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OPPORTUNITY 5G for L’ ART (L’ Aquila, Abruzzo Region, Rome, Torino)

With the aim of providing evidence of the advantages deriving from the link of space and 5G technologies, ESA has initiated a dialogue with several user communities and stakeholders, presenting a number of application areas of specific interest to the local user communities and economic/societal context.

This specific Announcement of Opportunity originated from three collaboration agreements between:

the Agency and Roma Capitale 

the Agency and the University of L’Aquila/the Abruzzo Region/the Municipality of L’Aquila 

the Agency and Municipality of Torino 

In agreement with the above stakeholders, ESA has defined relevant use cases that can show-case in an operational context the benefits of using space in conjunction with 5G, at the same time leading to sustainable services to the benefits of the local communities. The initiative aims to stimulate submission of proposals by industry and institutions to study, develop and demonstrate applications based on space and 5G addressing the use cases and /or themes subject of the following thematic calls: 

For more information please join one of our webinars:


  • 30/10/2019, 15:00 CEST
  • 04/11/2019, 15:00 CEST 







Feasibility Studies

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Demonstration Projects

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Hiber – how pie in the sky became reality

Two and a half years ago, the founders of Hiber wondered why only 10 per cent of the globe was covered with gsm and mobile networks, limiting the availability of IoT (Internet of Things). 

So the Dutch Government-backed start-up got in touch with the European Space Agency and set about changing this. The resulting collaboration saw the development of Hiber’s own constellation/satellite network, and the creation of two nano satellites (10cm cubes) or ‘Cubesats’ for delivering global connectivity – known as ‘Hiberband’. (The company is called ‘Hiber’ because these terminals hibernate most of the time, turning on only when a Hiber satellite passes overhead to relay positioning and status updates.) 

HiberOne and HiberTwo were launched at the end of 2018 – and Hiber announced this week that the satellites are now commercially operational – bringing IoT connectivity to the vast majority of the world currently lacking a network. 

First to offer global IoT connectivity as commercial service 

Traditional satellites that provide wider coverage are expensive and power-hungry, which has meant many IoT applications and services have not been economically viable (e.g. monitoring soil moisture to improve production efficiency and crop quality in third world countries). 

Hiber’s service uses a process that is significantly cheaper than existing global solutions, making it a truly global IoT network. As many potential IoT projects fail due to lack of connectivity,  Hiber estimates there is a potential €7 bn opportunity for growth.

“It is beyond exciting to be the first company bringing full IoT-connectivity to the globe — as well as being the first ever commercial Dutch Satellite operator,” said Laurens Groenendijk, Co-Founder of Hiber. “The commercial applications for Hiberband in the IoT-industry are limitless. We look forward to powering diverse projects, from tracking cattle to tackling climate change and more effectively growing crops.”

Frank Zeppenfeldt, from ESA’s telecommunications Future Projects Division, says: “Hiber is now a company with 35 people. This activity demonstrates the importance of a lightweight mechanism to attract newcomers and explore and support their proposed initiatives. Without this, the above would never have happened. Hiber has received the title of ‘Commercial Startup Launch of 2018’  from Amazon Web Services, but more importantly, has attracted a good amount of private capital.”

Coen Janssen, Co-founder/Director of Business Analytics, Hiber says: “The Hiber team has made a mark in history by getting this new technology developed, tested in space and up and running within 2.5 years of conception of the company, with people that have flocked to us from pretty much all over the world; 35 individuals with 20 different nationalities.” 

He continues: “As a team we are also part of something bigger and without the support of ESA we would never even have embarked on this journey. We are well on our way to set the global standard for Low Power Global IoT connectivity and are on to something truly disruptive for many industries and people all over the planet. We started working on a pie in the sky idea and now it is becoming a reality!”

Among Hiber’s pilot customers is Clean2Antarctica, a team of environmental campaigners using a solar powered car made from waste plastic to cross the Antarctic.

