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The second EO4GEO workshop and progress meeting took place in Patras, Greece from December 4th until 6th. EO4GEO is an Erasmus+ Sector Skills Alliance gathering 26 partners from 12 countries from academia, private and public sector active in the education/training and space/geospatial sectors. EO4GEO aims to help bridging the skills gap between supply and demand of education and training in the space/geospatial sector by reinforcing the existing ecosystem and fostering the uptake and integration of space/geospatial data and services in end-user applications.

The workshop was part of the current preparation of the Space/Geospatial Sector Skills Strategy. More specifically, it was meant to assess skills shortages, gaps and mismatches between the GI and EO education and training offered by academic institutions and VET providers on the one hand, and the knowledge, skills and competencies required by the market on the other hand. Results and findings from the EO4GEO surveys on the demand for and supply of EO/GI education and training in Europe were further analyzed and discussed, while also new trends, challenges and opportunities were taken into account. Some first results and insights on skills gaps and mismatches were discussed, and additionally a group of experts on skills assessments and strategies (in the GI and EO sector as well as in other sectors) were invited to discuss the future possible paths concerning the evolution of the skills and competences. In other words, an overview of the work done so far was provided, but at the same time there was room for an extensive interactive discussion by making use of breakout sessions and panel discussions.

The first intermediate results show that there is strong need for a common language for talking about EO/GI skills and occupations and point to the relevance of developing a Body of Knowledge (BoK). Existing occupational profiles related to EO/GI should be updated and new profiles should be defined, and the terminology on relevant skills should be clarified. Throughout the surveys and additional analysis and activities, it was found that there is often a confusion between skills, knowledge and competences, which are often intermixed and not used in a consistent way. An important question during the break-out session was related to the strategic actions that should be included in the development of the future space/geospatial sector skill strategy. In addition, future skills, and (potential) shortages and mismatches were discussed. Some interesting thoughts which require a more in-depth look in the next few months (related to both the Sector Skills Strategy and the skills, shortages and mismatch analysis) are for example fostering the use of GIS in secondary school and stimulate (geo)spatial skills. Although this is not the focus of EO4GEO, among some participants there was a consensus that this could prevent certain shortages (mainly related to soft skills and basic spatial skills). Related to future skills and competences, a main point of discussion was related to the separation between up- and downstream which is becoming more blurred. In addition, also the need for a more extensive trend watch was stressed. Furthermore, it was discussed that working in project teams will become the norm and that there is an ongoing trend away from professions, towards what can be called “skill-based positions”. Related to actions to bridge gaps, it was mentioned several times that soft skills needs to be incorporated in the BoK. Bringing stakeholders (also beyond the EO/GI sector) together to develop or give input for the BoK was another aspect mentioned. These and many other thoughts and results of the workshop will not only provide further input for the assessment of skills shortages, gaps and mismatches between supply and (future) demand, but also provide input for both the GI and EO Sector Skills Strategy, which will be finalized during the first months of 2019.

@Workshop organized by U. Patras and KU Leuven
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Can more rigorous Quality Assurance (QA) and uncertainty evaluation of the EO end-to-end supply chain play a role in increasing the uptake and overall value/benefit of EO based products and services? And could this be further enhanced by the creation of some form of ‘certification’. This workshop should explore existing insufficiencies, roles and responsibilities of various actors along the chain, opportunities for improvement and a road map for implementation.

Register to the workshop here: https://goo.gl/forms/A4m2TU9MX5RlLdup2

Context and Background:
The EO services sector is changing very rapidly. New data sources, cloud storage and processing, artificial intelligence, blockchain technologies are all dramatically altering the businesses working in the sector. New entrants are challenging the established players and many new services and business models are emerging. There is a clear trend to on-line services which was confirmed by the EARSC “MAEOS” survey of stakeholders and during a recent workshop held by EARSC.

The digital societal trend is to throw new products and services out there and promote them for users to pick up and exploit. Whilst this works for consumers who prefer to pay less but with uncertain quality, it is less clear that it will work in the business-to-business or business to government markets where quality has a higher value and may in the former case, if left unchecked, ultimately lead to damage for the market as a whole.

