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OCRE – Opening Doors for the Earth Observation Industry

Difficulty in scaling up. Can’t reach the researchers that want to use my EO services. Public procurement for research data services is really bureaucratic.

Any Earth Observation company executive may have said this at one point or another.

Niche markets can be challenging to navigate. It’s clear that the market for digital Earth Observation solutions is still developing. What your organisation needs is a little boost. This is exactly what the OCRE, the Open Clouds for Research Environments project, provides. 

Opportunities in the EOSC

The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) is expected to become the European digital marketplace and virtual environment for 1.7 million researchers and 70 million professional users of research data. It will allow researchers and science and technology professionals to access to a variety of data services and solutions, many of them free, at least from the users side. 

€400 million have already been poured by the European Commission to make it into a reality since 2017, and an alpha-stage prototype of what it could look like exists, as seen in the EOSC Portal ( By 2021, a more operational EOSC is expected to be launched. 

Multiple projects have been funded to make the EOSC a reality. One of these projects is OCRE. In this current early stage of the EOSC’s development, OCRE provides a clear route for commercial service providers of cloud and digital Earth Observation solutions to be involved with the EOSC early on.

How to get involved

As of September, OCRE has been gathering the requirements of researchers and is pooling and grouping demand from various universities and research institutions into buyer groups. To-date. institutions from up to 39 countries have already expressed interest to be part of the tender. This represents a clear demand for commercial services. 

Aside from the commitment to procure in OCRE’s tenders, the European Commission has allotted more than €3.2 million in adoption funding to OCRE which will be used by these buyer groups and institutions specifically for Earth Observation services.

OCRE’s Earth Observation Tender is expected to be published within 2019. Once it’s published and the commercial Earth Observation services have been selected, consumption will begin starting next year, 2020.

OCRE will support the succeeding Earth Observation service providers to onboard their services into the European Open Science Cloud. This will be achieved through the active collaboration between OCRE and EOSC-hub, another EOSC initiative tasked with onboarding services for the EOSC. 

The tender is expected to select more than one succeeding supplier. This provides better chances for suppliers that will respond to the tender.

Next Steps

A Prior Information Notice will be provided by OCRE to interested Earth Observation suppliers allowing feedback to be provided to the OCRE Earth Observation Tender. Feedback will be accepted for a limited time only. Following this, the OCRE Earth Observation Tender will be published.

All interested suppliers are invited to join the OCRE Community Network as Earth Observation companies to be informed of the latest important tender developments: