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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. It should be really exciting; we have a fantastic line up of speakers for both days. You may still register at and I hope that you are able to join us.

Tomorrow we have a workshop dedicated to the opportunity presented by OCRE (an EU project sponsored by DG Connect under the EOSC). Here companies can learn how they can get their products and services accepted for offer to European researchers via the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) via central framework contract. It will be a new form of procurement and one which we think has very high promise. The OCRE team will be presenting on this and then listening to the views of the companies.

We follow this with two EARSC groups meeting in parallel. The first will be the first meeting of a group dedicated to promoting and opening new opportunities with local and regional authorities. Currently these represent between 7 and 9% of the overall market; there is a lot of room for improving this. Companies involved in the Eugenius initiative will be describing this and some 35 companies have registered to be a part of the group.

The second parallel group is the small companies forum. It will be the second such meeting of the group which allows companies with less than around 20 employees to meet and exchange, peer-to-peer. We have 2 speakers from the EC as well as 3 experienced entrepreneurs who have built their companies; Rupert Haydn from GAF, Giovanni Sylos from Planetek and Will Marshall from Planet. It is a great opportunity to understand the problems each of them faced to est up and grow their companies; with the added twist of a US perspective coming from Will. We have about 25 companies registered for this event.

After the cocktail in the evening and the formal AGM to start the second day, we move to maybe the highlight which is a conference entitled “A Day with EO”. 19 speakers are lined up to give their perspective on what access to satellite products and services means for their particular organisation or industrial sector. It should be very user focused. We are also user focused and will introduce a novel - we believe innovative - approach to the conference by telling a story to link the presentations together. “A Day with EO” will be the story. We have around 120 registered for the conference which is great; but we can always accept more!

If you will be there, I look forward to meeting you. If you are not there, then I am sure you will regret it! Look out for the announcement for ExpandEO 2020, coming soon…..

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