EOcafe: Data Spaces: a threat or an opportunity for the Earth Observation sector?

30th of November 2023, 16.00-17.00 CET

Back in 2006, it was apparently Clive Humby who coined the phrase that “Data is the new Oil”. Since then, the phrase has been used many times and many articles have been published exploring this idea and likening the dominance of the oil industry by Standard Oil to that of the data industry by Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft. He went on to say, It’s valuable, but if unrefined it cannot really be used. It has to be changed into gas, plastic, chemicals, etc to create a valuable entity that drives profitable activity; so must data be broken down, analyzed for it to have value.”

More recently, Data Spaces have become a popular abstract concept to deal with the problems of linking data between sectors and making its use easier. For data spaces facilitate a decentralized and secure data exchange between organisations. What does this mean for satellite EO data?

In recent years, Data Spaces have become a hot topic due to relevant legislation such as the EU’s Strategy for Data, but also thanks to the popularity of this solution in the data management sector. There are multiple initiatives launched and driven by diverse stakeholders all over the world, starting from private sector-specific initiatives to national and pan-European cross-domain infrastructures launched by the European Commission. This emerging ecosystem of Data Spaces raises a lot of questions, and even concerns, and seems to be yet largely unexplored in the Earth Observation (EO) sector.

The EO sector has not yet defined a clear pathway of what to do with this changing data environment and how to become a part of it. What is more, research conducted within the GREAT project (Digital Europe programme-funded project defining a pathway toward the future Green Deal Data Space) showed that the private sector even perceives Data Spaces as a potential competitor.

EARSC is aiming to clarify any doubts the community may have and bring the topic of Data Spaces closer. Data Spaces bring a lot of potential for the development of the sector and market expansion for data providers and users. Rather than being perceived as a competition or a threat to the already established value chains, the data spaces ecosystem could be an opportunity and an important element for the growth of the EO sector.

In this EOcafe, for the first time ever, our usual host Geoff Sawyer (EARSC Strategic Advisor and former Secretary General) will be joined by a co-host, Weronika Borejko (GREAT Project Manager at EARSC). Together, they will discuss how the EO community can become a part of, and benefit from, the Data Spaces Ecosystem with Johan Bodenkamp (EU Programme & Policy Officer, DG CONNECT, European Commission), representing the Common European Data Spaces, and Monika Krzyżanowska (Business Development Director, CloudFerro), representing the Copernicus Data Space Ecosystem.

Topics that could be addressed during this EOcafe include the following:

  • What role do the Data Spaces play for the space and EO sector?
  • How can the EO community contribute to and benefit from Data Spaces?
  • Which Data Spaces are relevant for the sector and why?
  • What is the timeline for the development of the ecosystem?
  • What future initiatives should be considered and followed closely?

Registration: The webinar is open to all. Registration is free but compulsory.

Registration link

Please note this is a virtual event!

EOcafe is part of a series of EARSC meetings that offer timely, relevant, and practical information on a broad variety of topics related to the EO sector. Join us every two weeks to discuss and network while enjoying a cup of coffee with friends.


  • The use of a video camera is not mandatory but is encouraged to facilitate better interaction between the attendees and the guest speaker(s).
  • The EOcafe will stay open after 17:00 in case our guests want to continue the discussion.
  • By registering for this event, you accept the terms and conditions (https://earsc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/EARSC_Events_GDPR.pdf).

If you have any questions, and/or you want to know more about the EOcafe, and/or you want to share an idea about a future EOcafe, please contact Tanya Walker (tanya.walker@earsc.org).

Author: EARSC

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