In this context, we need to consider if a QA system facilitating more rigorous assessment and more comprehensive/consistent reporting of quality metrics at all stages of the data/information production process is in practise an enabler of market growth? Not only does it remove the need for costly, often duplicated QA, at the various stages of product development it also removes a potential barrier to free and open competition by enabling informed customer choice. A European led QA system, potentially underpinned by a formal certification schema could provide competitive advantage for early adopters as they seek to address needs of discerning (risk/high value/public sector) customers and their intermediaries.

Quality assurance should demonstrate that the data are consistent with their claimed performance and contain enough information to allow them to readily assessed for their ‘fitness for purpose’. Data integrity will play a key role: at the highest level, data integrity is taken to mean “a measure of confidence in the data, arrived at by characterising and monitoring quality at specific points along the production and dissemination chain”. Data Integrity (DI) includes the analysis of:

- Quantitative ‘traceable’ error/uncertainty information contained within the data and its basis;
- Data quality – based on the documented and accessible results of routine Quality Control checks and calibration and validation activities;
- Data accuracy – based on specialised data evaluation and comparison exercises;
- Data availability – considering the length, coverage and operational scenario of each mission and the performance of data production within the ground segment;
- Data accessibility – considering data policy issues and the practical implications of accessing data;
- Data provenance – considering the origin, evolution and status (e.g. uncertainty evaluation) of the algorithms and processes applied to the data.

All of the above will contribute towards an overall view of the data’s fitness for purpose for a given application.

On data provider side, in the context of QA4EO (Quality assurance framework for earth observation, http://qa4eo.org/ developed by international consensus in the context of CEOS), previous work has been carried out by ESA with the support of National Metrology Institute (NMI like National Physical laboratory in UK). In particular, the process related to quantitative error/uncertainty estimates for core EO products was discussed in a workshop at ESA on 24/25 October 2017: Workshop on Uncertainties in Remote Sensing. Click here ESA has also initiated support activities through its FRM series of projects and is looking to build on QA initiatives developed in the context of the ESA CCI program and also pioneered in EU projects such as QA4ECV, GAIA-CLIM and FIDUCEO.

On the service side, previous work on this carried out by Hollidge Consulting Limited (IE) on behalf of ESA and EARSC has firstly focused on:

1. Management process where a dedicated scheme was introduced to streamline or prepare for full ISO9000 certification and the concept of the ‘Product Specification’ introduced for EOP Products

2. Some initial thinking around product certification including consultation with user communities on their interests. A product certification scheme has been investigated as a result.
Two workshops were held to test and consult on the proposed scheme; in April 2013 which initiated the work and a second one in November 2014. The latter was held in co-operation with the International Oil & Gas Producers Association; one of the key user sectors with an expressed interest in certification and this exchange will be further expanded in this workshop.

During these discussions, a clear need to provide “certified” quality information for the complete EO end-to-end chain has been expressed.

In a parallel activity NPL is also leading a program of work to establish a QA framework for the Copernicus climate change service.

The workshop will look to build upon this current basis, as outlined above, in conjunction with key stakeholders from the risk sensitive and high commercial value sectors, but will also encourage input from other public and private sectors as well as service providers and developers , . The main goal will be to gather the views of the various stakeholders and to establish what next steps in QA, Uncertainty evaluation and reporting and/or certification would be perceived advantageous for them (if any).

Stakeholders:

Three communities of stakeholders should be involved:
• EO service companies
• Suppliers to the EO service companies i.e. data suppliers, satellite operators
• Clients of the EO service companies i.e. users.*

Each element of the supply chain should be explored. The workshop should look at:
• What is wanted by the EO Service Companies from the suppliers of satellite data and/or lower level products
• What is expected by end users/customers
• What requirements do EO Service Companies place on themselves with respect to quality (Approaches to product output validation and the proof of product/service performance vs. claims)
• What level and nature of governance if any should be implemented
Size and Location

You can register to the event here: https://goo.gl/forms/fMRSfeAcBZ8seMiQ2

The European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC) is a trade association based in Brussels. negotiation Primarily a membership focused organisation, EARSC has recently been successful in winning contracts to expand its activities to support the industry which it represents. In consequence we are now seeking a Project Officer to increase the core team.

About EARSC:

EARSC – the European Association of Remote Sensing Companies – is a non-profit trade association working on behalf of the geospatial information services industry in Europe; in particular the EO services sector which comprises companies generating information using satellite imagery. Established 30 years ago, today, EARSC has over 100 members from throughout Europe and is gaining wide recognition as a key actor in the sector.

