Earth Observation Market Development (EOMD) is an element of activity within the Earth Observation Envelope Program (EOEP) of the European Space Agency. Since 2000, EOMD has been working directly with the EO Service Industry to support European and Canadian companies in the marketing and business development of geo-information services from EO data.
Over these five years EOMD has seen improved customer acceptance of and commitment to EO information services in a variety of industry sectors and enhanced partnerships with downstream partners to better integrate EO derived information in operational service portfolios. As a result, new business has been generated for the EO service industry and a better understanding of the prospects for EO in new market sectors has emerged.
EOMD has initiated 20 service development contracts (3+ year duration) and over 40 Exploratory and Innovative (1 year duration) contracts. These contracts focussed on EO services and required the active engagement with non-EO partners with emphasis on team-building within the service industry. Through these activities pre-commerical service trials were conducted by Value Adding companies with major industry players in a variety of international markets, for example: Oil & Gas – Shell (NL), BP (UK), Petroleum Development Oman (Oman), Western Geco (UK), Fugro-GEOS (UK); Mining – International Mining Consultants (UK); Engineering – Elsam Engineering (DK), EBA Consulting Engineering (CA), Soletanche-Bachy (F), Soldata (F); Insurance – Swiss-Re (CH), Munich-Re (D); Media – Reuters (UK) and Renewable Energy – Neg-Micon (DK), 3E (B) BC Hydro (CA), etc.
In parallel, a series of ‘market driver’ study contracts identified new opportunities – giving a forward view by documenting the factors driving demand for geo-information within a wealth of new markets, including pipeline management, mining, utilities management, offshore wind energy, transportation, insurance, tourism, location based systems, forestry, aquaculture, port authorities and coastal zone management. The EOMD web site provides further information on these contracts as well as related media publications.
ESA organises regular workshops where Value Adding companies, downstream industry players and other stakeholders of the EO service sector are invited for briefing sessions on industry issues and on new opportunities associated with the EOMD programme element. These events also allow companies to voice their messages concerning issues that the EO service sector as a whole is facing.
Further to on-going ‘market driver’ study contracts, a New EOMD tender opportunity has opened on 29 June 2005 on Corporate Sustainable Development. This aim of this activity is to look at the utilisation and integration of Earth Observation technology into business sustainability practises in support of Corporate Sustainable Development (CSD). This is a response to identified opportunities associated with the increasing need for accurate and timely information on the state of the environment in order to quantify progress towards (CSD), as acknowledged during the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), held in Johannesburg in 2002. More information concerning this tender opportunity is available at: http://www.eomd.esa.int/events/event215.asp.
In addition, in December 2002, EOMD commissioned a survey of the European and Canadian Earth observation industry organised by UK-based consultancies VEGA Group PLC and Booz Allen Hamilton. The results of this first in-depth profile of the complete European EO service sector are also available on EOMD web site: http://www.eomd.esa.int/survey/study.asp.
The survey assessed the status of the geo-information products and services on offer, working practices, market impact, and underlying economic health of the EO industry. The industrial review aimed to give a comprehensive picture of how Value Adding companies operate – in terms of development, production, marketing, sales, strategy – and the challenges they face. The financial research was primarily targeted at quantifying revenue sources (sales, development), profitability, expenses and costs within the industry.
Based on the results of the EOMD industry survey and on direct feedback obtained during different industry workshops, a requirement was identified for a number of further activities concerning issues and opportunities affecting the EO service sector as a whole and dedicated to supporting greater consolidation
To respond to this requirement EOMD in 2005 has begun a new line of action focusing on EO service certification & standards, EO service industry representation and the geographic expansion for European EO Services. Three preparatory studies will investigate some of the underlying challenges that many companies are facing within the industry, and fully define what future actions are required in order to grow and strengthen the complete EO service industry sector.
For these actions planned for the third quarter of 2005, as for all ESA originated actions, Invitations to Tender (ITT) are released via EMITS (emits.esa.int), ESA’s Electronic Mail Invitation to Tender System.
Looking further into the future, it is proposed to replace EOMD with the Value Adding Sector (VAS) element in the next Earth Observation Envelope Programme (EOEP-3). This will continue to work across the complete industry sector to address common problems, issues and basic challenges faced by the EO service industry. In addition, it will support improved industrial offerings to exploit new European space assets as they become available during the time period. It will also further support an expanded take-up of EO services with new potential customers in both the private and public sector.
EOMD welcomes any suggestions or ideas Industry may have for consideration in the planning of the future EOMD work programme (next year & beyond). Please send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A series of information booklets, which give an overview of the current capabilities of the Earth Observation Services sector in both land and ocean domains for nine different thematic areas is available on the EOMD website at (http://www.eomd.esa.int/booklets/booklet_segment.asp).
Envisat satellite ESA/Denmann porduction; MERIS image Copyright ESA 2004; ERS image Copyright ESA 1998 processing Spot Image and Privateers NV.
(Text Credits ESA)