10 May 2019 - 12 May 2019
IT Building, NUI Galway, Galway City, Ireland

Copernicus Hackathon Ireland

Registration is now closed.

ICHEC will host Ireland’s first Copernicus Hackathon in NUI Galway on May 10-12th 2019. Hackathon participants will be challenged to come up with solutions for real-world problems using Copernicus satellite data and will compete for a range of prizes for solutions which have commercial potential. Copernicus is the European Earth Observation (EO) programme run by the European Commission and the European Space Agency.

The themes for the contest include digital agriculture, marine environment and security, unmanned aerial vehicles, energy and power, air quality and sustainable/ rural/socially responsible development. Hackathon participants are expected to have skills in any of these areas: EO, GIS, thematic areas (e.g. agriculture, marine, drones), data analysis, data visualization, app development, web service development, graphic design, programming, project management, entrepreneurship and business development. Anyone with any of these skills is encouraged to register and take part in this exciting and fulfilling weekend.

The hackathon is an ideal confluence point to bring together these complementary skills - developers and designers, entrepreneurs and domain experts - to create exciting new applications based on Copernicus EO data and services. Ultimately, post event, we want to see more EO and space innovation-driven enterprises in Ireland.

Once registered, the participants will form teams, each with a range of the skills required. Each team will pick a topic or challenge, come up with an idea using satellite data, and develop that idea into a demonstration product or app. Throughout the hackathon the teams will get the opportunity to test out their initial innovative ideas on others, refine those innovations through a prototype, put a plan in place to take those ideas into a viable commercial proposition and pitch the entire package to judges. Technical and business mentors will be on hand throughout to help teams find and develop innovative solutions.


  • Air Quality applications
  • Copernicus for marine environment and security
  • Drones and Copernicus: zooming between large scale and local
  • AgTech: Copernicus-aided digital agriculture
    • Challenge: Grassland biomass measurement using SAR
  • Sustainable, rural and/or socially responsible development
  • Energy & power for a carbon neutral economy


Prizes will be awarded to the best teams at the end of the Hackathon.

  • One seat in the Copernicus Accelerator will be provided for the winning team. 

The Accelerator is a one-year coaching scheme for start-ups organised and funded by the European Commission

  • 1 month residency at ESA Phi-Lab for the winning team

The winners will be hosted in the lab at ESA/ESRIN (Frascati) for one month (we will cover their subsistence and accommodation costs) and provided with a dedicated environment to rapidly prototype innovative EO-based products. In particular, their science will be facilitated by providing them with free access to: ESA expertise in EO/AI and ESA networks; ICT infrastructure dedicated for AI4EO, including tools, computing capability (virtual machine with GPU), and training data sets; and technical support in EO through access to ESA expertise and dedicated training.

  • €1000 cash prize for best solution in the Sustainable, rural and/or socially responsible development category

Sponsored by the Office of Public Works

  • €250 cash prize for best solution in the Digital Agriculture category

Sponsored by Teagasc

  • €1000 cash prize for best solution to “Grassland biomass measurement using SAR“ challenge in the Digital Agriculture category

Sponsored by Icon Group

  • Airbus OneAtlas data up to the value of €9000

Airbus are offering a voucher for the use of data on their system to the winning team

  • One year premium subscription to GEO University

Allows free access to all courses (more than 1000 USD in course value) offered by GEO University for one year to the winning team

  • Start-up mentorship from the ESA Space Solutions Centre

Mentoring to develop a business plan and application to the ESA Business Incubation Centre

  • One-to-one mentoring session with the National Digital Resource Centre

One-to-one mentoring on commercialising the solution and to understand what is required to become investor-ready.


Anyone over 18 and a resident of the EU member states, Norway and Iceland can participate. You don’t have to be part of a team, you can apply on your own, or with others. To apply to participate in the Copernicus Hackathon Ireland, please fill out the registration form and agree to the terms of participation. Registration has been extended to May 10th, but please register early to allow time for team match-making prior to the event.


The weekend event offers a lot to participants. You will meet and work with people with different skillsets and have a chance to learn about satellite data and their applications. There will be plenty of opportunities to network with people outside of your team and make contacts in possible new career areas. You will see how a concept can be developed from an idea to a concrete application. You’ll have a chance to pitch your ideas and push yourself to the next level, with access to and support from top level mentors from industry and academia.

If you win, as well as cash prizes, there are a lot of business supports available to help you and your team to take your idea to pre-commercial level. These include Irish business mentorship offers as well as the opportunity to participate in European business and technical accelerators.


Pre-event training took place from 1pm to 6pm on Saturday April 27th, and details of how to access the presntations will be forwarded once you register. The main event will start at 1pm on Friday 10th May and end at 2pm on Sunday 12th of May.



For further information, please contact cophackie@ichec.ie, follow the event on twitter @CopHackIE, use the hashtag #CopernicusHackathon or check out our Facebook event.


Organising Partners

Copernicus Hackathon Organising Partners


UCCNUI GalwayTech InnovateBaily Labs

Local Partners

ESAOPWteagascMaynooth UniversityUsaras na GaeltachtaESA Space SolutionsMaERINational Digital Research CentreThe ICON Group


Registration is now closed

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