Earth Observation (EO) is becoming increasingly relevant to tackle several challenges ranging from climate emergency to civil protection, defence and security, all the more central in view of an ever more unstable international political environment. In addition, the digital transition occurring throughout all sectors of the economy – such as in energy, mobility, agriculture, health, financial services, insurance, among others – benefits strongly from EO data as key information for shaping policy, regulation and business decision-making. In the smart cities of the future, EO is also set to play a central role.

The growing need to resort to complete and accurate EO data, both by the public and the private sector, is leading to higher investments in both R&D and in new business ventures including not only in the space sector, but also in data and digital services. At the same time, new technologies, from AI and DLT / blockchain to AR and VR, are being brought together for the development and trading of new solutions, products and services throughout the EO value chain, both upstream and downstream.

According to EUSPA EO and GNSS Market Report 2022, EO market’s revenues are set to double from roughly €2.8 billion to over €5.5 billion over the next decade and applications will be boosted by a large pool of  value-added services (85% of global revenue).

Recent policy and legislative initiatives and proposals are set to impact the EO market. Stakeholders need therefore to be aware and remain vigilant to ensure not only compliance with legal requirements, but also to take advantage of all the opportunities brought by recent and upcoming changes.

This Space Brief highlights three main aspects EO stakeholders need to take into consideration in view of the recent or expected policy and legal evolutions with impact on EO, as well as two specific areas in which EO is expected to continue to be a keystone, as indicated below.

  • Check here for some relevant milestones in Jan-April 2022.