To ensure this, it is essential that ESA has access to up to date and accurate information on the state and health of the European and Canadian EO service industry and the issues that the industry is facing in the short and medium term.
In 2004, ESA ran a contract to analyse the state and health of the European (and Canadian) EO Service Industry led by the UK company, Vega. This covered the evolution of the industry over the 3 year period 2000 to 2002. The results of this study fed directly into the programme of work and contracts issued under the EO Market Development Programme for the following years.
Since this period, the industry has been exposed to significant change drivers – for example, the evolution of GMES, new European and national legislation such as the Inspire directive and an increase in the number and performance capabilities of EO satellites. ESA has therefore kicked off a follow-on contract to characterise how the EO service industry has evolved since 2002 and the extent to which issues faced by the industry have changed or been addressed.
As in the original study, the work will be led by Vega and the core analysis will be based on information gathered from the industry. Initial work has started to prepare the information gathering exercise which will be leaner and easier to complete than the questionnaires set up under the original study. It is planned to start gathering information in early March using a secure web tool and continue for a period of approximately six weeks.
The accuracy of the information collected and the extent to which it represents a comprehensive sample of the EO Service Industry is critical. It is intended to elaborate future EOMD workplans based on the findings and conclusions from this analysis. In addition, discussions such as the role of industry within European developments (eg GMES) must be informed by timely and accurate information. Without this, the value and impact that ESA programmes can generate for the industry as a whole and for individual companies is at risk. Clearly, the strong support of both EARSC and the EO Service Industry for this analysis is an important factor in ensuring the continued success and impact of ESA EO Exploitation Programmes.