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As chairman of EARSC I like to welcome you to the first edition of our earth observation magazine EOmag of 2010 but overall I like to wish you –also on behalf of all directors of EARSC- a very good business year 2010.

Dear EOMag readers,

In this edition of our magazine we will update you on the executed and planned activities of our Association. In the current edition you will find an interesting interview on GMES initial operations with Mr Francisco Gaztelu, Deputy Head of Cabinet of Vice-President Verheugen Enterprise and Industry at European Commission. At the members profile we have invited our member Spacemetric, Sweden to present their organization to our stakeholders.

2010 EARSC goal is to further help our members to expand and develop business outside the ‘traditional” governmental sector. In several market studies important export markets have been identified for the earth observation industry in and outside Europe. Therefore, EARSC would like to invite members to give their opinion on whether EARSC should organize a seminar on exports markets and if so what should be covered in this seminar. Please send your reaction to our secretariat-at-earsc.org. Your valuable contribution is highly appreciated.

During 2009 we have informed you that EARSC will undertake an ESA study under the banner of eoVox2 with a view to carry key actions that were required in order to help foster the growth and development of the EO VA industry in Europe and Canada. Since this announcement EARSC directors have been quite active in getting the contract signed. I am pleased to announce that specific actions will start in 2010 to help our industry. More information on eoVox2 as well as on the status of the new secretary general will be prepared in dedicated website news.

In June 2009 EARSC had organized a very successful workshop on the oil and gas sector in Brussels. I am also very pleased to announce that EARSC is currently active involved in organizing a follow up workshop with the oil and gas industry and ESA for Autumn 2010. The main goal of this workshop is to bring the earth observation industry and the oil and gas industry together and identify business opportunities. More information on this workshop will soon be provided on our Website.

Finally, I like to inform our Members that our next Annual General Meeting is planned for 22 June 2010 in Brussels and we like to invite you to schedule this event in your agenda.
With my best wishes to you all and to our association!

With my best wishes to you all and to our association!

Han Wensink
EARSC Chairman

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Eomag!_Editorial, Issue 20_Winter 2009-2010.pdf

Beyond Sentinel Data Policy
The EO Data Policy envisaged by ESA proposes a free and unlimited access to Sentinel satellite data. This is expected to stimulate the value added services sector far beyond a successful implementation of operational GMES services.

However, it must not be forgotten that the Sentinels have been designed to ensure data continuity, filling gaps in existing international, national, and commercial missions. Consequently, the successful implementation of GMES services that correspond precisely to the user needs defined in the early stages of GMES, requires a non-discriminatory access to data from all these missions. Thus, a comprehensive GMES data policy needs to go beyond the Sentinels.

A European stakeholder process, involving commercial and public service and data providers, is now required to set up a comprehensive GMES data policy. It is now in the hands of the European Commission, the Council and the Parliament to initiate such an open consultation process to set a fundamental framework.

Access schemes for data and services need to be discussed, opportunities for future EO missions need to be defined. Various options are already successfully established in Europe and the Member States: public satellite missions, the combination of a publicly funded satellite with a commercial data exploitation, or the public procurement of EO data from established commercial data sources. Now is the time to transfer such opportunities into operational schemes via a comprehensive GMES Data Policy.

In a nutshell: data policy considerations must go beyond the Sentinel family. Only a comprehensive, free-of-charge access to EO satellite data leads to operational geo-information services that meet user requirements. A precise fulfilment of requirements and the availability make a GMES service a success. This is the key to high-quality geo-information becoming a “public good”. Based on this, a sustainable EO services business in Europe and a long-lasting global competitiveness can be built.

The European EO Data Policy is only one issue that we will be addressing in the next months. I expect that the continuation of the successful EARSC Seminars, maybe even the organisation of a dedicated GMES event, and the upcoming trade mission planning following the signature of eovox2, are other subjects that we will need to tackle throughout 2010.

Experience shows that, within the strong association of over 80 EO services companies that EARSC is today, we have a good chance of achieving even demanding targets. We will surely play our part in a constructive dialogue within and beyond the GMES framework. This will bring our sector forward for the benefit of all stakeholders involved: user organisations, political bodies, service providers, and – last but not least – the citizens of Europe.

Let me take this opportunity to thank you all for this very fruitful cooperation we are enjoying. I look forward to working within EARSC in the months and years to come.

