The AP-Swiss Opening conference took place on 13 February 2013 at the Rolex Learning Centre of EPFL in Lausanne. The objectives of the conference were:
-to present the current capabilities that space infrastructures can offer,
-to introduce the new opportunities offered by the IAP programme of ESA, and
-to identify the priority know-how and needs of the Swiss industry, including both service providers and end users.
The Conference was also intended to introduce AP-Swiss, the recently established IAP Ambassador Platform for Switzerland, co-sponsored by ESA and the Swiss Space Office and dedicated to fostering the development of integrated space-based applications with and for the Swiss industry.
The Conference provided an opportunity for Swiss stakeholders to network and interact with each other. Nearly 100 attendees representing some 40 Swiss private companies and 10 institutional entities (federal departments, international organizations and universities), took part.
The conference was opened by Daniel Neuenschwander, Director of the Swiss Space Office and Magali Vaissiere, Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications at ESA.
Car navigation systems, television broadcast and Google Earth are the three most successful applications of space to date, each relying on a particular space technology. Meteorological forecasting is another example where several technologies are jointly used. The increasing ability, offered by the latest IT advances, to combine the capabilities of positioning systems, Earth observation and telecommunication satellites, opens new opportunities for applications and services for many economic sectors: transport, logistics, commodities, insurance and finance, safety and security, infrastructure management, land and urban development, energy, food, water and tourism. The presentations at the Conference underlined the following priorities for the Swiss space services industry:
- infrastructure monitoring for safety,
- agriculture applications (yield forecast, insurance, certification),
- snow related applications (ski resorts management and safety,
- impact of snow on water availability, flood hazards and energy production), and
- UAV (mission support services, applications).
Conference participants also recognised the need to proactively develop a Swiss commercial capability in the sectors of energy and water management, including the induced impact of their exploitation. These priorities reflect the existing know-how of Swiss service companies dealing with space technologies and infrastructures as well as the major current trends in market developments.
All the presentations are publicly available and can be found on the website of AP-Swiss.