Following its debut in 2011, the GMES Masters competition is open once again. As one of seven challenges in Europe's innovation competition for Earth observation, the Agency is staging the ESA App Challenge with a prize worth E 60 000.
The GMES Masters competition awards prizes for the best projects and business ideas involving commercial Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) applications. Its purpose is to support the development of market-oriented applications that use data from the programme.
This year's App challenge will give the entrant behind the most innovative smartphone App, based on the use of GMES data, the opportunity to begin an incubation programme to the value of O60 000 at one of the six ESA Business Incubation Centres in Europe.
This competition was inaugurated in 2011 by ESA, the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, the DLR German Aerospace Center and T-Systems with the support of the European Commission.
Two additional industry leaders, European Space Imaging GmbH and Astrium Services, have now joined the competition as partners, expanding the prize pool to a total value of E 335 000.
In addition to E 30 000 cash prizes, this primarily includes support for the commercial realisation of the winning ideas, data access and the chance to enter the business incubation programme. The European Commission is also contributing data packages worth E 100 000 to this year's competition.
As part of the first ESA App Camp, which is expected to take place at the Agency's ESRIN site in Italy on 18-22 June, a pilot server has been configured with interfaces to geographic data. This facilitates simple, centralised access to the data products for preoperational GMES services.
This makes it possible to call up data in the categories of atmosphere, land and water from mobile devices. Through the GMES Masters innovation competition's website, the pilot server is now available free of charge to any participants interested in infusing their ideas with real data for testing and optimisation purposes.
Innovative business ideas for using GMES Earth observation data can be submitted until 16 September.