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The international trade fair WMF 2023 opens the AI4EO Call in partnership with ESA

April 11th, 2023
The initiative, dedicated to Italian and international start-ups and businesses, aims to promote and implement AI applications for Earth Observation. The award ceremony will be held on June 15-17 in Rimini, Italy.

The international trade fair and festival on tech and digital innovation We Make Future (WMF), in partnership with the European Space Agency, launched the AI4EO Call to support current and new applications of Artificial Intelligence in Aerospace and Earth Observation, to highlight the importance of these sectors for the economic and cultural development and the protection of terrestrial ecosystems.

If you are a researcher, own a start-up or a company within this field, WMF is the right opportunity to share your expertise within one of the largest international communities on digital innovation: you will be able to illustrate your project within the context of an international fair that last year recorded over 36,000 attendees from 49 countries, over 300 companies, 1,000 start-ups, 700 speakers and 300 investors.

The call is born from the collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), which is currently working on enhancing a system of satellites around the Earth to better monitor climate and environmental variations, to protect Earth's ecosystems. To submit a project to the AI4EO Call, a dedicated form has to be filled out on the official website of WMF by May 7th, 2023.

The aim of the call is to promote and implement AI applications for Earth Observation in order to develop useful solutions for the scientific sector and society as a whole, creating new jobs and business opportunities. The best projects will be selected by the committee composed of representatives from WMF and ESA and will have the opportunity to access the international networks of the two entities. Furthermore, there are two opportunities offered by ESA at stake for the best start-ups:

  • access to the EO Commercialization days event and participation in its pitch event;

  • access to business and technical coaching on EO.

The award ceremony will be held during WMF 2023, scheduled on June 15-17 at the Rimini Expo Centre, Italy, where the finalists will have the opportunity to connect with companies, investors, and industry players, including the Italian Space Agency (ASI), IFAB, Cineca, INFN, GARR, IIT, Tecnopolo di Bologna and others, who are attentive and proactive towards the best solutions in the AI field.

The call has been designed to involve all entities offering innovative solutions in the AI and Big Data field in the scientific or business sector, starting from the Idea stage of development. Products or services capable of enhancing the dynamics of collection, processing, and utilization of large amounts of data from the international satellite system will be valued. Projects that utilize AI and its components, such as Machine Learning and Automated Reasoning, in applications that are functional to the processing of large amounts of data to favor the monitoring and care of the terrestrial ecosystem are of interest.

The call is dedicated to Italian and international start-ups and businesses - composed of individuals or teams - with innovative projects or ideas in the technology and digital sector. In addition, particular interest is given to innovative projects aimed at generating a positive impact on territories and societies. The candidate projects are selected based on the following criteria:

  • Team skills, industry knowledge, and project feasibility;

  • Product/service development stage;

  • Degree of innovation and defensibility;

  • Competitive context and positioning;

  • Alignment with market and customer needs and size;

  • Potential for idea development in research or business;

  • Completeness of the presented documentation.

The full regulations and pitch guide are available on the webpage dedicated to the call.

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