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2019 ended very successfully for PARSEC, with two-weeks-long extension of the first Open Call, and 348 applications from 38 countries! If you have already applied, you would like to join or you are still considering how to benefit from PARSEC ecosystem, stay tuned for what is happening in 2020.

After the closing of the application period, more than three hundred applicants are currently taking part in peer-2-peer evaluation. On the 10th of February the evaluation will close, points will be counted, and 100 beneficiaries will be selected.

The selected beneficiaries will meet with PARSEC consortium on the 27th of March in Stuttgart, Germany, to start working on their ideas and on creation of cross-border and/or cross-sectoral consortia. During the three-day-long Bootcamp, beneficiaries will take part in workshops, lectures, coaching sessions, and most importantly, in matchmaking event.

Beneficiaries of Open Call 1 will be looking for partners to form cross-border and/or cross-sectoral consortia throughout the spring. Apart from Bootcamp, accessible only for beneficiaries, five matchmaking events will be organized. To facilitate the access to the events, two of them will be hosted online, while three others will be organized in different regions of Europe. Matchmaking events will invite SMEs, entrepreneurs, innovators, and researchers to cooperate in creating of new Earth Observation-based product or service. Events will be open for representatives from Food, Energy, Environment and Earth Observation sectors, interested in joining the consortia.

The consortia will present their ideas and compete for further funding during two-day-long Demo Day, which will take place on the 3rd and 4th of July in Brussels, Belgium. Interested investors will have a chance to meet innovative teams and to discuss their further development.

To learn more about what PARSEC is up to in 2020 follow us on social media and check our website to learn more about upcoming events (more details soon!). To make sure you don’t miss any date, sign up for PARSEC email updates (subscription available through the website).

e-shape fostering and bridging the European Earth Observation ecosystem

EARSC is one of the leading partners of the 54 members consortium of e-shape (EuroGEO Showcases: Applications Powered by Europe), a 48-month project, lead by ARMINES, and constituted by a pan-European team of academic, industrial, institutional and user communities. Driven by the need to develop operational EO services with and for the users, e-shape is federating communities to increase the knowledge and the awareness on European EO capabilities and new approaches.

e-shape currently includes 27 cloud-based pilot applications under 7 thematic areas to address societal challenges, foster entrepreneurship and support sustainable development, in alignment to the three main priorities of GEO, namely the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement and Sendai Framework.

e-shape allows Europe to position itself as a global force in Earth observation through leveraging Copernicus, opening new opportunities and expand its use, through the existing European capacities, as well as developing research to business activities.

One of the objectives of EARSC is to invest and promote the users’ uptake of pilots at national and international scale, across vertical markets (private and public) and among key users’ communities; as well as support their sustainability.

e-shape boosts a rich portfolio of innovative key pilots participating in the project.

The seven showcases are:

The food Security and Sustainable Agriculture showcase: largely contribute to SDG 2, it consists of four pilots, which all display Copernicus data sets combined with the necessary in-situ data, weather and soil data that can deliver improved information at global, national and local scale, exploiting the processing infrastructures offered by Copernicus DIAS.

The health Surveillance showcase: will contribute to SDG 3. The three pilots are dedicated to surveillance of pollutants in the environment and their impact on public health through in-situ and space-based environmental observations. They can improve the policy making process and support the assessment of the effectiveness of measures undertaken by nations to achieve the goals of international conventions such as the Minamata convention.

The Renewable Energy showcase:  through its 3 pilots, will engage collaborations between research centres, data providers and end users both in the private and public energy sector. It focuses on SDG 7 and will provide from different European EO sources, innovative and technology mature products and services for renewable energy development and management.

The myEcosystem showcase: will serve focal user groups such as research, environmental assessment, reporting and management by offering seamless access to consistently scaled environmental information on ecosystems from various sources. It will serve SDG 11, 14 and 15. It is formed by three highly complementary pilots, developed to maximize services to user groups both in their specific topical areas, but specifically through integrating and jointly using information from remote sensing (mySPACE), in-situ observation (mySITE) and high-level indicators verification and testing with an exemplary focus on biodiversity (myVARIABLE).

