WEkEO Launches the Copernicus Innovation Lab

May 3, 2024

WEkEO is delighted to announce the launch of the Copernicus WEkEO Innovation Lab. This initiative aims to foster innovation and research by providing free cloud computing resources to users who undertake projects using Copernicus data. The Lab seeks to engage researchers and various users who devise innovative uses of Copernicus data for societal, environmental, and economic benefits. WEkEO encourages the submission of original and interdisciplinary projects that hold great potential for the benefit of society at large.

Why have a Copernicus Innovation Lab?

The Innovation Lab's objectives include stimulating innovative use cases and research utilizing Copernicus data, gathering insights and feedback on the application of Copernicus data in various domains, enhancing the WEkEO platform's services and user experience based on project outcomes, and fostering a community of practice among users, encouraging networking and knowledge exchange.

How? It will make it possible to collect feedback and gain a deeper understanding of how Copernicus data is being applied across various fields, including but not limited to climate change, urban planning, disaster response, agriculture, transportation, health, energy, and environmental monitoring.

The WEkEO platform offers unique capabilities for the seamless processing of data from all Copernicus monitoring services, directly supporting the Lab’s objectives.

Who is eligible to benefit from the Innovation Lab? How can I apply?

Eligibility for the Lab is open to researchers and users from Copernicus Member States interested in using Copernicus data for their projects. Projects that demonstrate innovative use of cloud computing resources and Copernicus data are encouraged, with a particular emphasis on interdisciplinary projects and collaborations, which are expected to contribute diverse perspectives to innovation.

Interested in applying? The proposal and selection process for the Lab involves the submission of a proposal including the project title and abstract, a project description outlining objectives, methodology, expected outcomes, and relevance to Copernicus data, an impact assessment explaining how the project could contribute to societal, environmental, or economic benefits, resource requirements, a timeline, and background information on the project team.

The keys to successful project proposals

Proposals will be assessed according to criteria including innovation and originality, relevance and applicability to Copernicus data, technical feasibility, and potential impact on the community or sector.

If necessary, a one-week Q&A period will be announced, during which clarifications or additional information can be requested from the applicants. Successful applicants will be notified of the selection results within two weeks following the conclusion of the review period, and unsuccessful applicants can receive feedback offering constructive comments that could strengthen future submissions.

Upon notification of selection, resources will be allocated to the successful projects. The start date for resource utilization can be flexible but should ideally be within one month after selection notification – the initial allocation of resources will typically cover a period of up to six months, with the possibility of extension upon review.

The selection committee, comprising representatives from all WEkEO partners, will ensure a fair and transparent selection process. Selected projects will be granted free cloud computing resources for a predefined period, subject to extension based on progress and outcomes. The specifics of resource allocation will be communicated upon selection.

More information about the terms of use, responsibilities and compliance with laws can be accessed through the Terms of Reference (ToR) document.

Harnessing the power of Copernicus

The WEkEO Copernicus Innovation Lab emerges within the context of growing awareness around the added value of Earth Observation data for issues related to climate change, disaster response, health and other domains. The EU Space Programme component Copernicus and WEkEO are leading the development of applications that bring added value to society; one example is the recent launch of the Copernicus Thematic Hubs (Health, Coastal, Energy and Arctic). The Innovation Lab will allow WEkEO users to put into practice their innovative ideas and contribute to Copernicus data uptake.

Join us in this exciting new initiative and help us unlock the potential of Copernicus data for the benefit of our society!