EU earth observation programme Copernicus opens its database to world’s largest climate action hackathon

Participants in cities joining Climathon 2017 – the world largest climate action hackathon to date – will create their solutions with the help of space data. The satellite data will be provided by the European Union’s earth observation programme Copernicus. The 24-hour Climathon on 27 October will include participants and organisers in more than 100 cities around the world.

The global Climathon has been organised by the EU’s climate innovation initiative Climate-KIC since 2015, the year of the historic Paris Agreement on climate change. To take part in the 24-hour Climathon, each city sets its own climate challenge which reflects affects their urban life the most. Challenges vary from air quality, mobility, water and waste management, and extreme weather events. 

This year, Climathon participants in 11 European cities are given access to Copernicus Earth Observation (EO) and Geographic Information System (GIS) space data to develop innovative solutions to tackle their cities climate challenge. Another 50 cities around the world will be given access to Copernicus data sets to be used for their specific challenges.

The space data Climathon’s are made possible by Climate-KIC’s collaboration with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW). Through this partnership, Climate-KIC puts a spotlight on the importance of space data to better understand the challenges our planet and humanity face, and build the capacity and skills required to solve them.

Says Emanuele Barreca, DG GROW:  “Climate change is real. Thanks to Copernicus and its satellites, the Sentinels, and its overall data offer, we can face the change and steer responsive actions. Cities and citizens need to be involved by challenging the change and facing it. This pilot Climathon for Copernicus (in the frame of the Innospace project) will bring awareness and experience on how space data is key and easy accessible tool to be learned and used.

Global Climate Innovation Movement

Innovators tackle the climate challenge for a full 24-hours, before pitching their ideas in front of a local jury. These ideas can develop into tangible sustainable solutions and businesses that address city climate challenges across the globe.

Says Ebrahim Mohamed, Director of Education at Climate-KIC: “The science of climate change is indisputable, but the problem often seems so removed from everyday reality that organisations have for many years struggled to engage citizens.”

“The Climathon changes this, providing the critical impetus for city citizens, innovators, business experts and policy makers to come together in a global climate movement to solve one of the most pressing issues of our time.”

Now its third year, the Climathon movement has grown tremendously over the past two years, encouraging more innovators across the globe to drive climate action.

Climathon has grown from 19 in 2015 to 59 cities in 2016, operating across 6 continents, creating over 2330 ideas and reaching 16.8 million people worldwide in 2016. More than 100 cities are expected to take part in 2017, making it the largest global climate action hackathon in history.

More information about how to take part in the Climathon is available at

Using Space Data to tackle Climate Change

Meet the cities looking to tackle their climate challenge using Copernicus space data:

  • Bristol, UK, is looking to find solutions to their growing air pollution challenge.
  • Bologna, Italy, wants to restore green areas and ecosystem services in order to reconnect the ecological corridors in their city.
  • Trento, Italy, will focus on reduction in water availability or excessive abundance (as during extreme weather events).
  • Cesena, Italy, is looking to develop new water systems and new sustainable lifestyles for water saving due to the droughts that plague the region.
  • Turin, Italy, wants to strengthen the resilience of the territories and communities, improving the well-being of citizens by looking at solutions to their extreme weather challenges, as well as building energy efficiency, sustainable mobility, green and blue infrastructures.
  • Brasov, Romania, is reducing the heat island effect in the city.
  • Warsaw, Poland, aims to increase sustainable transportation and central heating systems due to the high levels of air pollution in the city.
  • Riga, Latvia, is looking to improve their preparation for extreme weather events such as high levels of flooding.
  • Brno, Czechia, aims to improve the city’s transport and air pollution levels.
  • Burjassot, Spain, aims to close the cycle of the different water resources, especially reclaimed water, to compensate scarcity byre-using it, as well as unpredictable weather conditions.
  • Krakow, Poland, will look at tackling their challenges of transport, energy and water in their Climathon.




Media contact

Kelsey Hunter
Climathon Communications Manager

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