Protecting the planet – exploiting data from space for climate action

Please note the deadline of entries has been extended from midday 14th September to midday 30th September.

Do you have an idea that makes use of satellite-derived Earth Observation (EO) datasets? Could it fulfill a specific policy need at a local or global level? Join our competition!

The competition seeks ideas for use of one or more satellite derived climate Earth Observation (EO) datasets to inform a specified local to global policy need. Submissions are welcomed that propose use of climate EO data in combination with other datasets / model outputs and must identify the scale of relevance e.g. a Local authority / municipality, city, region or international.

Submissions can be in the form of a 3 minute audio/video file or 5 slide presentation to explain idea for product/service on how climate satellite data can be exploited to meet (identified geographic scale) policy needs. All compliant submissions will be made available on the Space4Climate website.

Competition entrants need to start with an identified policy need. To give a flavour it could be an idea to support international climate policy, for instance the Global Stocktake and anticipated Paris Agreement reporting requirements, perhaps evidence to inform UNFCCC more generally, perhaps evidence or tools to support the National Adaptation Programme and national emissions reporting.

The submission idea could instead be focused on facilitating climate informed policy making or monitoring in other policy domains for instance, agricultural subsidies, fisheries planning / monitoring, port air quality, critical infrastructure climate vulnerability, public health or local authority / city policy measures seeking to reduce impacts of urban heat, subsidence, drought and / or floods.

All competition entries must be submitted by midday 30th September 2020.

Complete the submission form

Your submission requires the following information about your idea:

  • Submission URL
  • Submission title
  • List the climate EO dataset(s) proposed for use within the submission
  • Geographic scale of policy making targeted
  • What’s required to make the idea a viable product/service proposition (max 1100 characters with spaces).

Further information:

Submission format

Submissions can be in the form of a 3 minute audio/video file or 5 slide presentation to explain idea for product / service on how climate EO data can be exploited to meet (identified geographic scale) policy needs. The submission must set out at either the beginning or the end, the name(s) of all the applicants involved in the submission, their organisations and summarise their expertise in EO data

Valid submissions are a web link to either:

  • a maximum 3 minute video on a video sharing site such as YouTube or Vimeo or
  • a maximum 3 minute audio file on an audio sharing site such as Soundcloud or
  • a presentation of maximum 5 slides on a sharing site such as SlideShare.

Whilst not encouraged, submissions for video, audio or presentations will be accepted from a file sharing service such as Dropbox or Google Drive but must be publicly available throughout the competition process. Slides submitted this way must be in PDF form, videos must be MP4 and audio MP3 format. If the judges have any difficulty accessing and viewing the submission, it will be disqualified.

Eligible data

This competition is focused on exploiting ESA Earth Observation data.  Applicants must propose exploitation of at least one dataset. Eligible datasets may include satellite derived climate EO datasets that are peer-reviewed or sit on a trusted, open, repository.


There is a limit of one entry to the Competition per person.

Entries may be submitted by more than one individual or organisation, but a lead individual / organisation and point of contact must be named and the entrants must be willing to have a lead contact and organisation name published online.

The Competition is open to all companies and academic institutions with a registered office in the United Kingdom and residents of the United Kingdom aged 18 years or over except for members of the Board of the Space4Climate group and the group’s Climate Services Development Manager. Staff directly reporting to members of the Board and other members of their organisation are not excluded from applying. The applicant(s) must be based in the UK until 31 March 2021.

Shortlisting criteria and judging panel

The shortlisting panel will select three entries to be shortlisted. In order to be eligible to be shortlisted and to claim the prize, you, or if a consortium, a member of the consortium, must be able to attend the online final on 24 September 2020.

Shortlisted entries will be announced in the week commencing 14 September 2020.

All valid entries will be considered by the judging panel for shortlisting, using the following criteria:

  • Problem articulation – Does the applicant/team clearly articulate and demonstrate a climate-policy related societal problem their idea helps to solve?
  • Innovation – Is the idea distinctive or fundamentally different from existing policy approaches and/or existing EO based policy decision support services? Does the idea inspire people to support it?
  • Potential for societal impact -Does their solution demonstrate the potential to change how policy derived impact is achieved? How much potential exists for scaling their product/service’s societal impact?

Pitching for the prize

The three shortlisted entries will be expected to present a 3-minute pitch during the online competition final in October 2020. If the entry was submitted by a consortium, one consortium member must be put forward to make the pitch on behalf of the consortium.

The panel of judges at the event will ask those pitching questions about their ideas. The panel of judges at the final consists of:

  • Beth Greenaway | Chair of Space4Climate group and Head of Earth Observations and Climate, UKSA
  • Susanne Mecklenburg | Head of ESA Climate Office, ESA
  • Professor Stephen Briggs | Chair of GCOS
  • Eleanor Webster | Science Advisor – Head of Greenhouse Gas Inventory Science and Innovation for Climate & Energy, BEIS

The prize will be determined by the number of votes from the judges. In the event of a tie, the judges will confer and make the final decision.

The prize

The prize is an accelerator support package consisting of a bespoke package of advisory and support services. Possible elements listed below are available to be won and will be contracted and, or, for those donated in kind, managed by the Space4Climate group. No single element will be greater than the value of £3,000 and the total package will not be greater than £8,000 in value. The most appropriate package will be discussed with the winning applicant(s) but elements could include:

  • specialist advice about licensing, data usage and IP
  • product / service models to aid sustainable business planning
  • design and branding work to help develop an early brand/aid communication of the proposition
  • value chain mapping and market research to help with business plan formulation.

Competition terms and conditions

Terms and conditions (pdf, 5 pages, 639 KB). All submission applicants must be willing to accept these Terms and conditions.

Useful resources: