As many of you will know, we are currently studying the possibility to establish a Marketplace for EO Services. Many of those responding are very clear that this should be left to market forces and I think we can be clear in return that this will be the case. Others have expressed concerns about compromising the neutrality of EARSC.

I have tried to be very careful with my words (although I will admit that this is sometimes difficult and it may be that some errors have crept through) to say that EARSC will enable this to happen if – and it is a big if – the industry want it. So it is not that EARSC will set up and operate a Marketplace but that EARSC will help the industry understand what is at stake and what can (or could) be done to help maintain competitiveness in the face of global competition. We shall publish results of our efforts early next year.

Personally, I think there are significant benefits to be obtained through a common effort and I believe that the industry can make it happen; but it will not be easy and may be quite disruptive. The on-line survey is showing interesting results which are consistent with our high-level view of what the Marketplace can be.

The goal of our architecture study as part of the MAEOS effort is to ensure that we have enough information to understand the impacts on the business planning and the legal issues both of which we shall be studying in the next phase of the work starting in September.

In parallel with our work, a separate consultation is taking place which; organised by ESA. This is quite complementary to what we are doing and anyone who has not responded should make sure that they do so before end of August. Unfortunately, the deadline has passed for applying for some funding to support this.

This study goes into more depth and will help inform on the architecture design when the Marketplace should be set up. Gunther Landgraf, who commissioned the ESA study is planning a workshop to expose and discuss the results on 25th October (in ESRIN). If we can, we shall provide feedback on our study and especially on the stakeholder consultation on this occasion. This will allow the maximum number of interested companies to be present for the exchange.

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