Other customers include a Dutch company which will be bringing climate stations to schools in rural communities in Peru, Tanzania and Sri Lanka to educate tomorrow’s smart farmers and Blik Sensing, which helps manage water resources by providing insight into global groundwater levels.


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Bridging the gap - how Space is improving bridge safety

High winds, extreme tides, temperature changes, unusual traffic loading and ageing materials can put bridges under enormous pressure, occasionally to the point where they become dangerous. 

At 2.5km, the Forth Road Bridge in Scotland is one of the longest bridges in Europe: GeoSHM (GNSS and Earth Observation for Structural Health Monitoring) is being used to monitor its movement.

Last year’s bridge collapse in Genoa, which killed 43 people, is a tragic example.  ESA is now supporting a unique and innovative service initiated by a team from the University of Nottingham, to monitor the health status of bridges.

The University’s Geospatial Institute and its industrial partners such as UbiPOS UK Ltd., have developed a ‘world-first’ integrated sensor called GeoSHM-Lite for monitoring the structural ‘deformation’ of long-span bridges. GeoSHM  is the result of research led by Dr Xiaolin Meng, which originated from his PhD work at the University 20 years ago.

The GeoSHM system combines GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) for on-site monitoring with Earth Observation technologies for inspecting land movements, to offer an integrated solution for bridge maintenance.

Dr Meng’s team developed a prototype with ESA, which was installed on the Forth Road Bridge in Scotland in 2014. A major strategic link between the north and south of Scotland, the bridge’s maintenance is essential to transport in the region. When in 2015 a truss end link fractured on one of the north-east tower girders, the entire bridge was closed. However, critical observations from GeoSHM complemented other data to provide sufficient confidence to re-open the bridge.

“Experts at the Nottingham Geospatial Institute worked with Amey to assess the behaviour of the bridge under load tests and high wind loading by attaching remote GPS sensors to the bridge. In association with other health monitoring sensors, we were able to monitor the bridge’s condition and safety behaviour in real time.  Data from structural health monitoring supports asset management by providing smart solutions which help decision making, reduce closures, cost and public inconvenience,” said Mr Bill Valentine, Technical Director at Forth Bridges Unit of Amey Consulting.

The success of the system led to a potential investment of £8,500,000 from China and as a result, GeoSHM is now being used on three Yangtze River bridges in China.  

“We liaised with bridge operators and other key infrastructure owners to understand their upmost needs and the gaps in the market,” says Dr Meng. “We worked with ESA to build our expertise in relevant fields and used our existing strengths to fill these gaps.”

Group photo of GeoSHM Consortium GeoSHM provides real-time measurements of bridges during normal and abnormal loading conditions and gives a complete picture of the structure in its changing landscape, identifying threats caused by environmental conditions, land motion, engineering works, landslip, mining and industrial activity.

Some structural monitoring systems were already using GNSS, but these had limitations when applied to long, flexible structures like bridges. Issues such as the very high cost of receivers, positioning accuracy and signal blockage impeded reliability. GeoSHM has solved these and taken patent pending technology to the next level with several novel features.  

“The system can give more accurate estimates of the movement of the bridge long-term – for factors like thermal expansion (changes as a result of temperature increases) - as well as giving deformation (strain) estimates of a wide area of land surrounding the bridge. This is of critical importance to infrastructure operators and owners,” says Roberta Mugellesi Dow, ESA’s technical officer.

GeoSHM targets a large bridge monitoring market that is worth approximately USD 2 Trillion globally. There are more than 264 long-span bridges in the world, over half of which are in China: and  GeoSHM is being supported by a subsidiary of China Railway Group, Asia’s largest construction company. The creation of a supply chain for GeoSHM has also created 50 jobs globally as of 2018, with bases in London, Nottingham and China. 