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With warm regards,
Nikolaus Faller, EARSC Vice-Chairman

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A very warm welcome to the summer 2009 edition of EOMag!. EARSC has had a busy time in spring. We held our Annual General Meeting in Brussels on the 25th of June, which was well-attended with over 35 members present. The Chairman, Han Wensink, presented an overview of the association’s activities over the past year: some highlights are that EARSC now has its own office up and running in Brussels; we hope to soon have a secretary-general appointed; and strong engagement at senior levels with the European Space Agency and the European Commission continues, as you will read below

Seminar on Oil & Gas

Following the AGM, we held a well-received seminar on the oil and gas industry, also extending into related areas such as renewable energy, and how remote sensing can be used in this sector. The event included presentations on the oil and gas sector from Han Wensink; on energy security and European energy policies from Henryk Faas of the JRC energy security unit; on the Renewable Energy Directive from Lucie Tesnière of the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC); and on developing EO activities in the energy industry, from Stephen Coulson of ESA. EARSC has for many years helped its members expand their business with public sector bodies such as ESA and the EC, and with this event on oil & gas we marked an important additional focus on helping our members expand into new commercial sectors.

The seminar concluded with a round-table panel discussion, with several key points made. One important message was that EARSC should start building bridges with trade/industry associations in other commercial sectors, to help explore the use of EO in those sectors. Another important point which received strong support around the table was that the industry needs a set of recognised “best practices” that would help suppliers and services be more readily accepted in new market sectors. This is again something EARSC can contribute to, with ESA as an important partner.

Meeting with the GMES Bureau

After the oil & gas event, the EARSC board of directors met with the GMES Bureau to discuss specific messages and views from industry. Those of you who attended our GMES Governance workshop in Brussels on 11-May will recall the EARSC position paper on GMES that we published; this meeting gave us an opportunity to further explore the points raised by that paper and receive an update on steps the bureau has taken and will take to help address some of our industry’s concerns.

The meeting shows how EARSC is strengthening its links as the consulting counterpart of the GMES Bureau for the development and implementation of rules for operation and governance of GMES, for aspects which are of importance for the service industry.

We will report in a separate information letter to EARSC members on the full details of the meeting.

eoVox-2: Activities in support of the value-adding sector

As announced at the AGM, EARSC plans to step up its activities in helping its members expand EO services into more non-traditional areas and market sectors. EARSC has been in discussions with ESA over the last several months to gain ESA’s support for a number of new EARSC activities in this direction, and we are close to agreeing a set of activities. These will include:

• Producing position papers on various topics of relevance to our industry, engaging experts from different market sectors to tell us what the geo-information needs are in that sector, and what we need to do in order to better promote our capabilities and services towards those sectors.
• Related to the above, producing promotional materials publicising EO services and the capabilities of European EO service providers, targeted at and customised for specific new market sectors.
• Producing a trade directory for our industry – to provide details of companies active in EO value-adding services across Europe, with details on the services each company is able to provide, organised by thematic domain, geographical coverage, and location so as to be easily searchable by potential customers.
• Organising trade missions open to all EARSC members to participate in. These will provide a significant opportunity for EARSC members to present their capabilities to new customers, and also to network and establish contact with key individuals and stakeholders in those sectors. One of these trade missions is likely to be to the World Bank in Washington, with a second still to be decided.

In support of these activities, we warmly encourage all EARSC members to come up with fresh ideas and input for EARSC to take forward. The EARSC secretariat will keep you informed of ways to get engaged in the process. Your active participation will add value to the association and bring greater benefit to all of our members and the industry as a whole.

In the meantime we wish you a very pleasant summer holiday!

With warm regards,
Chetan Pradhan, EARSC Director
Franz Jaskolla, EARSC WG on External Relations

Editorial Summer 2009.pdf

“… eoVox2 initiative is expected to be another breakthrough to improve even further the representation of European Earth Observation Industry in a variety of contexts. In the very near future EARSC will update you on the specific actions it is taking to coordinate the eoVox2 efforts. As we move forward with these plans, we will do in a dialog form, and united by a commitment to working in partnership with industry and stakeholders…”

Dear EOMag readers,

As new interim chairman of EARSC I like to welcome you to the Spring 2009 edition of our earth observation magazine EOmag. In this edition we like to give you insight into the activities of our Association and our members.

As all of you are aware the former chairman of our Association Paul Kamoun has executed this job for many years and with great success. Due to his commitment EARSC is being identified and positioned as “the” European Association of the Earth Observation community in Europe and Canada. I therefore like to thank Paul personally for all the time and efforts spend to make our Association so sucessful.

Although many business sectors are hit by the global recession the same recession is offering opportunities for growth and development of innovative sectors like our sector. For 2009, EARSC will organise a workshop in Brussels to link our sector to the oil and gas as well as to the renewable energy sector. We hope that this workshop will lead to a better understanding by our members of the energy market and that business opportinities will be identified in this challenging and growing market. We will inform you on this activity very soon.

