The EARSC annual cocktail was held in the Museum of Natural Sciences of Brussels. Standing between the exoskeletons of long extinct creatures we were happy to celebrate our ‘not so old in comparison’ 30 years anniversary. The highlight of our 2019 anniversary cocktail was the award ceremony that was sponsored this year by Planet Labs Germany. This year we increased the number of awards from 2 to 5, the first added award was the unannounced EARSC member start-up award In a previous blog of Geoff we already highlighted the importance of young SMEs in the creation of new jobs, and we therefor reasoned to spotlight one exemplary start-up with this new award. The second new award stems from the industry survey where we randomly drew one of the respondents and award them with a €250 euro check donation to their charity of choice. The last new award is the Partnership award which was given out in cooperation with CopHub.AC. This award recognised a partnership between a public institution and a private company.
Company award – Plant Labs Germany
Nominations for the company award were collected from EARSC members and the winner has been selected by an international, independent jury of EO sector representatives. The jury made its decision based on three criteria. The first is to have successfully developed EO services for a target market. Secondly, to have made a strong contribution to a defining European Programme, and last has exhibited good revenue and or employment growth.
About Planet: Planet designs, builds and operates a constellation of Earth-imaging satellites. Planet’s mission is to image the entire Earth, every day, and make global change visible, accessible, and actionable. With the complementary RapidEye constellation, Planet has an imagery archive from 2009 and a network of more than one hundred partners around the world. https://www.planet.com/
Product award – EARS – Agriculture Index Insurance
The EARSC competition “European EO product of the year” rewarded a company which has developed a product which will support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at national, regional and/or local levels, and the monitoring and reporting against the global indicator framework. Companies could register through an application which was then judged by an independent Jury.
Out of the 9 contestants EARS was awarded with the best Product award for their Agriculture Index Insurance. Index insurance works using a drought index which tracks drought severity during the growing season in an insured area. If the index level during the growing season is above average (compared to the past 30 years), then no pay-out occurs. If the index drops below average, then it indicates the onset of a drought. This product already assists 18 countries with drought related crop yield losses. https://www.ears.nl/
Partnership award – OrbitalEOS, SeaPulse, Valencia Univeristy & GoHub
Under the CopHub.AC project EARSC is running a new competition to recognise and reward outstanding collaboration in public-private partnerships for the Copernicus user-uptake. Specifically, Academia and Companies (in partnership) have been encouraged to submit a proposal for cooperation or present an already established collaboration achievement. An independent jury awarded Orbital EO Solutions, SeaPulse, Valencia University (IPL) & Go Hub with first place. This partnership worked on a project with the aim to design and implement a satellite-based monitoring system for oil spills and plastic pollution in the region of Central America.
Start-up Award – MapTailor
EARSC Secretariat is rewarding for the first time a start-up that is less than 5 years old, show growth in revenues and/or personal growth and finally good and coherent promotion of the company and its products. As mentioned above we highly value young SMEs and are happy to announce that we have selected MapTailor. MapTailor specialises in consultancy & earth observation-based solutions for projects & studies in development cooperation. https://maptailor.net
Industry Survey draw – Sensar
The last award was the Industry Survey Raffle chosen randomly to a company that filled out the EARSC Industry survey. The lucky company was Sensar from the Netherlands. Sensar donates to Kiva.org. Kiva.org is a platform that stimulates entrepreneurship through direct microfinancing to invest in local economic development. It allows filtering on and selecting loans to woman-owned enterprises.