20tree.ai – Detecting Forest Threats with Artificial Intelligence

Start-up of the Month: 20tree.ai

July 2019



Forests are an essential part of life. They produce the air we breathe, they capture carbon dioxide, and they provide the timber for products we use every day. However, forests are under pressure of threats, including extreme drought and insect plagues. 20tree.ai’s forest health monitoring solution leverages the latest advancements in satellite imagery and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to monitor forest health and to detect these disturbances.

20tree.ai uses a range of different machine learning models that are trained on different resolutions and frequencies. A combination of Planet and Sentinel-1, -2, -3 data enables daily high-resolution updates and the extraction of complex patterns. Actionable insights will help forest industry companies and governments to act and protect forests around the world. Due to the growing need for sustainable forest management, forest intelligence has become a multi-billion dollar market.

20tree.ai had the clear ambition, growth, technology, team and desire to make a positive impact. At the end of 2018, the startup was selected to join the Copernicus Accelerator programme. This made a positive impact on the growth of 20tree.ai in the months to follow in which the team grew to 5 people and in June of this year it was awarded the 3rd place for the EO Company Achievement Award during the EARSC Awards 2019.

Besides the access to the network, the major advantage of being part of the Copernicus Accelerator for 20tree.ai is the high-quality mentorship. Both, on the business model and technical level. Their mentor Stephen Spittle shares his experience, introduces the team to experts and helps to find a way to overcome challenges. He is committed to help 20tree.ai to be a success enabling the team to do more in less time.

The startup was awarded as the winner of the Planet Daily Change Challenge as part of the 2018 Copernicus Masters. In partnership with Planet, 20tree.ai developed a new solution that makes use of frequent Planet updates and Sentinel-2 to detect stressed trees at an early stage.

Over the summer, 20tree.ai will test the value of their solution in production for an area of more than 30,000 km2.