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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 - 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.…
Brexit - No Deal?
I wrote about Brexit only once before, immediately after the vote in June 2016. I hoped at that time that the vote could be reversed but could not see the mechanism as to how that possibility could arrive. Now it is possible to see a mechanism through the growing voices for a second vote, but less the wisdom of repeating a vote as, even if some polls show people changing their minds, it is not clear that a decisive result would be the outcome.…
Climate Change
Climate domino.jpg In this summer of further record-breaking temperatures around the world, of more devastating, deadly fires in Greece, California, Portugal and elsewhere, of extreme floods in India and extreme temperatures in Europe, of drought conditions affecting agriculture in Australia and slashing the yield for potato growers in Belgium, few people can doubt that climate change is happening faster than ever. A recently,…
Baveno, GMES and Copernicus
Last month, I attended the 20th anniversary of the Baveno meeting which established the GMES programme which has now become Copernicus. The Baveno Manifesto was a landmark document put together by representatives of Europe’s space agencies under the guidance of the European Commission. EARSC was there represented by our then chairman Claes Goren Borg. It was great meeting up with so many friends (I shall not say old friends!…
Intergenerational Wealth
I rarely blog about matters unconnected with EARSC and the EO sector but this one is an exception based on personal views. I came across this chart recently. It comes from a report looking at intergenerational wealth produced by the UK Resolution Foundation which is chaired by David Willets - former Research Minister who was largely responsible for initiating the strong space investment in the UK (but this is the only connection with the space sector). intergenerational spending.…
EARSC & EuroChile
Last Friday, on behalf of EARSC, I signed a Memorandum of Understanding between EARSC and EuroChile Business Foundation. Mr. Vicente Caruz, President of Eurochile signed on their behalf and we are delighted to extend our international co-operation to Chile. EuroChile is a venture set up by the EU and the government of Chile to promote business co-operation. Through the MoU we expect to be able to offer opportunities for business and technology transfer.…
The EU budget post 2020
The EC has published its proposed budgets for the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework Perspective 2021 to 2028 which includes an allocation for “space” of €16b. This will provide continuity for the 2 EC flagships; Galileo and Copernicus. The main interest from the EO services sector is towards the Copernicus programme and it is great to see that this is assured.…
Blog from FIDAE 2018
http://earsc.org/images/1887.pngLast week I have spent a very stimulating 4 days at FIDAE https://www.fidae.cl/en/. The International Air and Space Fair is the foremost aerospace, defence and security exhibition of Latin America, which has become one of the most important business platforms of the region due to its long and successful experience. The fair took place between 3-8 April 2018 in Santiago (Chile) and at the same time,…
EARSC going International
We recently attended the kick-off of our new project IDEEO along with all the other projects under the Clusters Go International programme of EASME. It was quite enlightening and very gratifying to see how advanced we are in EARSC compared to other project teams!! We are in the first stage of a two-stage process. In the first stage, we are funded to develop a joint strategy along with our cluster partners; Pol Mer Bretagne (PMB) and Cluster Lucano di Bioeconomia (CLB).…
EU-Australia Partnerships
Last week, I was extremely pleased to accompany our latest trade mission with 7 European companies to Australia. The goal was to enable meetings between potential partners to work together on EO geospatial services in the context of the Copernicus agreement signed between the EU and Australia. One further partnership was cemented during the week through an MoU between EARSC and CRCSI.…
Copernicus for Agriculture
La_Mancha_plateau_Spain.jpg (ESA) Last Monday, along with about 250 others, I attended the EC organised Copernicus for Agriculture workshop http://agriws.eventsite.be/page/82/Home/. It was a very good meeting with a lot of information exchanged on how Copernicus and Sentinel data is being used mainly to support agriculture policy. It was billed as an industry workshop and at the entrance it was announced as “Copernicus / private sector”.…
Disruption in Space
I have spent the last week at the Geospatial World Forum (GWF) in Hyderabad. During that time I met many new people and had many illuminating conversations. There was a fantastic gala dinner with inter-continental music (Indian Jazz) and of course a lot of delicious Indian dishes. Overall, a demanding but rewarding trip. The highlight of the week for us was the signing of an MoU between EARSC and the Association of Geospatial Industries for India (AGI).…
Last Friday I was in Rome at the invitation of the Italian Space Agency ASI. Along with colleagues from the other European Associations Eurospace and SME4Space, I participated to a workshop hosted by ASI to exchange views on the next EU MFF (Multi-Annual Financial Framework). Our equivalent Associations in Italy (ASAS, AIPAS and AIAD) were also present.…
We have all seen over the last 2 years how the EO services sector has been changing. New commercial satellite systems, cloud storage and processing, big data technologies and machine learning or artificial intelligence are all having a huge impact on the business models of EO service providers. Despite these changes, even today 90-95% of the business is for what we call bespoke services ie one product for one customer.…

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