Copernicus Masters is an international competition that awards prizes to innovative solutions based on Earth observation data at the ‘Space Oscars’ ceremony in European Space Week
Blue Sky Analytics, a Geospatial Data Intelligence Startup based in Delhi, has become the first Indian Startup to win the ‘Space Oscars’ award presented by the European Space Agency.
They are the winners of Copernicus Masters Social Entrepreneurship Challenge for its innovation in using geospatial data for improved environmental monitoring, Blue Sky Analytics received the award on 4th December 2019 during the European Space Week held at Helsinki, Finland.
Copernicus Masters is an international competition that awards prizes to innovative solutions based on Earth observation data. Big data produced by various Earth Observation (EO) satellites holds huge potential for the creation of innovative products and services.
Co-founded by Ms. Abhilasha Purwar, a Yale and IIT alum and Mr. Kshitij Purwar, who dropped out of college at the age of 20 to become a full-time developer. Blue Sky Analytics is one of the pioneering Indian startups analyzing large volumes of Copernicus data. Just within a year of Sentinel 5’s launch, Blue Sky’s team of four in November 2018 was sitting on the dining tables of their home office in Gurgaon crunching incoming datasets from Sentinel 5P for ambient air quality and farm fire monitoring.
“We are nerds at heart, so Space Oscar is more real to us than real Oscars”, the ecstatic sibling duo said for the award.
The Copernicus Program is the European Union’s Earth observation program coordinated and managed by the European Commission in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA). Copernicus program launches and manages Sentinel Satellites that provide high spectral imaging for the land, ocean, and atmospheric monitoring. In addition, to support startups to build products & services on Copernicus data, ESA runs 20 business incubation centers that provide equity-free funding plus technical support.
Speaking about the event, Ms. Abhilasha Purwar said, “It’s very exciting to be here. Just one year ago, we were trying to convince people on the possibilities of emerging datasets, and now here we are interacting with different actors in the value chain on future possibilities. It is exciting to meet the upstream pioneers like Planet, Maxar, Airbus.”
Ms. Abhilasha Purwar added, “However, for the downstream value proposition in geospatial data intelligence, I place my bet on Indian startups. We have some of the best tech and data talent pool and one of the best global ecosystems for entrepreneurship.”
Mr. Kshitij Purwar said, “We are very glad to be recognized for our efforts. Look at where our (Indian) technological progress has reached today, the cheapest internet in the world, 30-minute food delivery services, rise in mobility with Uber/Ola. Bring satellites, AI, Indian engineers and we will lead in Climate Solutions. ”
Termed as ‘Europe’s Eye on Earth,’ the Copernicus program provides an unprecedented volume of free data and new operational services to foster new business opportunities and job creation. The Earth Observation program actively collects data about our planet and environment to lead in climate change solutions and sustainable management of our planetary resources.
An environmentalist at heart, Ms. Abhilasha Purwar added, “Finding solutions to environmental crises and climate change is not that difficult. It is about resetting our priorities. It’s not rocket science to fix our monitoring system, pricing mechanics, or societal design.
And if it would take rocket science and satellites and space data to solve it, so be it. At Blue Sky, we are determined to provide high-quality environmental intelligence to enable and catalyze climate solutions”
European Space Week is the leading event for the European space programs in 2019. It brings together business, policy-makers, international experts and the space application user community. The event presents insights into the European Union’s Space Programmes Copernicus, EGNOS and Galileo and updates on the New Space Economy. The key topics of 2019 Space Week were discussions on how space solutions can contribute to a sustainable future and lead in climate action.
Blue Sky Analytics is a Big Data and AI startup providing environmental intelligence by analyzing large volumes of satellite data, ground IoT measurements, and ancillary public datasets. Their vision is to build the Bloomberg for Environmental Data and enable global stakeholders to make data-driven sustainable decisions.
BSA’s unique technology innovation lies in automated ingestion of disparate datasets from multiple sources, quick processing, modeling and analytics through cloud-native architecture & propriety machine learning algorithms followed by accessible dispersion of final insights through easy APIs and user-friendly platforms. Taken end-to-end, they are building a “Geospatial Data Refinery” to process crude datasets into useful final products that can facilitate a sustainable global economy. BSA is working to build the world’s largest spatially and temporally continuous dataset on key environmental parameters and transform monitoring, diligence, and climate risk assessment systems in India and globally.