THE Theia, a Portuguese startup in the area of monitoring cultural, historical and archaeological heritage through satellite data, was the winner of the Digital Transport Challenge category at 2019 edition of the Copernicus Masters Awards. The ceremony known as the "Space Oscars" took place in Helsinki and distinguished the most innovative and sustainable projects using Earth observation data from the European Copernicus satellite.
The ERMES, or Extensive Road Monitoring Early-Warning System, aims to enable a faster and more efficient assessment of the integrity of road structures following natural disasters. The project uses satellite-based Earth observation data to monitor slope stability and highway abatement, identifying hazardous situations. Project implementation can minimize not only logistical challenges but also the costs of field information gathering.
Theia is supported by the Small Business Applications initiative of the European Space Agency (ESA), which is coordinated at national level by the Pedro Nunes Institute (IPN). The company also integrated for two years ESA BIC Portugal. The IPN-led program is one of ESA's 15 current European incubation centers and supports startups employing space technologies for non-space industrial and commercial uses in areas such as health, energy, transport, security or urban life.
The 2019 Space Oscar Awards awarded eight awards to innovative projects in the fields of renewable energy, environmental protection, smart agriculture, disaster management, digital transport and smart cities.
This year, the big winner went to Green City Watch, whose mission is to revolutionize the way we look at nature in cities. Last year, the competition was won by Portuguese company CybELE, with a service that helps solve environmental crimes using satellite imagery.