Welcome to Geoff's Blog. Geoff Sawyer is the Secretary General of EARSC and this is where to find out more about his views - which are expressed on a personal basis. For those logged in, please feel free to leave comments at the bottom of the blog. I shall be happy to exchange on views and reactions would be very welcome!!

ESA Ministerial 2019
The ESA Council of Ministers meets this week in Seville to approve the programme plans of ESA and especially the budget allocations. EARSC has issued a statement http://earsc.org/library/ supporting the ESA proposals and especially those linked to Future EO, Copernicus 4.0, In-cubed+ and for Global Development Assistance. These are all very important for our sector. Studies have shown that for every €1 invested through ESA, a return of €3.8 is generated for the Member State. But for Copernicus,…
GEOWeek 2019
The Melbourne cup had just been run and some 300 delegates were living the excitement of the race, standing around, sipping wine or juice and discussing business. This was the focal point and culmination of a year-long effort to prepare a strong, European industrial participation in the GEO Plenary in Canberra. It was a great success and enormous thanks to Eva, Phil and Graeme of Frontiersi, our partners in Australia and to Natassa and Rory from the EARSC team. Prior to the race itself,…
Missions for Europe
There was an extremely high demand and many were refused registration, but I was one of those able to attend the Research & Innovation days organised by DG RTD in Brussels earlier this week. It was a really large event with some 3000 researchers converging on an old industrial site decked out for the occasion. It was certainly an interesting and unusual location – but worked fine. Attendance had been restricted and I understand that “thousands” who had wished to attend were not able to.…
The Value of EO
A major workshop took place in Frascati over 3 days. Hosted by ESRIN, it was organised by ESA, USGS, NOAA, EC, Fourbridges and EARSC on the subject of how to improve the measurement of the Value of EO. Around 60 experts from around the world and covering several important disciplines gathered to exchange views on how to develop clearer, stronger and credible messages for policy makers and citizens about the value of the investments being made in EO technologies.…
EARSC is 30!
Tomorrow we start the 30th annual general meeting of EARSC! We have a celebratory cocktail with many friends in the evening. We shall be in the Natural History Museum so shall be standing amongst the dinosaurs! This year, we have moved this annual event onto a new level. ExpandEO provides two full days of events and workshops with parallel sessions for much of tomorrow. The number of registrants is about double that of previous years, so it looks promising.…
EARSC and the eoSTORE
Returning to the ESA ITT to develop an e-commerce platform also referred to by us as an eoSTORE. After having talked with many companies about their views, what should EARSC do? The ITT presents us with a strong dilemma. I hold to a strong principle that we should not compete with members. This principle accompanies our change in business model away from one based on Membership fees to one which is driven by projects.…
I return to the subject of the ITT to create a platform for micro e-services issued last week by ESA. By my reading, the objective is to create what we called an eoSTORE in our study of the Marketplace for EO Services (MAEOS) 2 years ago. After study and consultations, we split the Marketplace into 2 parts just like a shopping centre (Mall). The first part is the surrounding infrastructure, eoMALL, with a very sophisticated guide to find the services for which a client is looking. Once found,…
Brexit - the end is Nigh.
I have stayed silent on Brexit for some time; watching the drama unfold and the chaos ensue in horror but without comment. Personally, I am unaffected unless major economic crises are a result (I have two pensions paid from the UK). A slump in the value of the pound will hit me, as my pensions are paid in pounds but I have taken some precautions against this and I do not see it as a likely long term issue.…
Building an eoSTORE
We were surprised last Friday to see ESA release an ITT to develop an “e-commerce platform for micro-services”. We were completely unaware of this project although given the pre-announcement we should have been) and have had no discussions with ESA concerning it. Two years ago, we studied the changing market for EO services and the idea to establish a Marketplace for EO services (MAEOS). We concluded that EARSC should develop eoMALL as a neutral,…
SME's and Jobs
A few years ago, I produced a report with Marc de Vries on the impact of the (then proposed) free and open data policy for Copernicus (then GMES). We called it GMES and Data: Geese and Golden Eggs as it looked at the trend towards open data and the impact this is expected to have economies and then linked this to the Copernicus Sentinel data. We argued that as the data had been paid for out of public resources, users (taxpayers) should not be asked to pay a second time.…
Happy New Year!
I start by wishing everyone reading this a Happy New Year! have been rather inactive on this blog, so a first new years’ resolution is to try to write more! In part it is caused by the volume of work which, as we start another new year, it is good to reflect on the successes from last year and the challenges which we face over the next 12 months – which largely stem from the aforementioned success! In 2018 we have grown from 5 persons to 8 and are now looking for 2 more to join us.…
GEO Week 2018
The GEO plenary was held this year in Kyoto. Two days of side-events were followed by the 2 day plenary session. It was the first for Gilberto Câmara, the new director of the secretariat following the term of Barb Ryan who reached the end of her mandate in June. We organised a side-event on the Value of Earth Observations which became a joint event with GeoCradle. It was very hard to put together this year due to late designation and difficulty of taking contact with potential speakers.…
EARSC History - Part 2
As I stated in the previous blog, for the very first years of the EARSC we have copies of minutes and letters coming from ESA which provide a factual reference of EARSC being established. From 1990 on, no such records exist as far as I know and so we shall need to rely on my memory and hopefully the recollections of others to recreate EARSC in the early years. I strongly encourage anyone who is able to add to what I write or correct my faulty memory to comment on the blog. Collectively,…
EARSC - The beginning
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the meeting in Baveno to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the birth of the Copernicus programme. I wrote about how interesting it was to compare notes and perspectives on what happened at the event 20 years ago. At the event, it was a particular pleasure to meet Claes Goren Borg who was the EARSC chairman in 1998 and Marcello Ricottilli who was chairman from 2000 to 2003. As a result, we had the 3 chairs from 1991 through to 2003 all together in the meeting!…
At midnight (CET) on 29th March next year, the UK will cease to be a member of the EU. At a stroke, unless there is an agreement beforehand, UK becomes a third party to the EU, and the whole legal basis of the relationship with UK will change. What will be the implications for the EO services industry? On the table is a withdrawal agreement (WA) which if agreed will prolong the application of EU law to the UK until midnight on 31st December 2020.…

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