Of particular importance is the European Union flagship programme, Copernicus. This is offering new opportunities to the sector to help develop a commercial market and new commercial services. EARSC plays a key role as an interlocutor between the industry and the public stakeholders responsible for driving the Copernicus programme.

As well as a lobbying role, EARSC’s main effort is focused on helping to open up and develop the market for the products and services which the companies offer. We seek to understand and develop close links with other sectors in Europe and internationally which are (potential) users of these products and services.

The Role:

The Project Officer will work in a small team out of our office in Brussels. Their duties will include leading or supporting the EARSC activities within the secretariat and specifically those linked to a major European project contributing to global business. It will involve significant interaction with other organisations throughout Europe and requires initiative and innovation.

The job will include a certain amount of travel, mainly inside Europe, with much activity being focused around Brussels and the European institutions which are strong influencers for our technology and its markets.

The position will offer a variety of work and represents an excellent opportunity to gain valuable experience of working with EU bodies from an industry perspective. Suitable support will be given to the candidate by senior members of the team and there is significant possibility to shape the job to suit the skills of the person recruited.

Responsibilities:

The successful candidate will be responsible for:
• Co-ordinating a small team working on a key European project aiming to support companies and entrepreneurs (start-ups) develop their businesses
• Co-ordinating access to specialist expertise on markets, finance, technical and legal matters
• Ensuring the co-ordination with other project partners working to develop pilot applications
• Working with experts across Europe to evaluate proposals for new pilots
• Supporting young companies in their early growth stages
• Mapping European resources available to help the new businesses grow

Qualifications:
• A relevant university degree plus several years of experience
• Business knowledge preferably with direct business experience
• Excellent level of spoken and written English. Other languages are an advantage
Further qualities:
• Evidence of creative thinking and innovation; ability to take initiatives
• An ability to network and build good working relationships
• Ability to perform research tasks using both Internet tools and other direct methods.

Candidates are invited to submit their CV together with a letter of motivation to EARSC at info@earsc.org.

The European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC) is a trade association based in Brussels. Primarily a membership focused organisation, EARSC has recently been successful in winning contracts to expand its activities to support the industry which it represents. Some of these contracts involve the development of digital tools to achieve these ends. In consequence we are now seeking a Product Manager to increase the core team.

About EARSC:
EARSC – the European Association of Remote Sensing Companies – is a non-profit trade association working on behalf of the geospatial information services industry in Europe; in particular the EO services sector which comprises companies generating information using satellite imagery. Established 30 years ago, today, EARSC has over 100 members from throughout Europe and is gaining wide recognition as a key actor in the sector.

Of particular importance is the European Union flagship programme, Copernicus. This is offering new opportunities to the sector to help develop a commercial market and new commercial services. EARSC plays a key role as an interlocutor between the industry and the public stakeholders responsible for driving the Copernicus programme.

As well as a lobbying role, EARSC’s main effort is focused on helping to open up and develop the market for the products and services which the companies offer. We seek to understand and develop close links with other sectors in Europe and internationally which are (potential) users of these products and services.

The Role:
The Product Manager will work in a small team out of our office in Brussels. Their duties will include leading or supporting the EARSC activities within the secretariat specifically associated with digital tools to support our members, particularly eoMALL, a digital marketplace currently under development through which companies can offer their on-line services. Leading the development of this product will involve significant interaction with other organisations throughout Europe and requires initiative and innovation. This will require a blend of technical understanding and ‘soft’ skills to ensure that the resulting software meets user needs.

The job will include a certain amount of travel mainly inside Europe with much activity being focused around Brussels and the European institutions which are strong influencers for our technology and its markets.

The position will offer a variety of work and represents an excellent opportunity to gain valuable experience of working with EU bodies from an industry perspective. Suitable support will be given to the candidate by senior members of the team and there is significant possibility to shape the job to suit the skills of the person recruited.