The Water resources management showcase: reflects its multidisciplinary by presenting five pilot activities that focus on its different elements, going from inland waters to coastal areas and the ocean, providing a link to most of the European Directives and Policies and the SDG 6, 7, 13 and 14. These pilot activities will be coordinated by leading institutions and companies of their respective areas, based on work developed in the scope of previous projects and bringing onboard a significant user base to co-design, test and validate the provided services. The pilots will be integrated in NextGEOSS.

The Disasters Resilience showcase: deals with a portfolio of services focusing on natural and human induced disasters (geo-hazards, extreme weather, fires, floods, etc.) aiming at protecting citizens, economies and ecosystems. It is in line with the priorities and the goals set by the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction and SDG2 and SDG11. The focus of the showcase, of which the pilots are formed, is to build an effective strategy for successful innovative products leading towards commercialization of EO services that is being composed of the active participation/involvement of both private and public sector (co-designers).

The Climate showcase: is contributing to SDG 13 and to the Paris Agreement. Through its pilots, it will exhibit services to public, private and academia users having a variety of cases from local city scale to global focus. The factor uniting most of these efforts will be seasonal forecast information from the Copernicus Climate Change Services C3S.

Acknowledgment.
The e-shape project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement 820852

Discover more about each pilot here: https://e-shape.eu/index.php/showcases

For more information, you can follow e-shape and EARSC to stay up to date.

Difficulty in scaling up. Can’t reach the researchers that want to use my EO services. Public procurement for research data services is really bureaucratic.

Any Earth Observation company executive may have said this at one point or another.

Niche markets can be challenging to navigate. It’s clear that the market for digital Earth Observation solutions is still developing. What your organisation needs is a little boost. This is exactly what the OCRE, the Open Clouds for Research Environments project, provides. 

Opportunities in the EOSC

The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) is expected to become the European digital marketplace and virtual environment for 1.7 million researchers and 70 million professional users of research data. It will allow researchers and science and technology professionals to access to a variety of data services and solutions, many of them free, at least from the users side. 

€400 million have already been poured by the European Commission to make it into a reality since 2017, and an alpha-stage prototype of what it could look like exists, as seen in the EOSC Portal (www.eosc-portal.eu). By 2021, a more operational EOSC is expected to be launched. 

Multiple projects have been funded to make the EOSC a reality. One of these projects is OCRE. In this current early stage of the EOSC’s development, OCRE provides a clear route for commercial service providers of cloud and digital Earth Observation solutions to be involved with the EOSC early on.

How to get involved

As of September, OCRE has been gathering the requirements of researchers and is pooling and grouping demand from various universities and research institutions into buyer groups. To-date. institutions from up to 39 countries have already expressed interest to be part of the tender. This represents a clear demand for commercial services. 

Aside from the commitment to procure in OCRE’s tenders, the European Commission has allotted more than €3.2 million in adoption funding to OCRE which will be used by these buyer groups and institutions specifically for Earth Observation services.

OCRE’s Earth Observation Tender is expected to be published within 2019. Once it’s published and the commercial Earth Observation services have been selected, consumption will begin starting next year, 2020.

OCRE will support the succeeding Earth Observation service providers to onboard their services into the European Open Science Cloud. This will be achieved through the active collaboration between OCRE and EOSC-hub, another EOSC initiative tasked with onboarding services for the EOSC. 

The tender is expected to select more than one succeeding supplier. This provides better chances for suppliers that will respond to the tender.

Next Steps

A Prior Information Notice will be provided by OCRE to interested Earth Observation suppliers allowing feedback to be provided to the OCRE Earth Observation Tender. Feedback will be accepted for a limited time only. Following this, the OCRE Earth Observation Tender will be published.

