The European Copernicus Programme provides Earth Observation (EO) satellite data free of charge to anyone. The data makes visible different phenomena affecting Earth, such as climate change and urban development. The three-year project BalticSatApps has focused on the development of novel innovations leveraging this data, and covered and supported the whole chain of new service development from needs to solutions, and from there to commercialisation.

More information about the BalticSatApps

The website will be the main channel for making available the results of the project. There, you can get acquainted with the Baltic Sea region services listed in the Copernicus catalogue, see the best practices of EO innovation contests in the “Cookbook”, learn how to download and analyse EO data with the help of the Data2Information kit, and get to know the practical experiences of the commercialisation activities and the acceleration programme piloting.

The BalticSatApps project started by approaching the user and developer scene of EO data. Dr. Ali Nadir Arslan from the Finnish Meteorological Institute led user uptake activities in BalticSatApps. “As part of our user uptake activities, we mapped potential users, along with potential and current domain-wise usage of Copernicus data. Furthermore, we conducted a gap analysis by category for matching EO products and services - both existing and potential new ones - to the needs of industries in the Baltic Sea region”, describes Dr. Arslan. “The results show that land, climate change and marine are the most demanded application areas for the users of EO data. In the future, we see more usage in areas like agriculture, fishery, energy, tourism, natural hazards and extreme weather events”, Dr. Arslan adds.

Based on the findings, the project then proceeded to conduct innovation competitions and hackathons in EO. At the same, an acceleration programme in EO was being developed and piloted in Estonia, Poland and Finland for the first time after the first hackathons. After further innovation contests and hackathons, the acceleration programme was piloted for the second time. “Running the BalticSatApps acceleration programme has provided an excellent opportunity to network with startups and EO experts from the Baltic Sea region”, says Andrus Kurvits, Board Member of Tartu Science Park. “As a result, we will be able to support startup teams working in the EO field to test their business models by involving them in the European Space Agency Incubator activities.”

The project has also fostered collaboration with the Russian Federation within the thematic area of EO. In addition to information and training events arranged there, a Russian interface for Copernicus data was developed during the project. It is possible for anyone to test the interface with the help of the instructions presented on the BalticSatApps website.

The project has been conducted in close collaboration between the project partners from Estonia, Finland, Poland, Russia, and Sweden.

Get going with Earth Observation and Copernicus

Throughout its duration, the project has generated guidelines and materials including information and training documents aiming at assisting also third parties to conduct innovation activities focusing on EO. “We have seen first-hand that EO data and the Copernicus programme awake a lot of interest among the potential users of the data and the services, as well as the solution developers. Through our information and training sessions, we have strived to make tangible the opportunities, and show that it’s not necessarily so difficult to take data and start turning it into information that is useful”, says the project coordinator Mr. Tuomas Ranti from the University of Turku. “We’re happy to have seen all the interest and enthusiasm in EO to materialise in the BalticSatApps acceleration programme in new startups having been formed and their services taken forward with the assistance of BalticSatApps experts.”

The BalticSatApps project has been co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014–2020 and European Neighbourhood Instrument/financial support of the Russian Federation.