Responsibilities:

The successful candidate’s responsibilities will include:
• Working with the platform developers to tune the platform and make it attractive to both EO service providers and their clients
• Promoting the value offered by the site towards potential users
• Attracting additional service providers to offer their services through the marketplace
• Supporting development activities with digital insights surrounding on-line services
• Liaising with other project teams to create new features for the Marketplace responding to their specific needs

Qualifications:
• A relevant university degree plus several years of experience
• Business knowledge preferably with direct business experience
• Excellent level of spoken and written English. Other languages are an advantage

Further qualities:

• Evidence of creative thinking and innovation; ability to take initiatives
• Knowledge of digital marketplaces or commercial internet services
• An ability to network and build good working relationships
• Ability to perform research tasks using both Internet tools and other direct methods

Candidates are invited to submit their CV together with a letter of motivation to EARSC at info@earsc.org.

The IDEEO project is funded under the COSME Cluster Go International action. It promotes internationally the use of Earth Observation in different sectors. Join us!

You can register to the event here: https://goo.gl/forms/x7AWuvByYe2e2mio2

Agenda

8h30 – 9h00 Registration & Coffee

9h00 – 9h10 Welcome – EARSC

9h10 – 9h30 EC Perspective on EO sector – Thibaud Delourme

9h30 – 9h50 How does the EC support internationalisation? – Astrid-Christina Koch

9h50 – 10h10 Geoscience Australia – TBD

10h10 – 10h30 Eurochile – Linnet Solvay

10h30 – 10h50 EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation – Fabrizio Mura

10h50 – 11h20 Coffee Break

11h20 – 12h30 Business support services

CEO Javier Echarri – EBN innovation network
– National Trade Promotion Agency

12h30 – 14h00 Lunch & networking

14h00 – 14h20 IDEEO: Internationalising European Earth observation companies

– Phil Monbet – Pole Mer Bretagne Atlantique

14h20 – 14h40 ESA perspective and internationalisation support – TBD

14h40 – 17h00 Success stories of international EO companies

– Marc Tondriaux – Terranis
– Tarek Habib – CLS
– Domenico Grandoni – e-GEOS
– Massimo Zotti – Planetek
– Agnieska Lukaszczyk – Planet
– Celestino Gomez – GMV
– Steve Lee – Astrosat
Round-table and Q&A
Networking

Mercator Ocean International and the European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC) are pleased to invite you to the kick-off event of a partnership signed between the two entities in the context of the Copernicus Programme. The Partnership is the first one of its kind with EARSC in the Copernicus Ecosystem. It will be signed during the 11th European Space Policy Conference, on 22nd January 2019 in Brussels, Belgium.

This partnership envisioned by Pierre Bahurel, Director General of Mercator Ocean International and Geoff Sawyer, Secretary General of EARSC is meant to foster Copernicus Marine Service’s market and user uptake among a few hundred private companies of the Earth Observation (EO) downstream sector. By boosting the EO sector through the provision of free and open marine data, the partnership will also stimulate the blue growth which is an EU key economic sector with 500 billion € revenue and 5 million jobs.

EARSC will establish an unrivalled channel to reach out to and serve the EO Industry in the EU Pierre Bahurel said.

The European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC) is the only European non-profit organization promoting the use of Earth Observation (EO) technology and especially the companies in Europe which offer EO-related products and services. They are a membership based organization with the mission to foster the development of the European EO geoinformation services industry. They are for years an essential pillar of the Copernicus Ecosystem. http://earsc.org/

Contact: rory.donnelly@earsc.org

Mercator Ocean International’s is a WW leading company in Global Ocean Forecasting. The non-profit company, owned by 9 international players in Ocean Science, has been entrusted by the European Commission in 2014 to implement and to operate the EU Copernicus Marine Service. It delivers more than 16 000 subscribers worldwide needing reliable, up to date and free ocean data, information and indicators (science, business, public services, ngo…). Marine.copernicus.eu
https://www.mercator-ocean.fr/en/

Contact: cecile.thomas-courcoux@mercator-ocean.fr

EARSC is a partner of the Geospatial World Forum 2019!

Overview

Geospatial World Forum is a collaborative and interactive platform, which demonstrates collective and shared vision of the global geospatial community. It is an annual gathering of geospatial professionals and leaders representing the entire geospatial ecosystem.

This comprises of public policies, national mapping agencies, private sector enterprises, multilateral and development organizations, scientific and academic institutions, and above all end users from government, businesses, and citizen services. With Geospatial Media and Communications as the primary driver, Geospatial World Forum is conceived, designed and managed by a partner network of about 50 organizations globally.

