EARSC Activities

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EARSC mission to Japan on 15-16 February 2017

EARSC together with 3 member companies – Airbus D&S, GMV and e-GEOS participated in the S-NET 4th Sectorial Meeting “EO ✕ Data Platform” in Tokyo on 15 February 2017. The event showed growing interest in Japan for consolidating EO and IT. The following day, Japan Space Systems (JSS) organised the first EARSC-JSS Joint EO & IT Seminar to give an opportunity for the two industries to come together and exchange ideas from fresh perspectives.

EARSC at SNET Workshop

S-NET 4th Sectorial Meeting “EO ✕ Data Platform” – 15 February 2017

The National Space Policy Secretariat of the Cabinet Office of Japan invited Geoff Sawyer, the Secretary-General of the European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC), and several EARSC member companies to Tokyo to present at the Space New Economy Creation Network (S-NET) 4th Sectorial Meeting “EO ✕ Data Platform”.

This marks the first step of the cooperation between Japan Space Systems (JSS) and EARSC, which signed a memorandum of understanding on Nov 23, 2016, with the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation to act as an intermediary and offer support. The aim of the MoU is to cooperate in the utilisation of Earth -observation (EO) technology between Europe and Japan.

S-NET is a networking initiative coordinated by the National Space Policy Secretariat of the Japanese Cabinet Office, and its objective is to bring space and non-space companies together to promote and facilitate cross-disciplinary collaborations. In Dec 2016, S-NET commenced a series of sectorial meetings focussed on EO data utiliszation with each meeting covering a different field of EO. The latest seminar on Feb 15 was the fourth edition, and the theme was on the data platform for EO data, and collaboration with IT technologies. The meeting gathered more than 100 people from both industry and public sector.

The meeting started with the opening remarks from the centre’s Deputy Manager, Fabrizio Mura. Mr. Sawyer then presented the current status of the EU’s space policy including Copernicus Earth-observation program, and an overview of EARSC’s data platform project, EO Marketplace. This was then followed by presentations from EARSC member companies; Hugues Pavie from Airbus Defence & Space, Celestino Gomez from GMV and Massimo Comparini from e-GEOS, where each they presented their company’s EO services, and their thoughts on engaging with IT. JSS presented their Space Business Court, Japan’s first EO data and business support and networking platform, where a teaser site has been operating since Sept 2016. The English version of the platform was launched in Jan 2017 to enable space-related companies from overseas, particularly Europe, to establish presence in the Japanese market and explore possible collaboration opportunities with Japan. The seminar also had presentations from the Remote Sensing Society of Japan and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology (AIST) on the latest developments in EO with Artificial Intelligence and Big Data Analytics.

The attendance at the meeting was a clear indication of the growing interest in Japan for consolidating EO and IT, with many non-space companies being present at the meeting. JSS and the National Space Policy Secretariat are going to work together to further accelerate this movement through the full launch of Space Business Court, which is scheduled for May 2017.

First EARSC-JSS Joint EO & IT Seminar – 16 February 2017

Since Dec 2016, JSS has been by hosting a series of information sessions on the consolidation of Earth-observation (EO) and IT technologies in order to foster inter-disciplinary dialogue and encourage greater collaboration between the two industries. The sessions have attracted keen interests from several prominent IT start-ups and venture companies in Japan, particularly those offering services and solutions using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data Analytics.

The EARSC-JSS Joint EO & IT seminar was organised to give an opportunity for the two industries to come together and exchange ideas from fresh perspectives. Furthermore, the workshop enabled EARSC and the three member companies – Airbus Defence & Space D&S, GMV and e-GEOS, to make new connections with Japan’s active IT community.

The workshop was attended by nearly 40 companies both from EO and IT services sector. Hisanobu Takayama from JSS presented Space Business Court, followed by presentations from EARSC and the its member companies. The second half of the workshop had presentations from several IT start-ups and venture companies in Japan, including XCompass, Torus and Creative Hope, as well as the market analysis of EO and IT by MM Research Institute, and furthermore on EO and IoT by NTT Data Research Laboratory.

The seminar invoked vivid discussions during and after the seminar at the networking reception. It was evident that the EO data is recognised as part of Big Data, and that the IT companies in Japan are exploring ways in which they can incorporate it into their respective services. However, the discussion also identified key issues including better access to and understanding of EO data by the IT industry, and the possible need to support the creation of data scientists with sound knowledge of EO data.

Link to EARSC presentation