FAQ Call for projects SCO International

Here are the main answers to the questions you might have about responding to the SCO's call for projects.

What is the SCO annual calls objective?

The SCO’s yearly call for projects is intended to spawn operational tools matching a certain number of mandatory criteria - they must meet the local needs of identified end-users by leveraging available satellite, environmental and socio-economic data and existing infrastructures - that must be easily transposable to other regions. Such projects are led by public-private consortia that guarantee the quality of data provided and plan to sustain commercial or scientific services in the long term. Through these projects, evaluated by experts, the SCO is the first initiative of its kind to offer tangible assistance to territories by leveraging satellite data to tackle climate change.

What are the SCO annual calls components?

SCO yearly calls for projects are structured in two main components.

  • SCO International annual calls: SCO international calls are open to all countries. The SCO Programme Committee, upon the support of international experts, is in charge of steering international calls with the support of the secretariat. Applicants should liaise with SCO secretariat (

  • SCO national or regional calls: SCO members including 24 Member States and three United Nations agencies (UNEP, UNDP and UNOOSA), are called upon to structure an autonomous national call dedicated to SCO projects, according to their specific needs and budget. National calls are open to nationals of the country(ies) steering and financing the call. 

What are the funding mechanisms of the SCO annual calls?

The SCO is an international non-binding initiative and is not an international funding agency. Therefore, international applicants are encouraged to apply to the international call with a pre-identified funding scheme.

SCO Member States only wishing to set up and fund a national SCO call, can provide for funding to their national applicants.  

What is the SCO full set of criteria?

SCO Projects are encouraged to fulfil the following criteria:

  1. Federating a consortium of scientists, companies and/or public authorities able to generate new knowledge, innovative and effective core methodologies and practical tools for decision support;
  2. Promoting a methodology based on the state of the art including the latest developments in artificial intelligence and related computing infrastructures. Therefore, supporting scientific excellence;
  3. Promoting the use of open-source tools and move towards an open final tool;
  4. Proposing funding schemes for Projects involving communities in their initial phase, and defining the scope of recourse to the private sector for future developments. Projects that have already obtained funding prior the application are encouraged. Co-funding is accepted:
  5. Including an analysis of the associated business model; and
  6. Considering international cooperation towards Least Developed Countries, as defined by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, benefiting from development aid;
  7. Extending traditional partnerships to data providers. Enhance the value of data ecosystems by; developing and producing qualified and robust data; leveraging the deployment of weather and climate monitoring services; broadening the use cases of climate data through advanced products.

How does the SCO accreditation process work?

The SCO accreditation is granted by the Programme Committee, composed of members designated by the SCO Steering Committee.

The evaluation of SCO projects is steered by the SCO international panel of reviewers, composed of experts nominated by all SCO members.

Applicants should preferably go through the national SCO call for projects if exists. Otherwise, applicants can go through the international call. 

  1. Applicants submit the form (4 pages maximum) to the SCO Secretariat ( Applications are treated with confidentiality.
  2. Applications are reviewed by the international panel of reviewers following the evaluation criteria listed above.
  3. The pre-selected projects have then two months to finalize their proposal, respond to any comments from the reviewers and ensure compliance with accreditation requirements.
  4. If all requirements have been fulfilled, the project will be granted the SCO accreditation. The laureates will be announced to the SCO network and more broadly within international events. 

What are the benefits resulting from the SCO accreditation?

Obtaining the SCO accreditation for a project means adhering to SCO values and benefiting from international recognition and visibility. SCO projects are promoted within national and international events aiming to reach the space community but also the civil society. These projects are especially benefiting from the SCO global awareness strategy steered by UNOOSA since 2023 within a dedicated working group.

Accredited projects will join the SCO community and aim to be developed to the benefit of all. This community feedback should consist, wherever possible, of a set of data, algorithms or technological blocks ready to be reused in another context. Exceptions to this principle of openness must be limited, substantiated and seek other forms of community return, e.g. international cooperation and capacity building, providing expertise or technology intelligence. Consortia may discuss with the SCO international panel of reviewers to help them define what form such feedback might take.

Project undertake to respond positively to requests from the SCO to help promote and showcase SCO projects, contribute to lessons learned and provide testimonials and success stories.