In January 2018, the platform celebrated its 10th anniversary in Hyderabad, India. Over the years, Geospatial World Forum has become the most talked about geospatial event, best-known for its futuristic themes, engaging content, and top-level attendees. Back to Europe after 2 years, Geospatial World Forum 2019 is committed to creating a premium platform for geospatial community to learn, share, connect, brand, and network with stakeholders associated with the industry.

Theme
#geospatialbydefault – Empowering billions!
The Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by AI, Big Data, IoT, and Robotics, is bringing significant attention to geospatial technology and expanding its reach to larger masses of the society. Geospatial technology is now empowering IT-enabled services and optimizing engineering workflows and business processes.

Being an integral part of this disruptive journey, geospatial industry is now open to larger market drivers, creating new growth opportunities. The hidden treasure of spatial thinking is being unveiled through collaborative, interactive, and more user-friendly platform. Simplifying utility and value of geospatial knowledge for consumers became a determining factor for successful business models.

While disruption gets to be the new normal, geospatial is becoming ubiquitous, pervasive, and ‘default’ in our daily lives. Join the #geospatialbydefault movement at Geospatial World Forum 2019 as we strive to make geographic information a common language for 7 billion people around the world.

Register now! here

It is our pleasure to invite you to the second IDEEO event “Space for Sea – How Earth Observation services can benefit European companies?”

The event will take place from the 21-22 November, Brest, France.

See the programme

Register here:https://anaisturpault.typeform.com/to/de12RW

About IDEEO:

the IDEEO project is funded under the COSME Cluster Go International action. The consortium is coordinated by the EARSC and composed of 2 sectorial clusters Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique (France) and Cluster Lucano di Bioeconomia (Italy).

The overarching objective of the IDEEO project is the creation of a new European partnership which will promote internationally the use of European Earth Observation capability in different sectors such as marine, agriculture, energy etc.

If you are a cluster interested in IDEEO’s objective, please contact Rory Donnelly.

You can follow IDEEO on:

Twitter

LinkedIn

Sign up to the newsletter here

The European EO Services industry welcomes the proposal for an EU Space Programme and looks forward to making a strong contribution to its’ success. Copernicus remains an extremely important programme for Europe and for our sector. It has demonstrated how to deliver critical information to European policy makers whilst enabling the services industry to develop business in new markets so delivering more highly-skilled jobs in Europe.

The industry already plays a key role in the delivery of the Copernicus Services, but we consider that a great deal more is possible; the proposed programme lays out a number of key measures which can help. Industry has invested strongly in the development of new products and services, many based on the Free and Open data from Copernicus and is ready to invest further. We believe that a partnership between industry and government will enable the best returns for all parties. In this paper we set out our views on a number of the factors which can help deliver these increased benefits for Europe and its policy makers.

EARSC Position Paper

European Association of Remote Sensing Companies – EARSC:
EARSC represents the Earth Observation geo-information services sector in Europe with today 101 members (92 full members and 9 observers), coming from 23 countries covering the full EO services value chain including commercial operators of EO satellites, resellers of data, value-adding companies, geospatial information suppliers, consultancies and system/software providers. The sector plays a key role in providing value-added, geo-spatial information to its customers in Europe and the world. In 2016, the sector revenue in Europe was over €1.2b giving work to 7700 highly skilled employees; The sector is dominated by SME’s with over 95% of the companies having less than 50 and over 60% less than 10 persons employed.
This paper has been prepared and issued by the EARSC board of directors on behalf of the members of EARSC which are commercial companies, coming from Member States of the EU or ESA, providing services (including consultancy) or supplying equipment in the field of remote sensing or using EO data.

EARSC, under a contract to the European Space Agency (ESA), is investigating the impact of Copernicus Sentinel data on innovation and entrepreneurship, with the aim of improving understanding about emerging applications and business models, their technological and market maturity and the obstacles and challenges encountered by entrepreneurs who want to create businesses based on Copernicus Sentinel data.

The survey is addressed at business or individuals who are (or have been) involved in commercialising a product or a service based on Copernicus Sentinel data.

Participants will benefit from a free 6-months trial EARSC membership, as well as a number of other benefits, including potentially being featured as a “success story” within the upcoming report (after follow-up interview)

The survey is comprised of 13 questions and should take less than 10 minutes to complete.

Take the survey