InCubed announces call for proposals for maritime EO applications

Our oceans and seas are a substantive source of economic activity, and it is within this context that ESA InCubed has released a thematic call dedicated to the globally significant maritime sector. Open until March of this year, the campaign focuses on developing innovative products and services using Earth observation for areas such as maritime security, transportation, pollution and fisheries.

As part of its remit to co-fund European commercial development across the entire Earth observation (EO) value chain, the ESA InCubed programme periodically issues thematic calls with particular focus areas. Last year saw the launch of a Cultural and Natural Heritage call, while the latest campaign is on the maritime sector.

The world’s oceans are home to a major component of the global economy, not only in terms of trade and transportation, but also energy and food production. Around 90% of international trade occurs  through maritime routes, and some 50 000 merchant vessels are currently in operation across the globe. Europe’s blue economy is worth nearly €650 billion per annum, and the continent has some of the world’s largest harbours and boasts a number of major shipping companies. But our oceans are also subject to sizeable societal issues and challenges, including marine plastic pollution, climate change effects, overfishing, security issues and illegal migration.

The InCubed Maritime Call seeks to address these challenges by inviting participants to submit ideas for innovative EO solutions that will help to ensure a green and sustainable maritime sector. The call divides the sector into specific areas of interest:

  • Security and emergency
  • Finance and Insurance
  • Renewable Energy
  • Construction
  • Transportation
  • Pollution monitoring
  • Fisheries and acquaculture

Further details on these areas, along with the global and European maritime landscapes and how the sector can derive enormous benefits from EO services, can be found in two highly valuable new reports commissioned by ESA:

These reports give a wealth of useful information, helping applicants from both within and outside the maritime sector to submit ideas for the call under the seven areas of interest. Responses are welcome from individuals, companies and academia in InCubed participating states.

Idea pitches will be assessed based on criteria such as the level of innovation, the credibility of the business opportunity and the quality and completeness of the proposal.

Details of the call can be found on, and the closing date for entries is 29 March 2024.

To know more: ESA InCubed

Photo courtesy of George Desipris