A constellation of brilliant young people gathered at the SAP booth on the opening day of Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona. Having just finished a marathon week of hacking and coding for the first ESA App Camp, they were now having their moment of recognition by SAP and the European Space Agency (ESA) for some truly awe-inspiring work to address some of the world’s greatest challenges.
More than 170 students and young developers from across Europe participated in a series of pre-selection events leading up to this day in Barcelona. Just six teams were invited to Barcelona for the final selection round of the ESA App Camp, held February 25-March 3. Their challenge was to develop apps on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform that utilize Earth observation data and business data to support the future of agriculture and forestry, renewable energy, and fisheries management.
ESA supplied data from its satellites for the participants to work on, while camp sponsor SAP provided support for the teams to code on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform through the SAP University Alliances program. ESA partner Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO) organized the camp. Entries were judged by a panel of experts from the three organizations.
Teams inspire with solutions to improve people’s lives
On March 2, at the Mobile World Congress, two winning teams were announced: team Code Green from the UK and team Agrai from Finland. In their projects, each team skillfully applied the Big Data capabilities of the SAP HANA Cloud Platform to solving challenges in the field of precision farming. Implications for this technology can lead to better management of the Earth’s increasingly scarce fertile land resources.
“It is truly inspiring to see what these teams were able to achieve,” said Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, who was on hand at Mobile World Congress to personally congratulate the winning teams. “By combining their creativity with the power of SAP HANA Cloud Platform, the ESA App Camp participants developed apps that were previously unthinkable. Initiatives like these provide a clear demonstration of how SAP can help the world run better and improve people’s lives.”
“The significance [of the ESA App Camp] is that we are putting together data that we observe from satellites with the IT capacity of SAP, especially through SAP HANA,” said Dr. Josef Aschbacher, Head of Programme Planning & Coordination Service, Directorate of ESA’s Earth Observation Programmes. “I think these two things are a perfect combination, because we provide some content which is not so easily accessible otherwise. SAP provides a unique technology and platform, but also access to a community which we don’t have either. So, I think for both of us, this is a win-win situation.”
A startup is born
In an exceptional field of entries, the winning teams stood out for the completeness of their solutions and skillful presentation. Team Code Green, comprised of four computer science students from the University of Bristol, attributed their success to good teamwork based on their longstanding friendships together and a love of hacking. For Team Agrai, four Finnish developers from the city of Turku, news of their success was already leading to traction as potential investors began to approach.
To help advance their projects, each team was given a cash prize of €5,000, plus a trip to SAPPHIRE, SAP’s premiere event. The winners will also have the opportunity to be considered for the ESA Business Incubation Program and the SAP Startup Focus program, which works with young companies worldwide to help them build commercially-viable solutions on the SAP HANA platform and supports their go-to-market strategies.
To learn more about the ESA App Camp and see pictures from this year’s event, visit: ESA APP Camp
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