In 2006, ESA undertook a study with EARSC under the banner of eoVox with a view to identifying key actions that were required in order to help foster the growth and development of the EO VA industry in Europe and Canada. Since that activity a boiling synergy has induced an EARSC evolution and restructuring of our industry and of its representation, therefore eoVox2 initiative is expected to be another breakthrough to improve even further the representation of European Earth Observation Industry in a variety of contexts. In the very near future EARSC will update you on the specific actions it is taking to coordinate the eoVox2 efforts. As we move forward with these plans, we will do in a dialog form, and united by a commitment to working in partnership with industry and stakeholders. More information on eoVox will be prepared in a dedicated website.

GMES governance discusions are nowadays on the table of several institutions. The joint EU-ESA innitiative needs to evolve into full operational maturity. This requires a sustainable programme including long-term funding commitment; a suitable governance structure and a specific legislative and regulatory framework. The next milestone to rally stakeholders will be the GMES governance event schedule for May 11 in Brussels. The workshop will be an opportunity for all interested parties to expose possible governance models and to make a first evaluation of their impact on the industry.We thus look forward to welcoming you in Brussels next May simultaneously celebrating our 20-year anniversary.

In the mean time, on behalf of all the EARSC Directors, let me wish you a fruitful spring, looking forward to meet all our members at the Annual General Meeting on June 25th, 2009, in Brussels.

With my best wishes to you all and to our association!

Han Wensink
EARSC interim Chairman

We will celebrate this year the twentieth anniversary of our Association. Twenty years ago, in 1989, remote sensing was already somewhat mature in terms of technologies and there were strong hopes for a rapid market development. This led several companies with the support of European institutions to create EARSC.

We all know quite well that it took many more years for the market itself to mature pushing many to forget some of their illusions on the way. However realizing that maturity and market expansion could only happen little by little in this complex domain EARSC has been sticking to its goal of helping develop the European remote sensing industry, reaching close to one hundred members, and being a recognized association worldwide with in particular solid links with its American counterparts. All the major European industrial actors of remote sensing are EARSC members and are involved in numerous ways to foster the development of the domain together with European institutions. Lately the EARSC strategy has evolved one step further to account for the geospatial information revolution of the 21st century.

These evolutions have been accompanied in the last five years by a stepping up of our capabilities, in particular hiring an Executive Secretary in September 2004, opening an office in Brussels in October 2008 and hiring a Secretary General in January 2009. In the same period thanks to the dedication of our Executive Secretary we have in particular started this regular Earth Observation magazine (EOMag), we have setup yearly symposia gathering EARSC members as well as non-members from the Earth Observation community at large, have set up specific working groups to increase our influence and benefits for our members, and held numerous meetings with European institutions representatives. Our EOVOX project, realized thanks to ESA support has been seminal for our present and future evolution and will soon lead to one of our dearest achievements which the set up of a Directory of European Industrial capabilities in this field.

All of this has been possible only thanks to the continuous and increasing support of our members and of European institutions, motivating us even further to do ever more to improve the market presence of European industry. We thus look forward to welcoming you all at our 20-year anniversary celebration which will take place in Brussels next May simultaneously with our 2009 event dedicated to GMES governance.

A final note: due to my recent assignments in another European Association I am handing the EARSC chairmanship over to Han Wensink from ARGOSS this January 2009. It is a great pleasure and a great satisfaction for us to see the CEO of a “small” company leading our association. Han will first act as interim Chairman until the next election in June 2009. It has been an exciting period for me to work with all of you and to share with you so many interesting developments during the past few years and I would like to thank all of you for these opportunities.

With my best wishes to you all and to our association!

In the mean time we encourage you to go on reading our magazine, visiting our web site and…now our new office in Brussels

With best regards,



Paul Kamoun
EARSC Chairman

Since the closing of the summer period our Earth Observation and Geo-information community has gained some strong additional momentum. The GMES conference in Lille organized under the French Presidency of the European Union has not only been a success in terms of organization and networking with about 860 participants, but also it has demonstrated the maturity of several applications and the support of all the important European institutions for GMES-KOPERNIKUS.

The new name KOPERNIKUS for GMES is also a symbol which allows to rally even further those who recognize themselves in the concern for our Planet and its global environment.

