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Editorial Autumn 2008

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