All interested suppliers are invited to join the OCRE Community Network as Earth Observation companies to be informed of the latest important tender developments: ocre-project.eu/join.

EO4GEO is an Erasmus+ Sectoral Skills Alliance aiming to bridge the skills gap between supply and demand of education and training in the EO/GI sector. Started in January 2018, the project will run for 4 years: almost at half of its duration, it is showing significant step forwards in the development of its results, which will be of interest for education within the space/geospatial community.

One of the project outcomes is the realisation of a Body of Knowledge for the space/geospatial domain. Thanks to a network of experts, the BoK will contain the definition of more than 1000 concepts of the sector. Up to now, the concepts have been identified: the experts are now starting to elaborate on them. More information on the development of the BoK are described in this article.

EO4GEO is also designing a series of curricula cleverly linked to the occupational profiles of the sector, with particular attention to the tasks and duties needed by the workforce. The clear identification of the skills needed will permit future workers to approach the labour market adequately prepared. How the occupational profiles are being identified is explained here.

EO4GEO’s curricula will also be based on the studies on the business processes in the EO/GI field. This innovative approach gives strong consideration of market requirements: the idea behind is that business processes show tasks that the workforce deal with during their work. Studying them will enable to understand which skills are needed. The design of curricula will also be the focus of the next EO4GEO workshop, scheduled in Warsaw on the 27th of November.

Follow EO4GEO on the website and on Twitter to be updated on the outcomes, activities, news and events of the project.

We are very pleased to inform our community about the release of the Space / Geospatial Sector Skills Strategy

The needs of the sector are constantly evolving, and we believe that helping the industry to find workers with the right skills and ensuring that they acquire the skills they need to find productive employment is key to the sector economic innovation, growth and competitiveness, therefore EO4GEO aims to define a long-term and sustainable strategy to fill the gap between supply of and demand for the EO/GI education and training.

This document presents the strategic views under the Space/Geospatial Sector Skills Strategy. It proposes a concrete vision, mission and goals that will be used in the definition of a long-term action plan (LTAP) to address short- and medium-term skills needs in the areas of skills, knowledge and competences. Specific actions to be taken by a diverse group of stakeholders are described, in order to establish an ongoing dialogue between the EO4GEO partnership, external stakeholders and entities within the EU directories (specially the European Commission DG on Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (DG-EMPL) and DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG-GROW)) and Member States through their Ministers of Education.

In this report, a first version of the strategy is outlined, aiming to reduce the gap and eliminate the mismatch between the supply of and the demand for education/training in the Earth Observation (EO) and Geographic Information (GI) sector taking into account wider technological, societal and policy developments. The LTAP which will be created based on the Sector Skills Strategy recommendations outlined within, and discussions stemming from, will then be updated as appropriate to take account of lessons learnt throughout the EO4GEO project, open discussions with stakeholders and also future technological, societal and policy developments.

The VISION of the Sector Skills Strategy is to foster the growth of the European EO/GI sector ensuring a workforce with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time.

The MISSION of the Sector Skills Strategy is to ensure the strategic cooperation among stakeholders on skills development in the EO/GI sector (Sector Skills Alliance). This cooperation will support growth, diversity, and flexibility of the sector by providing harmonized and improved educational offers at a range of different learning levels including VET and academic training and the development of new occupational profiles for the EO/GI sector.

By adopting a forward-looking perspective, the following GOALS have been identified for the successful implementation of the Sector Skills Strategy. These goals might not be fully reached during the EO4GEO project but are recommended to be followed up as part of the LTAP:

  • A strategic collaboration between the skills alliance, private sector, government and “end user” sectors is established.
  • A political commitment at EU level (DG-GROW and DG-EMPL) to stimulate innovative skills development policies is ensured.
  • A coordinated effort to improve competitiveness and to penetrate other sectors through market intelligence across stakeholders is created.
  • The EO/GI awareness of and engagement with “end user” sectors is improved leading to increased uptake of Copernicus data and information services.
  • Harmonised curricula and training offers (including workforce mobility) at pan-European but also international levels are improved and developed.
  • A standard for describing key qualifications is promoted.
  • The use of EO/GI services as an inspiring and innovative context for learning across all age groups and value chains is encouraged and supported.
  • Skills needs are mapped to better define teaching supply, with a focus on flexible learning pathways.

