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!!

EARSC AGM
Our Annual Meeting took place last week on 18th June. My colleague delphinemiramont has written a short overview of the proceedings. It is our plan to establish a new blog over the summer where my (Geoff's blog) will move and sit alongside other blogs including a policy blog which will allow Delphine to write about relevant happenings in Brussels. Until that blogpage is ready, we'll introduce her blogs into my blog here. If you want any more information,…
New US Remote Sensing Act
Recently, I read with interest that the US Department of Commerce has published proposals https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/05/20/2020-10703/licensing-of-private-remote-sensing-space-systems for revision to the export limitations for EO satellites and data supplied by US companies. The original restrictions were part of the Landsat Remote Sensing Policy act published way back in 1992. This was revised in 2006 in part reflecting the Commercial Remote Sensing act of 2003.…
I was asked yesterday if I thought that the public sector is doing enough to promote innovation (in industry)? I was participating in a workshop (on-line of course) looking at the results of a survey into SME’s in the GI sector. The survey had been conducted by the JRC and the on-line workshop replaced the physical one which had been planned for early April. It was very enjoyable and left me regretting that we had not been able to meet and certainly have some really interesting discussions.…
Covid impact
I wrote previously about the Covid situation in Italy and some thoughts on how the situation might be brought back under control. Now one month later, many countries in Europe are starting to unwind slowly the confinement measure imposed – absolutely necessary in my view – to bring the pandemic under control. Some countries seem to have used the time to prepare for a test,…
Coronavirus Update
China today reports no new cases. How did they manage to gain control over the virus to this extent? I came across this interview which explains how it was done. Basically, it involves testing, testing and more testing as we have already heard but crucially, the first test is to take the temperature and any anomaly is immediately isolated. No home quarantine since the first group to get infected is the family. So,…
EARSC & Coronavirus 2
So, as of today, in Belgium, as in France and many other countries in Europe, we are now officially confined to our homes. The temptation to go out has been removed by closing bars, restaurants and most shops. Fortunately, it seems that we are still allowed to go to the park to walk our dog as long as we don’t meet and socialise with any of the other dog walkers doing the same thing. This has to be the right policy at the moment as the first priority must be to bring the epidemic under control.…
EARSC and Coronavirus
You have probably seen that the Belgian Federal government decided last night to take some stringent measures to prevent the development of the CoVid-19 virus in Belgium. These included the closure of all schools, cafe's and restaurants and the limited opening of shops up until 3rd April. The EC has also now decided that all staff should work from home and there will be no visitors.…
Europe's Space Programme
As we start the new decade, a number of topics are stimulating the discussions in the space community and in Brussels. One of the first events of each year is the space policy conference in Brussels; this years’ is the 12th. One word is dominating the sessions’: defence. I noted last year that this topic was rapidly rising up the European Union agenda. This year it is not just spoken but is also written into titles of sessions and the topics from many speakers.…
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,…

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