For our Association too, this period is unique: for the first time since its creation almost twenty years ago, we have opened a permanent office in Brussels as of October 1st, 2008. This office will be a key rallying point for our members, will be the new regular meeting place of our Board in Brussels and will be hosting our new Secretary General. It is also a move forward to strengthen the development of Geo-information services. This opening of this new office in Brussels is in line with European Industry’s ambition to closely work with the governing bodies of KOPERNIKUS and in particular to be associated closely with the work of the Bureau in charge of it. It will help strengthen the excellent relation developed in particular with DG Enterprise and the GMES Bureau during the past couple of years.

New EARSC Office: Strengthening EARSC’s support to the geo-information services industry

On the European Space Agency side, EARSC looks with high interest towards the preparation of the coming Ministerial conference in the Hague on November 25 and 26. Indeed the ESA Executive is proposing to the European delegations to fund Segment 2 of GMES, including the funding for the second models of the Sentinels 1, 2 and 3, which represent major elements of the future European involvement in operational Earth Observation and thus a major issue for EARSC. In the same time the strong interest shown by the European EO community, and in particular EUMETSAT, for the operational oceanography program Jason is another demonstration of the willingness of Europe to continue to play a strong role in operational Earth Observation and to be able to contribute to the international negotiations on climate change issues.

Our Spring 2009 Event will be dedicated to Operational Earth Observation and the associated Geo-information Business and we look forward to meet you there. In the mean time we encourage you to go on reading our magazine, visiting our web site and…now our new office in Brussels.

With best regards,



Paul Kamoun
EARSC Chairman

Summer 2008 is a period of intense discussion around GMES. Indeed, it is the time for all European delegations to polish their contributions to the November 2008 Ministerial Space conference and especially for the so-called Segment 2 of GMES. The Segment 2 of GMES is particularly important because on the one hand it will start the financing of the recurring models of the first sentinels satellites, the first step in making GMES a truly operational programme, and second because it will introduce concretely in it the Sentinel 4 and 5 elements and the topic of atmospheric chemistry.

Of course GMES is now more acknowledged and supported across Europe and beyond, in the America and Africa for instance, and by a wide range of entities from governments to users, going through industry, regions, local authorities and more. However it is a large program with specific needs in terms of governance, budgets, technological developments and partnerships which make it a very complex European flagship to drive. Moreover Europe barely comes out of solving the Galileo crisis, Galileo being a flagship essential for Europe which had to go through the difficult learning period of how to get the European Union, ESA and industry to work together on a very complex space programme. While the lessons learned must and will benefit GMES, it must be understood that GMES is fundamentally and in most aspects a very different programme, in terms of missions, thematics, technologies, users, organization and actors in general, even if we can find some common features and synergies with Galileo. GMES is definitely not an easier programme and it requires its own specific approach. Our remote sensing community as well as the overall geo-information industry have the experience and know-how to support the European Union and ESA to make this initiative a success. Through involvement in various advisory committees to provide for instance inputs on governance, programmatics and of course present and future European technical capabilities, the European industry could be considered and involved as partners by the decision makers to make GMES a wide ranging success.

In the next GMES conference which will be organized by the French Presidency of the European Union in September 2008 a new impulse will be given to GMES both with the demonstration of new operational services and with the giving of a new name for GMES: let’s hope that these will bring fresh additional momentum to help ensure the firm commitment to this initiative by the European member states and its wider acceptance and development.

In the mean time, on behalf of the EARSC Directors, let me wish you a good summer,

With best regards,

While the environmental consciousness is increasing in the public and in political circles, the remote sensing techniques and systems are considered more and more as essential tools to help manage our planet. With the start by the European institutions and Industry of the Sentinels satellite programs, in 2007 for Sentinel-1 and in April 2008 for Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3, Europe is setting the cornerstone of its future operational Earth Observation program of Global Monitoring of Environment and Security, in the footsteps of the successful European Meteorological operational program.

This system component is being developed hand in hand with the service segment constituted by Core and Downstream services, according to the terms agreed upon at European level. While the place of industry in the development of the Space segment is clear, its role in the development and implementation of GMES services at large is not. It is to attempt an assessment of the European industry achievements and of the way to create new opportunities for industry in GMES Services that the 2008 EARSC Workshop
convened in Brussels on March 19, 2008 with the support of the EU and of ESA.

Thanks to the large, diverse and knowledgeable attendance a thorough survey of risks and opportunities for the development of the service industry has been conducted leading to a set of recommendations relayed to the EU to help in the preparation of their future call for proposals. Such recommendations relate to the four key areas which are Data Policy, Governance, Budget and Operations. Last but not least the need to foster regular exchanges and information days has been highlighted. Within the framework of the excellent collaboration between EARSC and European institutions in the organisation and running of this event, the dialogue is continuing to analyze the workshop results and to attempt to draft a roadmap for the implementation of its recommendations.

