GEOSS could not only provide unprecedented data for measuring the performance of clean technologies, but also aid in spurring new entrepreneurial opportunities in related areas such as climate change.
“Just last month, we acknowledged an improvement in the ozone hole. Observation technologies enabled us to identify, visualize and monitor this critical environmental problem, while government cooperation and industry innovation allowed us to solve the problem,” said Nancy Colleton, executive director of the Alliance for Earth Observations, an industry group devoted to promoting the benefits of observations. “We can apply a similar model to climate change and other areas closely connected with clean tech.”
Like Colleton, Craig Cuddeback, senior vice president of Cleantech Venture Network LLC, sees a clear link between Earth observations and clean technology. “It’s exciting to explore the role of Earth observations in clean tech. The investment possibilities are strong,” he said.
Bill Gail, director for strategic development for Microsoft’s Virtual Earth, notes the importance of both the observations themselves and the ability to visualize them.
“Platforms like Virtual Earth will enable governments, businesses and even consumers to visualize and address a host of environmental issues. It is the visualization of these topics that will catalyze action,” Gail said. “The more observational data that is available, the more applications we will see being built using Virtual Earth and Google Earth. It will impact all segments of the clean tech sector—energy, agriculture, water and transportation. The possibilities are endless.”
One area in which experts see a high-impact opportunity to apply observation systems is in the emerging ecosystem services sector. The carbon market, for example, is one that is evolving quickly and could benefit greatly from improved availability of, and access to, space-based remote sensing technology.
“Satellite observations of the Earth are going to be a primary method of measuring, monitoring and verifying carbon credits generated from changes in land use,” said David Skole, chief technology officer for the Climate Investment Network for Carbon Sequestration. “We need imagery from space and other sources to continually monitor carbon resources. Using satellites, we can do large-scale, global monitoring and ensure credibility to the markets.”
The use of space-based satellites in other vertical markets such as homeland security, marine and ocean transportation, and agriculture is nothing new. However, the introduction of tools including Virtual Earth and Google Earth in parallel with more than 60 countries agreeing to share Earth and environmental information through GEOSS opens up new possibilities, according to NOAA Administrator and Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere Conrad C. Lautenbacher Jr.
“GEOSS will enable applications in areas we’ve never even considered,” Lautenbacher said. “On the government side, we are working very hard for improved prediction of natural hazards like tsunami and hurricane forecasting, and utilization of the data for better resource management. But, on the private sector side, we know GEOSS information will enhance the activities of existing companies in every industry and will help support new entrepreneurial ventures. The underlying, critical piece in all of this is the observations. We need the data and information from satellites, buoys, balloons, ships and aircraft available and easy to integrate.”
For the first time, leaders from the environmental monitoring and information technology sectors come together today to examine the potential of GEOSS to not only provide unprecedented data for measuring the performance of clean technologies, but also generate new entrepreneurial opportunities for the clean tech sector.
Moderated by Dan Dubno, producer and technologist for CBS News in New York, the session is part of the Cleantech Venture Forum XI being held at New York’s Marriott Marquis, Midtown. Joining Dubno will be Bill Gail, director of strategic development for Microsoft’s Virtual Earth; Chikai Ohazama, senior product manger for Google Earth; David Skole, chief technology officer for the Climate Investment Network for Carbon Sequestration; and Carla Sullivan, senior policy advisor in the Office of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere.
Science Applications International Corporation and Northrop Grumman are sponsoring the session, which is organized by the Alliance for Earth Observations.
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(Source The Alliance for Earth Observations)