EARSC is a partner of EU framework programs such ConnectinGEO and GEOCradle which support the activities of GEO. In the capacity of a Participating Organization to GEO, this is the next step for EARSC to support the GEO objectives to engage more with the private sector. As a GEO Participating Organization, EARSC will share opinions on industry views at the European level, exchange documents of common interest and cooperate on projects or promotional activities where relevant. Work is underway to identify concrete GEO/EARSC collaborations and opportunities for periodic exchanges will be organized.
GEO is a voluntary partnership of governments and organizations that envisions “a future wherein decisions and actions for the benefit of humankind are informed by coordinated, comprehensive and sustained Earth observations and information." GEO is comprised of 100 Member states, including the European Commission, and 95 Participating Organizations. GEO strives to improve the world’s observation systems and provide policy makers and scientists with accurate and useful data that can be used to make informed decisions. GEO’s primary focus is to develop a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) to enhance the ability of end-users to discover and access Earth observation data and convert it to usable and useful information. EARSC represents the Earth Observation geo-information services companies in Europe.
Today, EARSC has 75 members coming from more than 22 countries in Europe. Our members include both commercial operators of EO satellites, IT, downstream and value-adding companies. The sector plays a key role in providing value-added geospatial information to its customers in Europe and the world. In 2014, the revenue of the European EO services sector is estimated to be around €900m for approximately 450 companies and giving work to over 6500 highly skilled employees.
“This is a critical step forward in GEO's efforts to collaborate with the private sector in a mutually beneficial way. EARSC has invested time and energy in ensuring good communication of issues related to Earth observation products and services with the GEO community and it is most fitting that EARSC should be a major partner in this important development,” said Robert Samors, Senior External Relations Manager at the GEO Secretariat.