Copernicus User Uptake
Elisabeth Hamdouch | European Commission DG DEFIS | Belgium
The European Commission has been working to maximize the adoption of Copernicus data and information in Europe, to increase its socio-economic benefits for European citizens and businesses and to support the competitiveness European Earth Observation industry. To achieve these objectives, it is essential to continue and optimize the Copernicus User Uptake activities.
Copernicus User uptake initiatives include training and skills development, such as the Copernicus Skills Programme, EO4GEO and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), thematic trainings and workshops. Copernicus Academies and Relays have been in place since 2017 as local information and coordination points to facilitate activities around Copernicus, its benefits, and opportunities for local residents and businesses.
In addition, each of the six core services develops and implements user uptake activities regularly within their domains – Land, Marine, Climate, Atmosphere, Emergency response and Security. Copernicus Member States also initiate numerous user uptake activities, both through the Copernicus Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA) and in national capacities.
Since 2021, the European Union Agency for Space programme is in charge of developing of downstream market and fostering of innovation for Copernicus commercial users. The Commission is currently starting the work to formulate a new user uptake strategy for the entire EU Space Program, based on earlier assessments and recommendations.
Copernicus data and products are widely used for monitoring and reporting purposes, and are useful in the implementation of several EU policies and directives, such as the Green Deal, the EU Zero Pollution Action Plan, the Methane Strategy and the Global Methane Pledge, the new EU Arctic Policy and more. The Knowledge Centre on Earth Observation (KCEO), launched in April 2021, serves as a focal point to make use of EO data for EU policymaking decisions and implementation.
This presentation will cover the main pillars of the Copernicus User Uptake activities, future plans and strategies.
EUSPA supporting Copernicus downstream market uptake
Dr. Eduard Escalona Zorita | European Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) | Czech Republic
With the creation of the first-ever integrated Space Programme, the European Union is reinforcing its strategy to harness the power of space to re-ignite its post-COVID economy, address climate change, transit to digitalization, and secure its autonomy and sovereignty.
In 2021 the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) was created, bringing all EU space activities under one roof and enabling space to contribute effectively to the priorities of the European Union agenda.
EUSPA is also responsible for the development of downstream markets and fostering of innovation based on Galileo, EGNOS, and now also for the commercial users of Copernicus, leveraging funding mechanisms such as Fundamental Elements and Horizon Europe.
In particular, bringing management of downstream and combined applications based on Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus under the umbrella of one agency will make it possible increasingly to leverage synergies. On their own, these technologies can play a key role in supporting a digital and green transformation, but leveraging their synergetic and combined use will facilitate the generation of innovative solutions that bring a higher societal impact.
EUSPA, as an EU user-oriented agency, makes sure that these challenges are addressed through the design and development of new EU space-based services which meet the needs of the users, while ensuring their market uptake.
EUSPA creates opportunities for EU companies to explore new markets, through research and development initiatives, grants and prizes to enable new business opportunities and connect them with private investors and venture capitalists for the necessary financing capability to jump-start their business cases.
In collaboration with the European Commission, ESA, the Copernicus Entrusted Entities and all other relevant actors of the earth observation ecosystem, EUSPA will launch a series of activities to foster the adoption of Copernicus data and services across different market segments. These activities will complement and leverage existing market development efforts and promote the creation of innovative solutions making use of EU Space services towards a sustainable green and digital transition.
The usage of Earth Observation in the statistical world – selected examples from Eurostat
Dr. Hannes I. Reuter | European Commission, Eurostat (ESTAT), Luxembourg, Luxembourg | Luxembourg
Earth Observation (EO) is the measurement of physical, chemical and biological systems of our planet earth. It delivers proxies of measurable parameters which can be detected via a sensor (optical, radar, laser) influenced by a variety of parameters (e.g. clouds, atmosphere, solar winds). Earth observation includes airborne and satellite based measurements as well as in situ sensor data (e.g. air or water temperature) for the purpose of calibration.
Using EO data for statistical purposes can contribute to the survey methodology, the analytical possibilities, timeliness, spatial coverage and semantic harmonisation. Several statistical domains like tourism, transport (port activities, lorry traffic) and production estimates (e.g. oil storage, car, agriculture) do have the potential to use earth observation data for statistical data production.
The presentation will outline a limited set of usage of EO at Eurostat and the European Statistical Systems (ESS) - the national statistical data providers - at large.
Inside Eurostat provides the LUCAS survey micro-data on land cover and land use, as well as environmental information, serving as in-situ observation for EO, which has been used by Member States to produce classified Copernicus maps based on a subset and to validate the results (EEA, 2015). Additionally, for the reporting of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) EO derived information is used for a restricted set of parameters. Lastly, A variety of EO information from space and airborne sensors is provided centrally by GISCO to facilitate spatial analysis and visual interpretation.
Eurostat facilitates the usage of Earth Observation at ESS level in the National Statistical Systems with the ESSNET Big Data program, and with individual Member States through the GEOS grants. Examples presented include classical approaches like land use/land-cover mappings, determining urban sprawl, crop recognition and yield prediction systems up to advanced systems using Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning to detect solar cells on roofs to support knowledge on transformation of energy generation/SDG. In addition, some NSIs have managed relevant projects on their own budget to early test the opportunities and implication of using earth observation data on similar topics. To increase the internal knowledge specific sessions are integrated in the European Statistical Training Program (ESTP) course program.
Investigating the value brought by the use of Copernicus Sentinels data in European Public Administrations: examples from two ESA-lead initiatives
Dr. Alessandra Tassa | European Space Agency | Italy
Sentinels data are increasingly being used to support decision making at different levels. Mandated to contribute to the European Green Deal amid growingly complex challenges, European public authorities can leverage Copernicus as an effective tool to make informed decisions, enforce environmental policies and build more sustainable and resilient lifestyles for European citizens. For instance, the use of the data helps them to e.g. improve efficiency, save costs, improve coordination and communication to the public, deter unlawful behaviours, assess potential risks. Often, the synoptic and regular views provided by the Sentinels allow to improve environmental monitoring capabilities of the agencies in charge beyond what is currently possible.
Successful use cases are increasingly gathered and published for Copernicus, collectively contributing to support the evidence about the benefits brought by the use of EO/Copernicus data. Although each case presents specificities on its own, the analysis of common processes and challenges can greatly contribute to deepen the understanding of the nature of value of the EO-derived information and to improve the design of services and user uptake strategies.
In this presentation, we will provide an overview about two relevant initiatives procured by the ESA and the EC.
First, the “Copernicus4regions” initiative will be presented. This is an initiative undertaken in cooperation with the Network of European Regions using Space Technologies (NEREUS) and provides an outstanding collection of 99 examples gathered from European regional and local authorities (see http://www.nereus-regions.eu/copernicus4regions/). Each story is characterised by a usage maturity level defined by the primary user.
After this, an overview of the latest findings from the Sentinel Benefits Study will be presented. This study is managed by the European Association of Remote Sensing Companies and performs detailed impacts assessments for selected use cases along complete value chains (i.e. from data distribution to data exploitation to society at large), with particular focus on cases of benefits for public administrations (https://earsc.org/sebs ).