Dr Meng says: “We are very lucky to have had such support from ESA, they helped to make my dream come true and turn my PhD into reality! ESA has helped me make the transition from academic peer to being able to implement the idea – put it into practice. I cannot claim I’m a business man, but ESA provided the valuable input to deliver the project – they have been so supportive.”



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European space start-ups boost collaboration opportunities with Israel tour

In late January, a delegation of companies from across Europe’s space sector travelled to one of Israel’s leading annual space events, the Ilan Ramon International Space Conference, visited local space companies and benefited from a space entrepreneurship masterclass.

Several companies from the European Space Agency Space Solutions community travelled to Israel last month to meet their Israeli counterparts. ESA Space Solutions aims to maximise the business opportunities for companies it supports, and this Israeli tour was one of a number of initiatives being run to provide bridges to potential markets outside Europe. The trip was enhanced by a visit to a school science lab that is running space-related activities and included many opportunities for networking.

The tour started with a space entrepreneurship masterclass, in the centre of Tel Aviv. This included presentations from ESA and NASA, heads of space agencies, and an opportunity to present the entrepreneurs companies to everyone taking part. 

The attendees started their Israel tour with a masterclass in entrepreneurship, held in Tel Aviv

The trip was facilitated by Ran Qedar, co-founder of start-up company SPiN, an alumnus from the ESA Business Incubation Centre (ESA BIC) programme that has designed a multipurpose plug and play adaptor to connect and integrate satellite components. Among several space players, there were ESA Space Solutions start-ups alumni on the trip: Valispace, CrystalSpace and Hyperion. All the attendees were selected from the upstream sector (satellite hardware, software and ground segment) based on the maturity of their concepts or products.

Space conference

The following day saw the delegation attending the Ilan Ramon International Space Conference in Tel Aviv on 28th January 2020. Named after the Israeli astronaut who died in the Columbia space shuttle disaster in 2003, the conference is the main event of its kind in the Israeli space sector calendar. 

“The conference showcased the strengths of the Israeli space industry and gave valuable insights into their ambitious projects. The event provided excellent opportunities for sharing ideas, meeting people and connecting with businesses,” said Matthijs Klein from Netherlands-based start-up Hyperion.

Meeting local space businesses

The tour also included visits to three local space businesses, including SpacePharma, a start-up that designs and operates satellite payloads focussing on chemical and pharmaceutical experiments. Next stop was start-up company NSLComm, which develops deployable antennas. Here they heard about NSLComms’ technology and ground segment work, and the company’s plans for a satellite constellation that will provide data communications services to remote areas.  

The visit included a trip to the Herzliya Space Laboratory where students have built a 3U CubeSat

The final company to be visited was Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), which builds, launches and operates low Earth orbit (LEO) and geosynchronous (GEO) satellites, and was responsible for developing the Beresheet moon lander with SpaceIL.

“Both the conference and meetings with the Israeli aerospace industry provided extensive insight into country’s aerospace business, generating new ideas and cooperation opportunities,” explained Jaan Viru from Estonian start-up CrystalSpace. 

The European companies also went to the Herzliya Space Laboratory where local school students have built a 3U CubeSat, which they are operating along with eight others. After presentations by the students, the delegation was shown the ground station used to operate the satellites and the lab where the satellite was built. 

Israeli students use their own ground station at the Herzliya Space Laboratory to operate their 3U CubeSat and other small satellites

Valuable networking 

Over the course of the whole tour, participants had plenty of opportunities to exchange experiences and network with their Israeli counterparts. These included an exclusive gala dinner, hosted by the Israeli science ministry, and an evening drinks event with members of the Israeli space community and representatives of different companies.

The European companies were joined on the trip by Frank M. Salzgeber, ESA’s Head of Innovation and Ventures Office: “Supporting innovation is our main goal. This can be also be fostered by cooperation between start-ups from different countries. Providing opportunities for collaboration, access to new markets and engagement with international communities is a great way to support these ventures, and we are proud to work in this context with the Israeli Space Agency (ISA)."

