Descartes Labs aims to improve science around the world with free Platform API access for individuals and small research teams

Scientific integrity, excellence, and innovation are part of our core values at Descartes Labs. We believe that advancing the understanding of human activity and natural processes throughout the world is in the interest of all stakeholders and we are willing to put our resources behind efforts to demonstrate this.

Starting January 2020, we’re opening up access to the Descartes Labs Platform API and Data Refinery for academic and non-profit researchers in two cohorts (spring and fall). This provides a revolutionary resource for novel projects that provide scientific value and would benefit from the scaled processing and wide-area coverage that our platform can offer.

The Descartes Labs Impact Science Program consists of 12-month terms with selections in June and December to coincide with the fall and spring academic calendar. The standard catalog of datasets of the Descartes Labs Data Refinery will be available, including Landsat, Sentinel, Airbus OneAtlas, and more. We will provide guidance to get started and help load additional data you may require.

Landcover and InSAR coherence maps generated over agricultural fields in Brazil using the Descartes Labs Platform API and Viewer.

Since most of us at Descartes Labs are scientists as well, we have designed this program to be as easy as possible so as to minimize the heavy load of grant-writing. It consists of four steps:

  1. Apply with our application form and provide as much detail as possible about the project you intend to pursue.
  2. If you pass our selection criteria, you will be selected to be part of the cohort. If you aren’t selected, we’ll provide feedback to help you refine the application down the road.
  3. Once you’re in the cohort, you can access and use the Descartes Labs Platform API and Data Refinery for up to one year to execute your project.
  4. At the end of the project, you’ll collaborate with Descartes Labs to publish your results and share your final data.

There are a few key dates to be aware of:

  • Solicitations open: 1st of March and September
  • Solicitations close: 1st of May and November
  • Project selections: 1st of June and December
  • Program kickoffs: July and January

We are all very excited to see what great ideas are ready for implementation. Don’t forget to apply here.

Good luck!
— The Descartes Labs Team

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