The Earth observation programme GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) is one of the flagship projects in Europe's space policy. The data and applications produced in observing our planet - measurements from satellites, aircraft, or ground- or sea-based infrastructures, for instance - are what drive GMES services, which are of great interest to companies, public authorities, and citizens. They can be used to monitor air and water quality or changes in forests and ocean temperatures, to name just a few examples. Today, every weather report is already based on data from satellites that track the meteorological occurrences on Earth in real time. Since the weather influences our everyday lives, it comes as no surprise that weather apps are among the most successful and prevalent mobile applications. Earth observation satellites also deliver information on water temperatures, air quality, UV radiation, and much more that can be integrated into mobile apps.
Another purpose of satellite-based Earth observation is to gather data on the oceans, territories on land, the atmosphere, and climate change in order to quickly provide them to the general public in the event of natural disasters or security threats, for example. Particularly suitable for processing and disseminating these large amounts of information are modern techniques such as cloud computing and mobile services, which facilitate fast, economical distribution and use of data and applications.
As part of GMES Masters, T-Systems will recognise the best idea for an application or service that uses the cloud computing model infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) to make Earth observation information available through a user-oriented web portal or mobile services. The winner will also have the chance to take home the EUR 20,000 prize promised to the overall winner of the GMES Masters competition.
From challenge winner to a sought-after cooperative partner
Last year, Scott Larson and his team at UrtheCast won the T-Systems Cloud Computing Challenge with a business idea for the world's first continuous, high-definition video stream of the planet Earth from space. Meanwhile, 2012 has already been a successful year for the Canadian start-up: UrtheCast has already established and solidified cooperations with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR); MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.; Geodan's DeforestACTION; Ustream; RSC Energia, the organisation that operates the Russian segment of the ISS; and Beacon Securities Limited. Its partnership with Beacon also enabled UrtheCast to complete its most recent round of financing with more than USD 4.5 million.
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About the GMES Masters competition
The GMES Masters began in 2011 as an annual competition that awards prizes for the best projects and business ideas involving commercial GMES applications. Its purpose is to support the development of market-oriented applications that use data from the European Union's GMES (Global Monitoring of Environment and Security) programme. Created by the European Space Agency (ESA); the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Infrastructure, Transport and Technology; the German Aerospace Center (DLR); and T-Systems, this competition for Earth observation ideas also has the support of the European Commission, European Space Imaging GmbH, and Astrium GEO-Services in 2012. GMES Masters invites researchers, developers, entrepreneurs, and students to enter their application ideas into the competition between 1 June and 16 September 2012.
For more information, please visit:
For more information on the GMES programme, please visit:
www.esa.int/gmes and www.ec.europa.eu/gmes