The Senior Advisor to the Israel Space Agency at the Ministry of Science, Ofer Lapid, was also shared: “I'm grateful to ESA for endorsing our Entrepreneurial Space Workshop through the know-how and experience shared by some of their senior team. This is the second year our workshop has run alongside the Ilan Ramon International Space Conference. It proved yet again that entrepreneurs speak an international language that transcends geography, nationality and culture, and that when we get them together and give them the gift of time and mentorship, magic happens. We look forward to welcoming more European entrepreneurs to Tel Aviv next year for the 16th Ilan Ramon International Space Conference and the third Entrepreneurial Space Workshop.”

During the Ilan Ramon conference, individual meetings were held with local companies, allowing the European companies to present their products and services. They also had the opportunity to repeat this in front of teams from IAI and its suppliers when visiting the company. 

Among the companies visited during the Israeli tour was SpacePharma, which focuses on chemical and pharmaceutical experimental satellite payloads

The European visitors toured NSLComm, an Israeli start-up specialising in deployable antennas

Stefan Siarov from Valispace explained the value of the trip: “Understanding the business opportunities, the current status and local needs is instrumental to growing as a start-up. We’re currently expanding into new markets and Israel offers a great high tech scene which we can add value to. So it has been valuable to learn about the people, the culture and the way business is handled, which ultimately leads to a better and more professional way of building relationships for both sides.”

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ESA Investor Forum lands once again in London

 Image credit: s4svisuals

INVITATION ONLY: The 13th ESA Investor Forum once again lands in London in partnership with ELITE, part of the London Stock Exchange Group, 23rd March 2020

We screen our portfolio of more than 1,500 businesses and select 10 of the most promising ones determined to grow and match them with the investors and partners to help these companies skyrocket their growth during and beyond the ESA Space Solutions mentoring.

This is the 4th forum organised in partnership with ELITE, the leading programme on international business support for ambitious and fast growing companies.

The companies we have selected operate in many different sectors. Their common indicator is the use of space technologies and the fact that we've already invested anywhere from €60K - €2M in each of them.

Get in touch with us on Eventbrite.

About ESA Space Solutions 

Since the programme’s inception, ESA Space Solutions has invested more than €280M in over 1700 business ideas, addressing markets in industries worldwide. Funding typically ranges from 50kEuro to 2MEuro and supports everything from early stage feasibility studies to large-scale demonstration projects.

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OWASIS – Smart water management by satellite

"There is a water crisis today. But the crisis is not about having too little water to satisfy our needs. It is a crisis of managing water so badly that billions of people - and the environment - suffer badly." World Water Vision Report

Flood and drought resulting from increasingly severe weather conditions cause worldwide economic damage, loss of nature, increased political and societal tensions and loss of life. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

The water crisis has been cited by the World Economic Forum as the number one global risk based on its impact to society*. ESA, HydroLogic Systems and eleaf eLEAF – two Dutch companies specialising in sustainable water management, have joined forces in project OWASIS using space-based services for improved monitoring, forecasting and control of water availability. 

With adverse weather events becoming more frequent as a result of climate change, management of water has become one of the biggest challenges worldwide. “Lack of accurate information about water can be compounded by poor decision making, leading to further water crises,” says Matthijs van den Brink, Project Manager of OWASIS at HydroLogic.

With 29 % of the country below sea level, keeping the Netherlands flood-free – literally a matter of life and death – has meant being effective water managers since the middle Ages.  (Image credit: Resul Muslu/Shutterstock The OWASIS consortium believe access to adequate information is key to solving current and future water challenges. The project involves two (distinct but interrelated) water management services, the first of which is based in the Netherlands and aims to keep ‘Dutch feet dry’.

The service integrates multiple satellite-based data sources into a water balance solver model. A The HydroNET platform is used to integrate the input data sources and host the water balance solver.For the Dutch to stay on top of their challenging below-sea-level status the consortium has developed a soil water storage capacity service. “The storage capacity of soil is actually the ‘hydrological’ variable that determines both the risk of flooding and the need for irrigation – it’s therefore incredibly important information to have,” says Van den Brink.

