In the recent past, the main beneficiaries of EO data have been mainly large-scale projects or companies. However, as suitable software and information platforms become more widely available, advanced uses of EO data are being brought within reach of smaller businesses and niche markets worldwide (1) . In line with this trend, according to the European Commission (EC), the global EO midstream turnover is projected to reach 3.4€ billion by 2022.
The main challenges to catch these opportunities able to enlarge the EO potential market are:
1. to develop appropriate business analyses and business cases to showcase EO added-value in practice, and
2. to inform potential customers on the benefits brought by EO-based products/ services.
In line with this need, ALPHA Consult (www.alphacons.eu), a European management consultancy focused on services in GNSS and EO- related industries in Europe and Africa, is supporting various industry players in fully exploiting their potential by providing high quality business/ strategy consultancy about all aspects of EO concepts and technologies. The following services are offered:
Aware of the challenges and difficulties faced by innovative EO-based solutions and services to scale up the market, ALPHA leveraged its experience to be a key connection between innovation developers and providers and related end-users in all its projects. Some examples of projects recently undertaken by ALPHA in the EO domain are cited below:
- Advanced Snow plough and salt Spreader based on Innovative Space Technologies (ASSIST) (2). ASSIST project has been co-funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) (3). Exploiting the insights from the feasibility study (undertaken in 2014-2015), the ASSIST demonstration project validates a set of advanced “assistance services” for winter maintenance, involving relevant European users and stakeholders. In this context, ALPHA has been in charge of the • Viability Analysis (before) and Business Plan (after), undertaking costs-benefits analyses (CBAs) and preparing the ground for the market roll-out;
- Improving Resilience to Emergencies through Advanced Cyber Technologies (I-REACT) (4) is a Horizon 2020 3-year project (2016-2019) funded by the European Commission under the Secure Society Work Programme (DRS-1-2015). I-REACT integrates existing services, both local and European, into a platform that supports the entire emergency management cycle. Within this project, ALPHA is leading the business assessment and exploitation phase, including the preparation of dedicated CBAs, business plan and roadmap;
- Vineyards Integrated Smart Climate Application (VISCA) (5) is a Horizon 2020 3-year project (2017-2020) aimed at making South-European wine industries resilient to climate changes, while minimizing costs and risks through an improvement of the production management (quality and quantity of final product). In particular, a Climate Service (CS) and Decision Support System (DSS) will be developed and tested on three demo sites belonging to three wine stakeholders from Spain, Italy and Portugal. In the frame of VISCA, ALPHA will guide the innovation management, the engagement with the Project Advisory Board (PAB) and end-users. Moreover, it will prepare a realistic business plan for further solution uptake.
To conclude, with its business, technical and communication/ dissemination background, coupled with the experience reached during successful projects, ALPHA is able to support a vast range of actors, such as businesses, regulators and European institutions, in the articulated processes aimed at engaging end-users’ and commercialising high technological solutions.
(1) https://www.directionsmag.com/article/1194; http://earsc.org/news/new-approaches-bring-earth-observation-data-to-wider-market
(2) The Consortium is led by the Istituto Superiore Mario Boella (ISMB) and includes: ALPHA, Giletta, Geoville and SAET.
(3) Within its Business Applications Programme
(4) The Consortium is led by ISMB and includes Geoville, Eoxplore, Terranea, Alpha Consult, UNESCO, Politecnico di Torino, Celi, JoinPad, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Meteosim, Bitgear, Ansur Technologies, Technical University of Vienna, Scienseed, CSI Piemonte, Aquobex, Answaretech, and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission
(5) The Consortium is led by Meteosim and includes Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), Codorniu S.A, Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentàries (IRTA), ISMB, Universita Degli Studi di Napoli Federico II (UNAP), Mastroberardino spa, Symington – Vinhos S.A., Universidad do Oporto (UPORTO), Unite Technique du Semide Geie, Alpha Consult