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Launching the Maritime Copernicus Enablement Platform

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MCEP (Launching the Maritime Copernicus Enablement Platform)

Reporting period: 2015-10-01 to 2016-01-31

Environmental information is of crucial importance. It helps to understand how our planet and its climate are changing, the role played by human activities in these changes and how these will influence our daily lives. The recent advances of technology in the Earth Observation Industry have proven crucial for new and existing value-adding companies, to explore new opportunities that satellite data offers in several industry sectors ranging from: governmental security, oil & gas, infrastructure, transport, communications, agriculture, energy & natural resources and commercial services (insurance, news, travel, etc.), amongst others.
To support the decisions on environmental policies, and to provide organizations and individuals with updated and reliable information regarding the Earth, the European Commission has created the European Earth Observation programme renamed Copernicus, previously known as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security). Copernicus, with an estimated cost over €8 billion, is a compound of several satellites (sentinel satellites and others) with different instrumentation, together with ground-based and airborne sensors, that provide observation information of the earth as Open Data, without any cost. Copernicus is intended to provide data for further uptake and use, and research has been conducted by Euroconsult predicting that this programme will have a €1,8Bn turnover impact on Earth Observation value-adding companies and is expected to create approximately 16,000 direct and 51,200 indirect jobs by 2030.
The Maritime Copernicus Enablement Platform (MCEP) solution was developed with the goal of providing a non-complex and reliable Enablement Platform based on Copernicus data, allowing users to easily develop applications for the Maritime sector.
Scale-up beyond current prototype, in order to finalise the platform from the back and front-end side for market readiness, adding two demonstration downstream applications named eSafety and EDIA to undertake an intensive pilot test of the systems supporting burden load of users and to assess the security of the system will be the key factors for the company Eixo Digital to lead its growth and expansion based on this ground-breaking solution that is facing rising demand levels.
Eixo Digital has used the financial support of Phase 1 to complete a feasibility study that has allowed to fully validate the feasibility of the Maritime Copernicus Enablement Platform (MCEP) solution market roll-out.
The study covered an analysis of the current state of Eixo Digital and MCEP project. A technological feasibility study of the proposed solution including a customer and development plan, as well as a roadmap of the next steps to continue exploring MCEP and key partners needed for a successful completion of the envisaged project. An analysis of the Earth Observation market identifying trends, needs, all relevant players and segments. The competitive landscape of the industry allowing for the definition of the MCEP business potential. An economic feasibility study comprising a business model with strategies to reach the desired customers. A commercialization plan is outlined in order to cope with expected demand, according to financial projections and IP management strategies. And lastly, the risks involved in the different technological and economical areas involved, are fully assessed and measures to minimize the potential risks derived from the use of cutting-edge technologies in a fast-moving industry are defined.
The results of the feasibility study undertaken during the phase 1 action have endorsed Eixo Digital’s purpose to pursue the further development of the MCEP concept as well as the eSafety and EDIA Pilot Demonstrators, following the revision of technical specifications and updates of the business model.
MCEP addresses the new trend of pre-processing and providing Satellite data from open source datasets, which has emerged for example with the European Union Copernicus Program. In particular it addresses the need by the marine downstream Earth Observation industry to build new products and services using Earth Observation satellite data that benefits a multitude of industries ranging from the water transportation, agriculture and military, amongst others. As new technologies continue to emerge, their combination with Earth Observation Satellite data creates infinite opportunities for new firms and companies to explore.
However, even though Satellite providers have continuously been disposing Open Data inputs free of cost to the whole industry, the major barrier is that this pre-processed data underlies high levels of complexity and as well as a constant flow rate of inputs, that requires expensive dedicated physical and financial resources in order to exploit such datasets properly.
MCEP is capable of storing, retrieving and gathering datasets of monitoring information from Copernicus, processing them into structured data and storing them in a big data repository with indexed querying, available for users to access in a repository through a common API. By taking advantage of a harmonized and intuitive API that removes data complexity and maximizes data availability to all companies, they are able to exploit satellite data for the services and products they provide as well as new opportunities. Indeed, MCEP offers its customers a specialized service that enables them to cut down on costs and maximize their access to Copernicus satellite data by saving on financial and labour resources needed, and at the same time being guaranteed reliable, secure and constant high level of service due to Eixo Digital’s dedicated servers and resources.
Furthermore, MCEP offers an array of new possibilities in terms of data availability for the industry. The enablement platform is highly scalable to other Copernicus geo-spatial information (i.e. land, emergency response, atmosphere, security and climate change), which allows to take advantage of an opportunity to serve several Earth Observation players in the whole downstream market.
MCEP’s goal is to empower all companies from the Earth Observation industry with democratized Earth Observation satellite data for new added-value services and improved decision-making, thus leveraging the size and prospects of the industry.
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