The next milestone to rally stakeholders will be the GMES Conference in September 2008 organized under the French presidency of the EU in Lille. This event targeted mainly at users will be the occasion for the official launch of the GMES Pre-Operational services (emphasis to be put on end-to-end demonstrations), the development of a new approach to climatic change and the presentation of a GMES governance and funding scheme. Presentation of industrial capabilities will be possible in the exhibit and EARSC is naturally considering a presence there.

In the mean time, on behalf of the EARSC Directors, let me wish you a fruitful spring, looking forward to meet all our members at the Annual General Meeting on June 25th, 2008, in Brussels.

With best regards,



Paul Kamoun
EARSC Chairman

…one of the highlights of the coming year is the next Annual EARSC event which will take place in the Spring 2008 and focusing on the key question “Is GMES an Opportunity for the Service Industry?”_…

The GMES Africa conference in Lisbon has been the highlight of the end of 2007. Indeed this event was not only remarkably organized by the Portuguese presidency of the European Union and all those who contributed to its set up, but also it was also remarkable in its content. Based on the very interesting presentations and round tables where high level African and European executives were involved, it appeared clearly that GMES can do considerable good for a developing continent such as Africa and in return the involvement of Africa in the GMES process can add momentum and experience for the fertilisation of the GMES process elsewhere in the world and in Europe itself. Meteorology, Climatology, Water and other environmental issues in general have been of course at the forefront of discussions and prospects. But it is important to note that beyond the development of applications there lies the development of the economically important service sector. This is true for Europe and this will be true for Africa. The mutation from applications to services and the consideration of an industrial segment in Africa have been evoked. EARSC has in particular extended an invitation for African entities (institutions, industries) to link with our association and has proposed to create closer ties with the African SME sector to help foster its development.

As far as Europe is concerned several initiatives have been taken during the past few years by the EU, ESA and at national level to develop new space applications and ideally new operational services. In this context it is important to note that ESA is organizing in Brussels on January 15th 2008 the Integrated Applications Program day. This new initiative is a good opportunity to create synergies between our Earth Observation developments and developments in other sectors such as Navigation and Telecommunications. Our members should carefully contemplate these new opportunities since the service sector is the economic sector offering the highest prospects for growth.

Finally, one of the highlights of the coming year is the next Annual EARSC event which will take place in the Spring 2008 and focusing on the key question “Is GMES an Opportunity for the Service Industry?”. You are all invited to take note of this opportunity and to contact our Executive Secretary at your earliest convenience to explore participation options.
In the mean time, on behalf of the EARSC Directors, let me wish all of you a very happy and healthy year.


Paul Kamoun
EARSC Chairman

Dear EO-Mag reader,

Our last Annual General Meeting in early July has been marked by an important step forward for our Association through the positive vote on the Evolution Plan presented by the Board of Directors. The road is now opened for an extensive upgrading of our logistics and working practices to respond to the expectations of our increased member population. Within this broad approach a special effort is made to take care of the characteristics and needs of our Small and Medium size companies (SMEs).

The new elected Board will take to heart to carry out these transformations hand in hand with all members willing to take an active part in this evolution. I would like in passing to express again our congratulations to our two new Vice-Chairmen, Nick Faller from INFOTERRA and Han Wensink from ARGOSS, and to express our deepest appreciation to Stigbjorn Olovsson who served for several years officially as Vice-Chairman but more to me as Co-Chairman. For once I would like indeed to take this opportunity to stress the role of our Board of Directors. It is essential indeed that our members know about the dedication and competence of all those who are defending their interests through so many internal Board and Working Group meetings, as well as in external meetings with the EU, ESA, and remote sensing events of all kinds to name just a few. While several member companies have recently joined the various Working Groups showing their understanding of the key issues, the door is still wide open for new initiatives from the members.

One of the highlights of the coming year, where members participation both in organization and in presentations would be expected, is the next Annual EARSC event which will take place in the Spring 2008 and focusing on the key question “Is GMES an Opportunity for the Service Industry?”. You are all invited to take note of this opportunity to express your views and present your know-how to potential users and customers, and to contact our Executive Secretary at your earliest convenience to explore participation options.

In the mean time several important meetings are scheduled with the European Union and the European Space Agency, in particular the final review of the EOVOX process, that many of you had a chance to follow closely during the past couple of years and which converged towards the Evolution plan mentioned earlier.

With best wishes to all our readers.

Paul Kamoun
EARSC Chairman