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Evolution of Copernicus services
Deadline: Mar 3, 2016  

 Entrepreneurship and SMEs
 Horizon Europe

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Copernicus operational services are not static, but need to evolve with recognised and emerging user requirements and state of the art methodologies. While immediate service maintenance and enhancement in response to the Copernicus work programme is part of operational tasks, long-term evolutions will need input from R&D outside the programme. A process has been put in place in the Copernicus services by the Entrusted Entities to review service evolution and any emerging adaptation needs as to their urgency, closeness to the operational delivery process, and availability of capacities. R&D activities which are suitable for Horizon 2020 are identified to this end by the Commission and/or the Entrusted Entities for each service. An information document is published together with this work programme[[]]. The challenge is to have the results of R&D available in a sufficiently timely manner to support an informed discussion, if and under which conditions an evolution of the operational service portfolio of the Copernicus service is appropriate. The schedule of the activities should thus consider the overall planning of the Copernicus programme and its specific services concerned.


The research and innovation action should aim at demonstrating the technical operational feasibility of a specific service evolution proposal. The proposers are expected to demonstrate at the proposal stage an active link with the Copernicus service by suitable means. The output of these research and innovation project should aim at providing a proof-of-concept or a prototype for a proposed evolution of the Copernicus services, respecting the border between Copernicus services and downstream services. This proof-of-concept or prototype should allow to demonstrate the appropriateness to implement the proposed evolution later on at European level, i.e. potentially with operational Copernicus funding. To allow a discussion of such potential operational funding, the activity should as well result into one or more possible scenarios how this evolution could potentially be integrated into the existing service architecture and if it could be built on the existing observation data or if new observation requirements would be needed.

Proposers are advised to consult information on the Copernicus programme in general at, the evolution topics identified there, as well as the availability of Copernicus Sentinel Data, access to Copernicus Contributing Mission data at the Commission’s website[[]].

The proposal should indicate:

  • To what extent the proposed evolution could be a candidate for the operational Copernicus service in terms of cost-benefits, calendar and operational feasibility;
  • The conditions for making available, for use and exploitation, the results (including IPR) to the entities implementing the EU Copernicus programme, including its contractors and service providers;

In projects to be funded under this topic participation of industry, in particular SMEs, is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 and 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:
  • Enhance the European industry’s potential to take advantage of emerging market opportunities and capacity to establish leadership in the field;
  • Boost competitiveness of the industrial actors in EU and national procurements;
  • Establish a proof-of-concept or a prototype, which can act as reference for the independent assessment of Copernicus service evolution, in light of product extensions and service improvements.

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