Data is then available via interactive maps and graphs which gives water managers easy access to more accurate information on the current and expected status of their water system, on a spatial scale that suits their needs. It provides daily historic, current and forecasted information. The benefits are efficient and improved water allocation, reduced flood and drought risk, and standardisation of water storage capacity – critically showing where water is still available.

A lack of reliable information on soil water storage capacity has the most challenging problem until now in current water management. Knowing the water storage available is the ‘golden egg’ of water maintenance,” 

Matthijs van den Brink, HydroLogic

OWASIS gives us a detailed insight into areas most vulnerable to drought, as well as data on extreme rainfall – facilitating smart water management. “The services OWASIS provides have been a valuable addition to current water management information resources, particularly as 2018 was the driest summer on record in the Netherlands,” says Laurence Duquerroy, Technical Officer of the project at ESA. “The system was therefore successfully tested and demonstrated through extreme drought and the Dutch Water Board have now awarded OWASIS a contract to continue to use the service for the next two years.” 

Matthijs van den Brink says: “One of the key successes is the feedback and huge demand from users – who are very keen to have it and to pay for it. OWASIS really helps to safeguard the country against flooding as it allows for much better decision-making reducing both drought and flooding. The pilot proved it could work, and now we have a contract and are selling this product in the Netherlands.

“ESA support both on the idea and then the pilot was vital – and not least to convince the clients to be fully on board with the development of the product. We benefitted enormously from the review and quality control processes which gave an extra set of independent eyes asking critical questions.” Matthijs van den Brink, HydroLogic

Stay tuned for OWASIS Part II and how the project has been helping farmers in South Africa... coming soon!

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Where on Earth? ESA BASS poses the question at Portsmouth Stargazing Live…

Portsmouth Stargazing Live 2020 pulled some surprises last month with a slightly different perspective to previous years… 

The ESA BASS stand at Portsmouth Stargazing Live, originally a tie-in event with the BBC Stargazing Live TV programmes (Image credit: ESA)

This annual event held at Portsmouth’s History Dockyard was first launched to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists to learn more about space, the solar system and interplanetary exploration – and has dazzled audiences every year since 2013.  

At the 2020 event satellites were featured for the first time through ESA Business Applications and Space Solutions (ESA BASS), who talked about how we use space in our everyday lives. In fact, for the first time at this science exploration event, a conversation was started about looking down at the Earth rather than looking up into Space.

Satellites take centre stage  
Space offers many opportunities and solutions to improve our everyday lives. Satellite navigation systems provide accurate location data for moving or fixed assets, enabling users to get from A to B, but also to share their location or access location-based mobility services. Satellite communication networks allow us to transmit breaking news around the world in seconds. Earth observation satellites can forecast the weather, monitor crop health and inform us about major environmental hazards and events. 

Over 1600 attendees of all ages came to Stargazing Live to learn about space and space science!

Tom Greenwood and Victoria Christmas , ESA BASS UK Regional Ambassadors talked about the uses of satellites, and what would happen if they stopped working. They also played a game with participants, which proved by far the most popular attraction on the ESA table, called #WhereOnEarth? 

Six images taken from satellites of major global cities were on display for space enthusiasts of all ages to guess the location. Successful answers got ESA prizes and goodies (alien friend anyone?) 

Can you guess the six cities? 

Istanbul, TurkeyNew York, USALondon, UKTokyo, JapanBerlin, GermanySan Francisco, USA

On top of the fun taking place in the interactive exhibition, there were public lectures later on in the auditorium. One of the highlights was Tom Greenwood’s ‘Bringing Space Down to Earth’ where the audience discovered different satellite technologies, their uses and types of orbit. Starting furthest away from the Earth, Tom explained the concepts of Geostationary orbits, Medium-Earth orbits and Low-Earth orbits, and which satellites operate in each, and why. 

