Earth observation (EO) activities are considered an essential element to accompany the investments made by the Union in Copernicus, the Union Earth observation and monitoring programme. Through Copernicus and Earth Observation activities in the Horizon 2020 the European Union also contributes to advancing the Global Earth Observation Systems of Systems (GEOSS).

In particular, activities under the societal challenge for climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials focus on GEOSS, notably the development of comprehensive and sustained global environmental observation and information systems that stimulate the smart use of strategic resources, support the development of evidence-based policies, foster new environmental and climate services, and develop new opportunities in global markets. Activities under the Leadership in Industrial Technologies part focus on the evolution of Copernicus and the exploitation of existing European space infrastructure by promoting the development of innovative products and services based on remote sensing, geo-positioning or other types of satellite enabled data as well as geo-information generated already by services such as Copernicus services.

Moreover, taking into account the wider relevance of EO to all parts of Horizon 2020, proposals addressing application and uptake of EO for the development of innovative applications addressing specific challenges can also be submitted to the Horizon 2020 Societal Challenges where related references are included. To that end, applicants to those parts of Horizon 2020 can also access Copernicus data and information.