Australia and EU sign historic arrangement on Earth observation

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earthBrussels : Australia’s access to vital satellite data has been assured through the signing of a cooperation arrangement in Brussels between the Australian Government and the European Commission. The agreement provides access to Copernicus, the European Union’s Earth Observation and Monitoring program, which captures imagery of planet Earth and its environment for the ultimate benefit of all citizens.

Australia’s Assistant Minister for Science Karen Andrews applauded the arrangement which provides Australia with access to the most comprehensive Earth observation program in world history. Andrews said – Australia’s economy already benefits from satellite data to the tune of $4.3 billion annually. This agreement secures a reliable long-term supply of high-quality data in an area expected to grow substantially over the next ten years. Through our research sector, spatial industry, and our national science agencies Geoscience Australia and CSIRO, we envision data from Copernicus’s satellites creating great opportunities for businesses small and large, in Europe and Australia, working together to create innovative, economy-changing products and services.

The benefits of such data share are manifold, some of them being — the satellites would offer unprecedented capture of the Australian landscape with detailed, around-the-clock imagery to support the management of iconic environmental sites like the Great Barrier Reef, and monitor changes to Australian lakes and river systems.The data would also stimulate the development of new applications and services relevant to Australia’s agriculture, fisheries, transport, mining and energy sectors, and help build regional and world economies, as informed by Australian Science Minister.

The agreement was signed between the Australian Government, represented by Stuart Minchin of Geoscience Australia, and the European Commission, represented by Philippe Brunet, Director of Space Policy, Copernicus and Defence.

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