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Business opportunities from outer space

Sinergise: A Slovenian company is creating new business opportunities by optimizing data mined by the EU’s Copernicus programme from outer space.

The European Union’s Copernicus Earth Observation Programme is probably the best mapping system in the world. It is also a great tool for innovative entrepreneurs. They can use the data gathered by the programme to create new products and new services — and the jobs and customers that go with them.

But first they have to know how to optimize the incredible mine of information provided by Copernicus’ satellites. That’s where Slovenian SME Sinergise comes in.

Backed by European funds from the Horizon 2020 programme, company founder Grega Milčinski and his teams have developed a solution called Sentinel Hub.

“With Copernicus, the amount of data has changed significantly, and these data, which are free and good quality, and useful for many cases, are also data which are technically complex,” Milčinski says. “With Sentinel Hub, we made it easier and more efficient to use”.

Sinergise’s customers include the global manufacturing giant Claas, a German company that makes agricultural machinery.
Thanks to Sentinel Hub, Milčinski has developed Crop View, an application that allows new generation agricultural machines to be even more efficient.

“Crop View uses Copernicus data to detect differences in vegetation health and development state within any farmers’ fields boundaries,” explains Friedemann Scheibler, who works on specialist precision farming for Claas e-services.

“With this information, users get the opportunity to create application maps in a very easy and efficient way, download them, and put them directly on their machine”.

Scheibler says he is very happy with the application. First, because it was developed in just six months; and second, because it provides real added value for its customers.

“You will produce higher yields and better crop quality. You increase the efficiency of applied resources, such as fertilizers. And you limit your environmental (impact), through a more sustainable working practice”.

As for the Sinergise, it hasn’t stopped expanding: From eight employees 10 years ago, that number has grown to 45 today.

It also has customers all over the world.

“We have almost 5,000 users, ranging from a small orchid farm in South Africa to the large organisations like the EU satellite centre,” Milčinski says. “All of them are using Copernicus data to empower their business models. I like it!”