ESA's Integrated Applications Promotion (IAP) programme has partnered with the Swiss Space Office to establish an Ambassador Platform dedicated to fostering the development of integrated space-based applications with and for the Swiss industry: AP-Swiss.
The IAP programme supports the development and validation of viable operational services relying on a combination of space systems (Telecommunication, Navigation, Earth Observation, Manned Space Technologies). By using and integrating these systems with non-space assets, improved and new services on a regional, national or global scale can be created for a wide range of users.
The role of AP-Swiss
As with all IAP Ambassador Platforms, the role of the IAP Swiss Platform is to:
- Increase awareness amongst economic actors about the potential added-value of space technologies;
- Stimulate the emergence of new ideas and services;
- Help create international partnerships so as to generate a global customer base needed for services to be sustainable;
- Be an "honest broker" between ESA and Swiss stakeholders (e.g., "spacetech" companies, solution/service providers, customers, user communities).
AP-Swiss helps companies to target new services, identify Swiss, European and international partners and obtain funding from ESA for awareness, feasibility and demonstration activities, up to market validation.
Such a partnership brokering is critical to develop truly integrated applications, combining multiple space and non-space systems to deliver complete solutions and reach wider markets.
AP-Swiss will have a definite Swiss focus. Its remit includes the many multinational companies and organisations that are based in the country and whose activities are global. Its focus will be on food security, water management, transport logistics and safety, renewable energy, banking and insurance, aid and health for developing countries and regional development.
The IAP Ambassador Platform for Switzerland is managed by José Achache, previously Executive Director of the Group on Earth Observations in Geneva, Deputy Director General for Research and Technology at CNES, and a former Director of Earth Observation Programmes at ESA. In addition to numerous scientific publications, Professor Achache is the author of "Les Sentinelles de la Terre", an essay on space policy, space technologies and their applications.
AP-Swiss is located in the Innovation Square of the EPFL Science Park in Lausanne. This hands-on incubator was established to support innovative technology companies and projects in their early years, taking science to market. With approximately 100 start-up companies, the "innovation cells" of many large corporations and the proximity to the Swiss Space Center, the Science Park provides the perfect eco-system for AP-Swiss to mature new and innovative applications of space-based infrastructures, in close cooperation with all stakeholders in Switzerland.