A super enthusiastic audience were quick to start asking questions, including:

 “What happens to satellites when they stop working?”

“How many new satellites will there be?”

“How big is a satellite?” 

Black holes, Big Bangs and billion-year journeys
Some of the other lectures explored the lives of stars, formation of supermassive black holes and the Big Bang, taking the audience through a 14 billion-year journey. 

The Portsmouth Stargazing Live event was a stellar success, and for the first time, thanks to ESA BASS, satellites were a focal part of the event. 

At ESA BASS we are always looking for new audiences to talk to about the opportunities available to society from space, and how we can bring space down to Earth. 
If you would like to talk to your Regional Ambassador about future opportunities like this then please get in contact here 


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European Space Agency signs Memorandum of Intent with Genius 100 Foundation

Genius 100 Foundation and the European Space Agency (ESA) Business Applications have signed a Memorandum of Intent (MoI) to support the development of innovative services that leverage space technologies and data to deliver social impact to unserved communities.

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ESA and Genius 100 Foundation will work together under the new MoI to enable communities around the world to be liveable and resilient, and to thrive.  

The MoI will support the incubation, development and piloting of innovative applications that make use of space technology, such as Earth observation and satellite communications and navigation, to deliver socio-economic impact to unserved user communities.

ESA has previously collaborated with Genius in the fields of education and uplifting rural communities. Now, in this renewed partnership, Genius will act as a catalyst by: gathering demand from user communities and stakeholders; liaising with end-user communities to assess the conditions for exploration of future applications; and helping to federate and establish the demand ecosystem. This will ensure any applications developed under the MoI can be exploited in a sustainable way. 

The applications will focus in particular on: education, health and sanitation, art and science for social impact, the circular economy and natural resource management.

“This agreement will create opportunities for companies based in ESA member states to showcase the potential for space-based applications to address highly societal impactful issues through viable business models,” says Magali Vaissiere, ESA Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications.

“The collaboration with the European Space Agency fits and contributes to the vision we have for our foundation,” explains Julie Toskan, CEO of Genius 100 Foundation . “This supports our ecosystem of purpose-driven initiatives, strengthening and establishing new ways to enhance social impacts from an economic, technological and ethical point of view.” 

As the first step in this cooperation, Genius and ESA plan to set up initiatives to address improvements in remote health provision and communities in the second half of 2020. 

About Genius 100 Foundation

Genius 100 Foundation, headquartered in Toronto, Canada, is an active and engaged community of 100 exceptionally imaginative and impactful people, including scientists, artists, philanthropists, innovators and other paragons of excellence in their own disciplines. What unites them is two qualities: they are both great thinkers and greater doers. 

About ESA and ESA BASS

The European Space Agency is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA is an international organisation with 22 Member States. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. ESA Business Applications and Space Solutions focusses on the commercial exploitation of space assets, data and capabilities by addressing technical feasibility and business development. This includes the development of operational services for a wide range of users through the combination of different systems, and support for existing businesses and the creation of viable new companies. 

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Taking Healthcare into the future with Space: Cross-sector event 11 February 2020

Space technologies could help offer solutions to the factors involved in health concerns (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Space and Health collide!  Tuesday 11 February 2020 @ ECSAT, Harwell Campus 

This event will feature a series of cross-sector panel discussions and talks to discuss how space solutions can be developed to meet the emerging (and growing) needs of the healthcare market. 

From using technologies and services such as Earth Observation, Space Navigation and Telecommunications satellites, to creating solutions to counter the environmental and lifestyle factors which contribute to health concerns (such as skin cancer and vitamin D-related diseases); attendees will get a sense of how these two seemingly different sectors can hold the key to collaborative innovation. 

Speakers include siHealth, BASF, Public Health England, the NHS, the UK Space Agency and of course, ESA BASS! 



