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Editorial Summer 2009

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