CSEOL - Call for Ideas!

Citizen Science Earth Observation Lab

Countdown to the Submission Deadline!

Midnight, Sunday the 5th of May, 2019

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CSEOL Updates

CSEOL Competition in a Nutshell

CSEOL (we say Sizzle) is an initiative funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) to find people and organizations with the energy, imagination and creative talent to help Europe’s big Space data address some of our biggest problems.

We’re looking for ideas that provide fantastic opportunities for citizen scientists – or the wider public – to validate what satellites observe or to put those images to use.

Perhaps there’s something that enthusiastic citizen scientists can help to track by labelling, processing or assuring the quality of satellite images; or an algorithm that needs training to help in managing natural disasters.

As long as your idea inspires lots of people around ESA’s Earth Observation (EO) data, and looks like a lot of fun to do, then we want to hear more! Our goal is to take you from idea to funding in less than 6 months – in a competitive setting.

  • All Submitted Ideas will be considered for shortlisting by our panel of experts
  • Authors of all Shortlisted Ideas will be invited to develop full project proposals, attend the CSEOL Bootcamp at ESA in Frascati, and pitch their full project proposal to our expert panel for the chance to receive funding and support for project implementation
  • Authors of all Selected Project Proposals will receive funding (15k EUR to 70k EUR – which can include staff costs), training and support to help implement their winning Pilot Project

CSEOL Competition Schedule

…will be to capitalize on the synergistic use of Citizen Science and AI to deliver the most scientific and societal value of the large amount of European EO data sets. Rapid developments in digital technologies, together with our capacity to monitor our home planet with EO satellites, have led to entirely new opportunities for Earth science and applications. There is an increasing need to mine the large amounts of data generated by the new generation of satellites coming online, and in particular Copernicus and Sentinel data. Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques, such as machine learning and computer vision, are now becoming increasingly important to turn large amount of EO data into relevant information in a dynamic, global and automatic way, thereby providing a comprehensive picture of our planet at the global scale and in real time. Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing can play a key role in making the most of EO data, in particular also by unlocking the power of AI applied to EO in various ways, ranging from generating labelling within training data sets to enabling quality control and pattern recognition within data.

  • Any Pilot Project selected for funding and implementation will need to be led by a recognised legal entity
  • Any such entity leading a Pilot Project will need to demonstrate project management capacity
  • Ideas for projects must focus on an available ESA mission dataset
  • Ideas for projects should incorporate use and/or production of Open Access data

All submitted Ideas will be covered by a non-disclosure agreement – so you can be sure that your idea is safe. Any application product and their documentation delivered to the European Space Agency (ESA) at the end of the contract must be made available to ESA for reuse without restrictions and will be published by the ESA as an open resource. However, the authors/developers will keep the full ownership of the results, including copyrights and other intellectual property rights Due acknowledgement of names and logos contributing to the project will of course be provided. Any project outcomes can be published without restrictions, mentioning all parties involved, with authors keeping IPR and ownership.

We want your Idea to be successful! Among the most important things we’re looking for are your enthusiasm, your project’s feasibility, and the potential to combine citizen science (CS), big datasets and innovative ideas. Critical are:

  • Impact and ESA strategy
  • Potential for your Idea to develop into a Pilot Project
  • Relevant Experience

You can find full details of shortlisting priorities in our Competition Guidelines.

If you submit an Idea that is eventually selected as a Pilot Project, you’ll need to be ready – both in terms of what you can expect from CSEOL and what CSEOL will expect from you. Leaders of the Pilot Projects selected will sign formal agreements with CSEOL that will include the conditions for financing the Pilot Projects. Requirements from the leaders of each Pilot Project will include regular reporting and communication with the CSEOL team. You can find details of what you can expect from CSEOL in our Competition Guidelines.