Today in Paris, Copa-Cogeca and the European Space Agency (ESA) signed a first joint Memorandum of Intent “Supporting the Sustainable Transformation of Agriculture and the Agri-food Sectors through Digitalisation and Space.”
Christiane Lambert, President of Copa, who attended the signing, said “The EU farming community needs to ensure food security for a growing population, while also preserving nature and healthy soils, and protecting biodiversity. The use of digital and space technologies is already key for many of us, but it will become increasingly important for the strategic autonomy required by the European Union.”
Nick Appleyard, Head of Applications and Solutions Department at ESA, who was also present at the signing, said “We are very excited about the collaboration with Copa-Cogeca. Space-based solutions are pivotal for the agri-food sector as they unlock several services which allow the community to grow financially and at the same time respect the environment. Copa-Cogeca are the perfect partner to accelerate the green transition of the agri-food sector.”
ESA and Copa-Cogeca joined forces to address industry challenges, with the aim of providing the user community with services that allow farmers and agri-cooperatives to improve the management of natural resources, optimise decision-making tools and closely monitor environmental performance, all while generating profit. Satellite communications ensure connectivity everywhere in the world, Earth observation data allows the monitoring of crop conditions and eases the adaptation to climate challenges, and satellite navigation enables precise position tracking of people and vehicles.
This new partnership will combine Copa-Cogeca’s expertise in the agri-food sector with ESA’s technical competence and its mandate through the Business Applications and Space Solutions (BASS) programme to support the development and demonstration of space solutions in addressing user needs.
Digital farming combined with space data can bring added value and business opportunities for European farmers and agri-cooperatives. The farming sector is already a frontrunner in the digital arena, ensuring data generated during the various stages of agricultural production can be collected, transferred, processed and analysed.
Copa-Cogeca and ESA look forward to further developing this partnership. As a first step, ESA will open a dedicated Call for Proposals entitled ‘The Sustainable Transformation of Agriculture Through Digitalisation and Space’ on 13 October 2023.