If you have interest on the Space-Geospatial_Sector_Skills_Strategy, please contact EARSC. This strategy is now opening a dialogue with stakeholders as well as to stimulate discussion on priorities and concrete measures, in order to facilitate the implementation of future upskilling strategies.

More information on EO4GEO "Towards an innovative strategy for skills development and capacity building in the space geo-information sector supporting Copernicus User Uptake” could be found at http://www.eo4geo.eu

eoMALL beta release is now live

eoMALL beta release is now live (https://eomall.eu) to help EO and non EO users understand how online services are used and to access them, to help companies improve their understanding of the online market customer’s needs and get leads. Discover the spirit of the future eoMALL, its landing page, its navigation, … your feedback is more than welcome. Currently as a beta version, discover the first services promoted and companies involved in the platform. Other companies and services are already planned. Want to promote your services? Contact us!

EARSC EO product award for 2019 will recognise a product which will support overall sustainable development projects or the implementation of the SDGs at national, regional and/or local levels, and the monitoring and reporting against the global indicator framework.

In 2015, countries adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These include a broad range of sustainable development issues; ending poverty and hunger, improving health and education, making cities more sustainable, combating climate change, and protecting oceans and forests.

The SDGs are being launched with an emphasis on collecting data that will be extensive and specific enough to serve these needs. They are designed to balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental. European EO industry can help achieve the SDGs by providing critical information on natural resources, government operations, public services, and population demographics.

EARSC EO product award will recognise a product which will support overall sustainable development projects or the implementation of the SDGs at national, regional and/or local levels, and the monitoring and reporting against the global indicator framework.

The competition will run until April 2019 during which time candidate companies may adapt an existing product, develop a new product or simply promote one they have already in their catalogue. Companies will be asked to provide a short summary of the results (report should not exceed 2 pages) which will be used as statement for the jury.

This year’s award will be announced during the EARSC annual cocktail where the winner of the EARSC “European Earth Observation company of the year” is also revealed.

This is your opportunity to follow in the steps of previous award winners and benefit from the prestige of winning an EARSC award!

Criteria: eligibility requirements & metrics

o Any commercial product which will support the monitoring and reporting against SDGs
o Report on the findings (recommendation 2 pages):
-Explain what type of product the company offers
-Describe the challenge: What problem this product will solve/what solution will this provide? How will this product contribute to the monitoring of a particular SDG?
-Explanation of the circumstances surrounding the development of this product and the identification of the SDG which will support or the monitoring and reporting against the global indicator framework.
-Expected impact to address

Timing
Expression of Interest: by 15th March 2019
Dead-line entries & guidance: April 30th 2019
Selection: the files will be judged by the jury to select the overall product winner (May 2019)
Announcement: EARSC cocktail & AGM 2019 in Brussels

Download Template form European Product Award 2019

More info at info_at_earsc.org

EARSC, is conducting its industry survey to map the state and health of the companies providing EO services in Europe for the fourth time. Make your voice heard, answer the survey now!

Answer the survey

Previous reports can be found at the following link. Now in 2018/2019 we shall update the survey with the following objectives:
- Characterise the business of the EO services industries in Europe
- Understand the way in which the industry sector is evolving
- Identify the key issues that the industry is facing today and over the next few years
- Assess the impact of Copernicus on the sector.