10.00-10.30: Arrival and Registration

Image credit: Shutterstock

10.30-10.45: Welcome to ESA - Nick Appleyard (Head of Space Solutions, ESA)

10.45-11.00: Welcome to Harwell Campus - Barbara Ghinelli (Director of Business Development and Clusters, Harwell Campus)

11.00-11.15: Success stories of innovative space-based applications for healthcare - Emilio Simeone (Chairman and CEO, siHealth) and Marco Morelli
(Director and CTO, siHealth)

11.15-11.30: Space-based applications for the Personal Care market - Robert Parker (Director of New Business Development, BASF)

11.30-12.00: Coffee break and networking

12.00-12.45: Panel Discussion with Q&A: Innovations and business opportunities created by the cross-over between Space and Healthcare 

Chaired by Barbara Ghinelli (Harwell Campus), attended by:

- Martin Widmann (Senior Vice-President for Global Strategic Marketing, BASF)

- John O'Hagan (Head of the Laser and Optical Radiation Dosimetry Group, Public Health England)

- Emily Gravestock (Head of Applications Strategy, UK Space Agency)

- Nick Appleyard (Head of Space Solutions, ESA)

- Ewan Eadie (Head of Scientific Services for Photobiology, NHS Tayside - Ninewells Hospital of Dundee)

12.45-13.00: Concluding Remarks - Emilio Simeone (Chairman and CEO, siHealth) 

13:00-14:00: Networking Lunch 

Register for the event here



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Enel and the European Space Agency Together To Foster Space Applications in Energy

Rome, December 16th, 2019 – Enel and the European Space Agency (ESA) are cooperating to promote the development of space-applications in support of energy security as well as economic and environmental sustainability. Through this cooperation, in the first half of 2020, Enel and ESA will be launching a joint initiative related to circular economy and aimed at fostering the development of innovative services combining space data and other technology to monitor public lighting, building efficiency and traffic flows, seeking to improve mobility and environmental sustainability in cities.

The cooperation was announced during today’s “Space for Innovation Impact” event, promoted by ESA, and held at the premises of ASI, the Italian Space Agency.  

Space for Innovation Impact. Image credits: jamesteohart Shutterstock

“The space and energy sectors have always been at the forefront of technology and innovation and we are working together, with the aim to boost sustainability in our cities and infrastructure, protecting the wider environment while creating shared value for us and our stakeholders. Enel is committed to renewable energy and circular economy, as we see them as the drivers to increase living standards in our communities,” said Ernesto Ciorra, Enel’s Chief Innovability Officer. 

Magali Vaissiere, Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications, added: “working with Enel gives us the opportunity to foster the development of space applications for the energy sector and in the context of circular cities. We are confident that this cooperation will unlock significant business opportunities for European Industry, and will showcase the potential of space to deliver solutions with environmental and socio-economic benefits at scale.”

In addition to circular economy, the main areas of interest identified by Enel through this partnership encompass applications of space technologies, including satellite data, in electricity network distribution, with a view to (i) reduce technical risks, such as the interference of vegetation with overhead power lines, as well as (ii) to optimize energy services in distribution and generation.

Enel is already supporting ESA in the studies assessing the viability of satellite-based services in support of smart grids and electricity grid maintenance. The goal is to further improve distribution service and field operations in Europe and South America. The four on-going studies on the matter will be completed in the second quarter of 2020, establishing the framework for their practical applications. 

Enel is a multinational power company and a leading integrated player in the global power, gas and renewables markets. It is the largest European utility by market capitalization and ordinary EBITDA, and is present in over 30 countries worldwide, producing energy with around 90 GW of managed capacity. Enel distributes electricity through a network of over 2.2 million kilometers, and with around 73 million business and household end users globally, the Group has the largest customer base among its European peers. Enel’s renewables arm Enel Green Power already manages around 46 GW of wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower plants in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania. 

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