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2 min read
26 February 2024

Luxembourgish startup WEO has been awarded the prestigious World Summit Award 2023 in Smart Settlements & Urbanization for their innovative environmental analytics solutions that promote sustainability, inclusive economic development, and quality of life in urban areas.


The WSA (World Summit Awards) is a global initiative that recognises digital solutions making significant contributions to the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.  


One of the 40 WSA Winners 2023, WEO was selected from 466 nominations in 88 countries, and is the only winner from Luxembourg this year. The awards ceremony will take place at the WSA Global Congress in Patagonia, Chile in April 2024. 


We’re honoured that our environmental analytics solution using AI and satellite data was selected from such a competitive field on a world stage. The WSA Award motivates us to continue contributing to Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG11) and Climate Action (SDG 13).” Imeshi Weerasinghe, CEO and co-founder of WEO. 


A graduate of Luxinnovation’s Fit4Start programme, WEO was founded in 2020 with the mission to provide “environmental analytics for all from space”.  


While working on their PhDs in water resource management and remote sensing, co-founders Imeshi Weerasinghe and Charlotte Wirion realised their cutting-edge research could help boost the climate resilience of cities and facilitate the deployment of green infrastructure.  The idea for WEO was born.  


A strong partnership with Brussels


According to Charlotte Wirion, CTO and co-founder, “Municipalities, government agencies, and infrastructure managers want to make more informed, data-driven decisions on their path to sustainability. We work closely with them, leveraging the latest in AI and Earth Observation technology to provide actionable insights from high-resolution, real-time environmental monitoring data that is cost-effective and available in the long-term.” 


In a recent significant milestone, WEO delivered Sealed Surface maps to Brussels Environment as part of a competitive tender project to better understand the impacts of the urban water cycle and take preventative action against floods. WEO also recently completed TreeMonitor, a project funded by the European Space Agency that tracks the health and growth of trees from space.  


Currently, WEO is developing a monitoring tool with B-Kode within the Urban Green project to assess urban vegetation and liveability aspects like temperature, air quality, and blue/green infrastructure to aid developers and municipalities in sustainability and climate change planning. Urban Green is now in the demonstration phase following a successful feasibility study. 


We’ve benefited immensely from the thriving ecosystem Luxembourg has to offer. Right from the beginning, Luxinnovation’s Fit4Start programme gave us an immense boost to kickoff our journey, and we’ve received constant and continued support from their knowledgable team of advisors (special mention to Isabel Holguera Vera for her support with the WSA).” Charlotte Wirion, CTO and co-founder

She adds: “The Luxembourg City Incubator has also played an important role in our growth, providing us a supportive expert community and resources to enhance our know-how and networks.” 


WEO’s solutions were recently named Top 10 in the prestigious QBE AcceliCity Resilience Challenge 2023. For “Urban Green Tracker”, WEO was awarded first place in the Copernicus Masters Challenge 2022 by the German Aerospace Center (DLR). WEO also won first place in the 2023 SPOTTED competition funded by the European Commission, and “Best Use of AI & Data” at the Luxembourg IT Awards 2022. 


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