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EARSC position letter: Earth Observation – ESA/ EOMD

Letter on behalf of EARSC member companies concerning the EOMD
programme in the framework of the anticipated forthcoming decisions in
the ESA Ministerial Councils.

Dear Dr. V. Liebig – Director of ESA´s Earth Observation Programme,
I am writing on behalf of our member
companies concerning the EOMD programme in the framework of the
anticipated forthcoming decisions in the ESA Ministerial Councils.
As you know very well the members of our
association as well as our Association as such, have had and are having
very close collaborations with your Directorate’s teams. Among the many
programs supporting this collaboration, the “Earth Observation Market
Development” program is highlighted by our members.
Indeed the EOMD program, which was
presented to our members at several of our Annual General Meetings and
in which many of our members are involved, is seen by us both as a very
needed and a very innovative one. Very needed indeed, since the role of
space data in the growth of the remote sensing market and the
development of new services needs to be strongly fostered. Very
innovative also since the mechanisms proposed in EOMD to foster this
evolution have never been tried in Europe before. The EOMD program,
quite ambitious in its objectives in a very difficult environment, and
with limited budgets (of about 3 to 4 Meuros per year so far), has
already achieved some successes but can still be considered only in its
early phases. In the next few years the development of geo-spatial
information services will become increasingly important to Europe’s
growth and the parallel development of GMES and EOMD (as well as DUP)
is an opportunity for Europe.
In particular the development of new
applications of space borne remote sensing data and the development of
operational and commercial products are at the core of the success of
the GMES initiative and of the recognition of its place in GEOSS.
The dynamics and hopes triggered by this
program must not be abandoned. Thus, in the framework of the
preparation of the coming Ministerial conference as well as considering
the risk of a drop in EOMD budgets in 2006, EARSC members are strongly
urging the ESA Executive and the member states to continue and increase
their support to the EOMD program beyond 2005.
Please be assured of our continuous interest and of our full availability to help strengthen the EOMD program .
Looking forward to opportunities to meet with you and your team, please accept our respectful regards.
Yours sincerely,
EARSC Chairman
EARSC, the European
Association of Remote Sensing Companies is an Association of over 55
European value added industries. Its members include both large
companies including major satellite providers and small (SME) companies
providing specialised EO information services. Generally, EARSC has the
responsibility to represent the Earth Observation services industry in