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Since the last eomag, it has been another busy period for EARSC and quite a significant one!

Already this year, we have signed two international agreements – with AGI in India and CRCSI in Australia. I reported on the first in my last editorial in January. The second was concluded during a trade mission to Australia we organised with CRCSI at the beginning of March. The mission was timed to coincide with the visit of Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska who is responsible for DG GROW and the Copernicus programme. The mission involved 7 European companies, and over 60 Australian companies attended the three workshops in Brisbane, Canberra and Sydney. In Canberra, I joined a panel discussion held in the presence of Commissioner Bienkowska regarding co-operation between Europe and Australia in the field of EO services including Copernicus. More information on the mission can be found here

These two agreements are both evidence of our determination to develop international links and to provide support to member companies looking to develop international business. As part of an EASME project called IDEEO, we are currently working with 2 cluster partners, Pole Mer Bretagne in France and Cluster Lucano di Bioeconomia in Italy to define a strategy which combines EO services with other sectors ie agriculture and off-shore energy. As well as the fact finding visit to Australia, we have also just visited Chile (for a second time) and other visits are planned including to Egypt later this year to join the bi-annual AARSE conference. More information on IDEEO can be found here.

In this time, we have also found 3 new colleagues! Marion Bouvet has replaced Ariane Dubost who after having her baby last year has decided to relocate back to France. I really do wish her all the best and thank her for her excellent work whilst with EARSC. Then Chris Oligschlager has joined us in a role as junior analyst. Our analytical work is increasing associated with various projects and this will be an important role and activity for us in the future. Finally, we have found a new senior project manager who will be joining us in June.

All this means that, whilst one year ago we were just 3 people working out of my dining room, EARSC will shortly be 7 people working out of an office. Some transition for a small trade association!

But it does mean that we can do more for the industry and our members? The industry is going through a significant change to the environment in which companies are operating and we are constantly monitoring to determine what we can do to help to adapt. We move forward with eoMALL which will become live in June as well as developing the international aspects of our work.

We have also just published our latest report into the benefits generated through the use of Copernicus Sentinel data. The focus is on agriculture in Denmark and it is fascinating to see how rapidly this part of the sector is growing. We selected a single product, Fieldsense, in Denmark but there are many others which we could have chosen for the study. Nevertheless, it shows the enormous potential for savings in the agriculture sector through the use of EO data and the variety of companies entering the business and their different business models will also be the subject of future studies which we hope to do. You can find the case report here.

Our next event is in Sofia on 17th April along with a workshop organised under the Bulgarian presidency of the EU on 18th and 19th. If you are there, be sure to look us up!

by Geoff Sawyer