Speeding up Copernicus Innovation for the BSR Environment and Security

October 2017 -
March 2021

1. Innovation 1.1 R&I infrastructures


Since 2014, the satellites and sensors of the European Copernicus programme have delivered Earth observation data free of charge to anyone. The wealth of data holds tremendous potential for new services in the environmental, transport, energy and other sectors. The project qualifies regional science and technology parks in the Baltic Sea region in running tailored acceleration programmes for small and medium sized enterprises in the emerging Earth Observation market.



New business opportunities from satellite data

In the last 30 years, substantial efforts have been put into research and development in the field of Earth observation (EO) – globally. At EU level, Earth observation activities are coordinated with the Copernicus programme, which is one of the leading providers of Earth observation data. However, technical barriers currently prevent users from fully exploiting the data and information that Copernicus delivers. The combination of space data with other data sources and technologies open up many business opportunities for all Member States. Stronger links with the commercial downstream sector are essential to develop tailor-made applications, reach out to new users and connect the space sector with other sectors. 

The BalticSatApps project speeds up innovation creation

The project aims at speeding up the market uptake of Earth observation satellite data in the Baltic Sea region by utilising societal challenges and needs along with the developer community as innovation drivers. As a result of the project, awareness and access to the data provided by the Copernicus programme are improved, and demand and innovation are stimulated through co-creation methodologies and iterative development. Regional science and technology parks learn how to support SMEs in the emerging Earth observation market by running tailored acceleration programmes. Throughout this process, the BalticSatApps partners develop their capacity further to untap the innovation potential of the Earth observation sector.

Highlights by mid-term:


The BalticSatApps project has organised several training events in Estonia, Finland, Poland, Russia and Sweden to help aspiring entrepreneurs, start-ups and established companies to grow a business using the Earth Observation (EO) data. The company owners learned how the Copernicus data can be used in order to offer new services in the environmental, transport, energy and other sectors.

The science and technology parks involved in BalticSatApps mapped their own needs for training and requirements for piloting transnational acceleration programmes in Estonia, Finland and Poland. Following that, the first round of acceleration programmes was successfully completed in all three countries. The participating teams received mentorship and one-on-one sessions with business angels and space experts. The next round is scheduled for 2020.

One of the teams participating in the accelerator programme in Estonia, SpaceTree, was chosen to pitch their business case at the Toulouse Space Show in June 2018, a global forum dedicated to space infrastructure, technologies and applications, and reached the finals.

Two Polish start-ups participating in the acceleration programme of the Krakow Technology Park (Poland) successfully applied for the Copernicus accelerator programme that offers twelve months of intense guidance, coaching, bootcamps, meetings with investors to develop their initial ideas and bring them to the market.

Founders of the Finish company Zero Gravity participated in the acceleration programme of the Turku Science Park (Finland), and thanks to the guidance received, they founded a company and received additional funding from the Finnish branch of European Space Agency Business Incubation Center.

Project Stories


€ 2.85
€ 1.85
Eni + Russia
€ 0.43
€ 0.00



Project manager

University of Turku

Tuomas Ranti

358 415 047 855

Legal representative

University of Turku

Esa Hämäläinen

358 400 538 291

Financial manager

University of Turku

Mirja Jyrkinen

358 29 450 3745

Communication manager

University of Turku

Johanna Aaltonen

358 401 993 870