EUSPA makes first appearance at General Assembly of the Copernicus networks

29 November 2021
Greek island of Naxos from #EUspace! Photo taken by Copernicus Sentinel-2
Greek island of Naxos from #EUspace! Photo taken by Copernicus Sentinel-2

The 5th General Assembly of the Copernicus Academy and Relays Networks, organized by the European Commission, was the opportunity to reflect on the 2021 Earth Observation milestones and build the future of the Copernicus networks together. The EU Agency for the Space Programme was present for the first time to present its new mission and highlight Copernicus flavored funding opportunities. 

The two-day event, which took place on 23-24 November, gathered interesting European Commission policy experts, industry stakeholders, and Earth Observation enthusiasts. Distinguished panelists highlighted the importance of the new EU Space Programme policy framework and the potential synergies between the components can offer. Particular emphasis was placed on how Copernicus, in conjunction with Galileo and EGNOS, can contribute to current pressing challenges such as environmental compliance or ice retreat in polar regions.

For the first time after its extended mandate to support the promotion and commercialisation of the downstream Copernicus services, EUSPA participated in the General Assembly.  Justyna Redelkiewicz, head of LBS at EUSPA Market Development, participated in the Session ‘’CASSINI: Moving forward with a more competitive EU Space Industry’’ where she presented the revisited mission of the agency as well new funding opportunities that now also include Copernicus. Redelkiewicz highlighted that the Horizon Europe calls are designed to boost synergies between the EU Space Programme components and blend well with the EU Green Deal. She also sent a reminder to #myEUspace applicants about the December 3rd submission deadline before giving a hint about the upcoming EUSPA Market Report, as it will include Copernicus insights. 

New Space and Copernicus is the real deal!

Interest was sparked during the ''New Space & Copernicus: How can they best cooperate?'' session. European Commission experts pointed out, that relationship between the EU Earth Observation Programme and New Space companies is mutually beneficial. Copernicus offers a vast amount of geospatial data that help them step up their business operations. At the same time, Copernicus can benefit from quality input such as very high-resolution imagery from new space companies in Europe.

Guest speakers during this session included ICEYE, a Finnish global leader in small satellite synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) technology. The company recently became the first European New Space company to provide data to the Copernicus Contributing Missions. Copernicus services will now receive access to ICEYE’s SAR imagery and use it to enhance public safety, border control, security, and maritime domain awareness. Other New space companies included ScanWorld and Auroratech, both of which rely on Sentinel data for vegetation analysis and wildfire detection, respectively.

Read this: Unlocking Africa’s full EO potential with EU Space synergies

#EUSpace is truly global

The EU space economy is the second-largest - in the world- supported by flagship space assets Galileo, EGNOS, and Copernicus. It is estimated to have generated over 250,000 jobs, with over 50,000 in the downstream sector. The edition of the 2021 General Assemblies was the opportunity to tap on this and present the newly established initiative of DG DEFIS called ‘’EU GLOBAL ACTION on Space’’ aimed at deepening existing and forging new business opportunities with targeted third countries across the globe. Copernicus network members can patriciate in or benefit from webinars and events organized by Global action. 

‘’Propagating information about Copernicus's potential and preparing new generations of professionals to use space applications is fundamental for a successful European Space policy. In this respect, the Assembly of Copernicus Academy and Relays Networks has an important role and will also benefit from the extended mandate that EUSPA has gained in the New Space Programme,”  says Mauro Facchini, Head of the Copernicus Unit at DG DEFIS.

The Generally Assembly meeting is now renewed for 2022 and EUSPA looks forward to it!

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Updated: Nov 29, 2021