The series of reports are very strongly appreciated by European stakeholders (European Commission, European Parliament, ESA) as well as national representatives and they represent an extremely important tool for projecting the sector and to influence policy decisions (for example concerning the next phase of Copernicus). Please take the time to complete this core survey and if possible to talk with us afterwards to complete the full survey which has more subjective questions. The opinions and trends collected are widely used and the more companies which respond the more solid are the results.

GUIDELINES

Once past the first page you can go right through the survey and/or you can return to complete the survey on several visits. If you wish to get an overview of the entire survey you can download it in pdf.

Use of the data: The data you provide using this survey will strictly be seen only by the project team. The data you provide here will NOT be presented to other parties or made public – only cumulative or statistical formats (totals, averages, variances, etc) of the data provided by all of the respondents will be provided, to ensure that no confidential data is revealed.

All data collected will be held under password protected and secured control and every effort will be taken to ensure that it is secure.

Scope of the survey: we are seeking inputs from companies for whom satellite­-derived EO data is part of their business. These may be satellite operators, EO service providers, Geospatial information providers or internal service departments inside companies engaged in an entirely different business e.g. oil&gas, insurance, construction etc.

Data should be for the last full financial year ie 2018 whenever it is possible. If this means completing the survey early in 2019, then we would prefer to wait and have accurate data. However, if the end of the financial year is different ie 30th June 2018 then fill in this data as for 2018. If precise data for 2018 will not be available before end of March 2019 (when we close the survey), we would prefer to have a reasonable approximation than nothing. We open the survey now to provide you with enough time to give us accurate information. We will leave it open until March, but we would appreciate your response as early as possible, consistent with the availability of good data.

POINTS OF CONTACT

Please feel free to contact EARSC at any time if you have any questions; Irene Doda EARSC Junior Policy Officer (irene.doda@earsc.org) or Mónica Miguel­ Lago, EARSC Executive Secretary (secretariat@earsc.org)

Thank you for completing this EARSC industry survey!

Answer the survey

the GEO-CRADLE project officially closed in November 2018, but the GEO-CRADLE network, which was established in the region of NAMEBA during the lifetime of the project, will not be closed. Our team, including myself and my colleagues, with the support of the Regional Coordinators, will continue to increase this network and our services in this Region!

More specific, GEO-CRADLE became a GEO Regional Initiative with the approval of the 2018 Work Programme Progress Report in Kyoto during the GEO WEEK 2018! This Initiative is a continuation and extension of the work of the GEO CRADLE Community Activity, which provided EO capacity building in the North Africa, Middle East, and Balkans (NAMEBA) region, now with potential to expand to the Black Sea. Also, on top of food security, energy, raw materials and climate change the Initiative will explore the incorporation of additional thematic areas such as disaster
management and water resources management, in accordance to GEO priorities.The Initiative will capitalise, sustain and scale up the results mainly achieved during the implementation of the 3-year H2020
GEO-CRADLE project.

In addition to that, our activities will be continued towards the development of Copernicus and Eurogeoss Initiative in the regions through the involvment of our team in the EUROGEOSS Showcases project.
The project will implement a coordinated and comprehensive EO data exploitation initiative through collaboration amongst the European GEO Members and Participating Organizations, in order to accelerate the users’ uptake of open EO data and information for the benefit of Europe. The general objectives are to set-up and promote a sustainable organization dedicated to users’ uptake of European EO resources, building on Copernicus and GEOSS through the development of co-design pilots (i.e. application-oriented products, services or solutions) built on a user-centric approach and delivering economic, social and policy value to European citizens.

Moreover, the GEO-CRADLE’s Liaison Office (Greek GEO Office), facilitated the procedure towards establishing in Albania a National GEO Office.

Finally, I would like to thank all the partners for their contribution in the implementation of the Project because without them it would not have been possible to make GEO-CRADE a successful Coordination and
Support Action project!

Read our news at:
http://geocradle.eu/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/GEO-CRADLE-Newsletter-Issue-9-January.html