specific attention to be given to the various processes in place in the users’ workflows which incorporate the EO information. Furthermore, the commercial providers will have to prove that they can sustain their product operationally based on market revenues. To this end a credible planning for the 3 years after the end of public funding shall be part of the proposal.


The outcome of this innovation project should be a commercial service platform, sustained by a production process capable to deliver to the user a product which is validated and accepted as a marketable product. Transnational collaboration has a key role to play in this context, as it enhances access to markets beyond the national borders, notably by enabling space application providers to absorb market-related tacit knowledge and know-how of their partners. Corresponding validations and customisations are to be undertaken, and the business case for the application is to be demonstrated. Service level models are to be developed, with appropriate quality of service definitions for the application. Application products are expected to adopt open standards for data documentation, data models and services.

The choice of EO application is left to the proposer. A preference will also be given to SMEs, which are considered to be particularly important players in this European EO applications sector.

Proposers are advised to consult further information on availability of Copernicus Sentinel Data, access to Copernicus Contributing Mission data, as well as issues recommended to be detailed in the proposals at the Commission’s web

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 and 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

Proposals are expected to establish sustainable supply chains for innovative EO applications with demonstrated commercial value with targeted client communities. Complete integration into the customer’s existing business processes and processing chains, as well as the economic viability of the application is to be demonstrated.

Proposals are expected to enhance the European industry’s potential to take advantage of market opportunities and establish leadership in the field, and to boost business activity.

It is expected that proposals lead to new or improved products, processes or services on the market, which are capable of generating within 3 years after the end of public funding a significant turnover for the participants, and create a significant number of new jobs.

Type of Action: Innovation actions.