Editorial Summer 2017

The last 3 months have been an incredibly busy time for EARSC and to cap it all this edition of EOmag is the 50th!

It signifies that we have been publishing this magazine to inform the EO services sector for 12.5 years. The first edition in Spring 2005 featured an interview with my long-time friend Luc Tytgat who was then Head of the Space Policy and Co-ordination Unit in EC DG Enterprise and reported on the EARSC Industry summit that had been held just a few weeks previously. A socio-economic benefit study for GMES was about to be launched. EOmag was the brainchild of Monica who had just become EARSC’s first employee (part-time) to help the EARSC chairman who at the time was Paul Kamoun.

In that time, the EO sector has changed enormously and yet most of what was reported back then is recognisable today. Our membership has grown from around 40 back then to 97 as I write and now, as reported in the last EOmag, we have an office in Brussels with 5 employees and have established EARSC as an organisation well-known internationally throughout the EO services sector.

Other milestones of note are:

We are about to publish our 3rd industry survey covering the EO services industry in Europe and Canada.

We have developed the concept of a Marketplace Alliance for EO Services and shall launch a call to develop eoMALL in the next few weeks.

We are starting a next round of economic benefit analyses to follow the three cases which we published last year and plan to publish 2 more reports by the year end. These are really quite exciting and I am really looking forward to digging deep into the use of the EO products and services throughout a value-chain extending from the service provider to the citizen in the street. We already have the 2 next cases identified and both have very interesting dimensions to them. You will have to wait to find out what they are!
As there is strong interest in this work, we have applied to organise a side-event on analysing the benefits of EO services at the GEO plenary in Washington DC.

On top of all this, we have recently organised our 4th international event (at the ISRSE in Pretoria last May) where European companies can meet up with potential local partners and we are embarking on at least 3 further visits (to Chile, Bolivia and Washington) during the 2nd half of 2017.
I feel exhausted just writing about it!!

Since we started EOmag, many other professional magazines have been started and we partly wonder if there is still a need for our efforts. But we get a lot of positive feedback and encouragement so we shall continue to publish and consider even to increase the frequency to 6 issues per year from the current 4.

We love to hear from you so maybe drop us a line (info_at_earsc.org) to mark the 50th edition and give us your views on the future of the EOmag e-zine.

I am now off for a summer break and to return in September recharged and ready to continue our efforts to help develop the European EO industry.

Geoff Sawyer
EARSC Secretary General