UP42 and Airbus Launch Copernicus Masters Challenge for Sustainable Urban Planning

Calling on all developers and researchers to leverage remote sensing to accelerate the UN Sustainable Development Goals

CopMa SocialMedia Up42Airbus Signup 2022Berlin, May 18, 2022 – UP42, a leading geospatial developer platform and marketplace, and its parent company Airbus are teaming up for the Copernicus Masters Challenge. Their Sustainable Urban Planning Challenge focuses on remote sensing for better decision making.

The most prestigious Earth Observation (EO) annual competition in the world, Copernicus Masters aims to foster innovative applications of remotely sensed data that address Earth’s pressing environmental, social, and business problems.

The European Commission and other international public entities have established several urban planning development projects to address critical issues connected to sprawl, such as unemployment, segregation, and poverty. UP42 and Airbus are now calling on developers and researchers worldwide to create algorithms and analyses that can provide decision makers with better quantitative information, with special emphasis on ecology.

“We are on a mission to democratize Earth observation data and insights,” said Sean Wiid, CEO at UP42. “We want to offer urban planning experts and decision makers easier access to data to develop and scale solutions more rapidly, removing technical and commercial barriers that can slow down progress in making cities and communities greener and more liveable by 2030.”

In the same spirit of sustainability, last year’s winners, Thetaspace, developed CloudlessEO – an algorithm that relies on Deep Learning technology to remove clouds in optical satellite imagery and help address environmental issues in tropical areas. The German company has been recently granted the Geospatial World Innovation Award 2022 in SAR-Optical Data Fusion with their CloudlessEO solution.

Qualitative and Quantitative Information

With an increasing need for data points and quantitative analysis to support planners in effectively making cities more sustainable by considering a city’s entire ecosystem, remote sensing is a critical tool for performing an in-depth analysis at scale. However, recent studies show that the level of integration between remote sensing, urban planning, and ecology is still limited, “with only 12% of the papers fully integrating ecology, remote sensing and planning while 24% of the studies use specific methods from one domain only.”

Developers who take on the UP42 Airbus Challenge have a significant opportunity to design solutions that will have a tangible impact on the race to sustainability by 2030.

“We are excited to once again take part in this new edition of the Copernicus Masters. Sustainable Urban Planning is key to facing the evolutions of climate change, and we are eager to find creative partners to develop innovative solutions which will have a positive impact on the environment and society through this new challenge,” said Matthieu Lys, Head of Innovation Management, Airbus Defence and Space.

Evaluation and Prizes

The UP42 Airbus Copernicus Masters Challenge on Sustainable Urban Planning aims to develop algorithms or methodologies that use remote sensing to quantify critical issues emerging from the expansion of historic centres toward modern suburbs.

Participants are encouraged to tackle use cases that leverage UP42’s most diverse data, including but not limited to the following:

  • The increasing number of structures that have an impact on non-renewable resources (water, vegetation, land)
  • The uneven distribution of green sites
  • Wasted spaces to be repurposed as green or residential areas

During the submission phase, all participants will get access to industry-leading geospatial data, cloud infrastructure, and off-the-shelf algorithms via the UP42 platform.

Winners are entitled to 80,000 Euros worth of OneAtlas credits to access commercial satellite data from Airbus and 20,000 Euros worth of UP42 credits to access all types of geospatial data and algorithms from the marketplace.

In addition, winners may become official UP42 partners and get their solutions included in a global AI-driven ecosystem of over 55 suppliers, more than 170 data and algorithms and about 35,000 sign-ups on the platform. In all cases, UP42 will offer winners ongoing customer support to further develop EO solutions.

Ideas and solutions can be submitted until July 11, 2022. Please visit the UP42 Airbus Copernicus Masters Challenge web page for more information: https://copernicus-masters.com/challenges/up42-challenge/

About UP42

UP42 is changing the way geospatial data is accessed and analyzed. The platform and marketplace bring together multiple sources of data such as satellite imagery, weather data, and more—together with algorithms to identify objects, detect change, and find patterns. Industry leaders use UP42 to inform business decisions and build scalable customer solutions. Know when and where to fertilize crops. Measure air quality and map emissions. Count cars, trucks, planes, and ships. Developers and data scientists across all industries now have access to a platform to build, run, and scale projects in one place. Visit www.up42.com.

About Airbus

Airbus pioneers sustainable aerospace for a safe and united world. The Company constantly innovates to provide efficient and technologically-advanced solutions in aerospace, defence, and connected services. In commercial aircraft, Airbus offers modern and fuel-efficient airliners and associated services. Airbus is also a European leader in defence and security and one of the world’s leading space businesses. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions and services worldwide. Visit www.airbus.com/en/products-services/space