Workshop on space Earth Observation & Remote Sensing

Main content

Please find below the minutes of meeting of the 16 March 2017 Minutes of the Meeting. (PDF, 3.6 MB)(Please be aware that the document contains the participant's statements and opinions and is not an official communication).

The working group will publish in a later stage a compressed summary of the minutes.

Safe the date: Due to the positive feedback there will be a next meeting on the 15 March 2018!


Earth Observation in Switzerland:
Needs and Visions?

Workshop for the space Earth Observation and
Remote Sensing (EO&RS) Community in Switzerland

When                16 March 2017 (8.30 - 17.00)
Who                  All people interested or active in EO&RS from space
Where               Bern, Kursaal (room: Szenario 2)
Language         English
Organiser         Working group EO&RS (Swiss Space Center)
Objectives        - Get-together for the EO&RS players
                          - Exchange of visions and opinions
                          - Provide a platform for discussion between up-
                            and down-stream players
                          - Discuss about needs and goals of the community

Registration    Closed


Flyer (PDF, 3.5 MB)

08:30  -  09:00

Registration and coffee

09:00  -  09:20

Keynote speech: Nicolas Thomas (Universität Bern)

09:20  -  09:30

Welcome and introduction of the day

09:30  -  10:15

Panel discussion Nr. 1: Swiss strategy of Earth Observation: Where do we want to be in 20 years from now?

10:15  -  10:45

Coffee break

10:45  -  11:30

Panel discussion Nr. 2: Is Earth Observation more than ESA?

11:30  -  12:30

Professional Speed Networking

12:30  -  13:30


13:30  -  14:30

Discussion in groups (Part 1)

14:30  -  14:45

Short break

14:45  -  15:45

Discussion in groups (Part 2)

15:45  -  16:15

Summary and closing words

16:15  -  ...


Motivation and Background

The members of the Swiss Space Center’s working group on Earth Observation and Remote Sensing (EO&RS) see a particular gap in the community between the needs and knowledge of upstream industries (e.g. instrument builders) and end-users of the data (e.g. application/service provider and users).
The goal of the workshop is to bring the Swiss space Earth Observation and Remote Sensing community together and to discuss the emerging themes in EO as well as the needs of the community. The target audience is anyone interested or active in space EO&RS, from instrument builders to end-users, and from decision-making institutions to service industries. If you are interested in the future of Earth Observation based on satellite observations in Switzerland, join us for the discussion!
This one-day workshop is an interactive get-together to sense the needs and visions of the community. The goal is to capture the spectrum of activities and needs of the community, and to build the foundation to develope a long-term perspective and a common voice to foster Earth Observation and Remote Sensing in Switzerland.
The day is structured in two parts, with panel discussions in the morning and discussion in smaller groups during the afternoon. The output of the discussions will be summarized in the minutes of meeting available for the participants.

Panel Discussion 09:30 - 11:30

For the panel discussions in the morning, diverse players from Swiss industry (service and instruments), research institutions, government are invited to answer the questions of the audience and discuss about the two topics. You can find the list of participants below (the list gets continously updated with names of participants):

Swiss strategy of Earth Observation: where do we want to be in 20 years from now?

- André Streilein (swisstopo)
- Maurice Borgeaud (ESA, Head EOP-S)
- Elisabetta Rugi Grond (CEO TAS-CH)
- Paolo Pasquali (CEO sarmap)
- Michael Schaepman (RSL UZH)
- Fabio Fontana (meteoswiss)
- Nicolas Thomas (CSH UniBe)
- Jürg Schopfer (SSO SBFI)

Is Earth Observation more than ESA?

- Yann Voumard (Solenix)
- Urs Wegmüller (Gamma Remote Sensing)
- Philip Jörg (NPOC / RSL UZH)
- Paul Hammer (SwissRe)
- Markus Wüest (BAFU)
- Barbara Ryan (GEO/GEOSS)

The following document can serve as a support for the discussion: market analysis regarding a Swiss contribution to the Copernicus programm. The report was published on February 16 2017 (BAFU, FOEN, OFEV).

Professional Speed Networking 11:30 - 12:30

The speed networking brings the participants together to discuss about their domain and interest. Within 12 minutes two participants can introduce themselves and their business to each other and give a first impression in view of potential future collaboration. Every participant can choose three person that he/she would like to meet. The pairing will be done few days before the event.

Discussion in Groups 13:30 - 15:45

The afternoon is dedicated to discussions in smaller groups. Each participant can choose two topics out of four that will be discussed during one hour. This discussion aims at getting the opinions and ideas of everyone and maybe even developing a common idea. The discussion will be summarized at the end of the afternoon and afterwards used as basis for a summary of the day (available for everyone). Some ideas to start the discussion are listed below. 

Swiss strategy in EO: What is needed to strengthen the EO community?

Can we speak with one voice for the EO community? What is the future (business or science) of EO? How do we want to take part in the latest developments such as the Copernicus programs or new ventures like PlanetLabs or Astrocast? What will be the new challenges in which Switzerland will be able to provide hardware or services?

Ideas/process to build a Swiss space EO project.

Different ideas and approaches to create a Swiss Space EO Project could be discussed. How could the community get e.g. another Swiss instrument into space? How or for what project could it be possible to have a Swiss consortium, e.g. for a Earth Explorer call? How other approaches like hosted payloads could be leveraged, e.g. an instrument on a GEO telecom satellite?

Is Earth observation more than ESA?

EO is rapidly evolving in its structure. What can be done beyond ESA on the instrument side, e.g. via NASA, hosted payloads, PlanetLabs, CubeSats etc.? What business can be made beyond projects financed by ESA and business related to Sentinel data?

Development of new services in EO with ICT (initiated by SixSq SA):

Switzerland has a wealth of knowledge and capabilities in both Earth Observation (EO) and ICT (Information and Communications Technology). The aim of the discussion is to share a vision where we can bridge Swiss EO and ICT expertise to offer a novel and innovative service. This service would enable the creation of high-valued EO products, cheaply and dynamically. Leveraging potential ESA funding, we aim at focusing initially on the challenges posed by the Alpine region. Strategic issues such as sovereignty, service level agreements, guarantee of access to data, IPR protection, etc. are all important in order for customers to commit to this type of new service. Therefore, our Swiss answer must take these constraints into account. A mid-term objective would also then be to export this concept to other nations (with limited public ICT capabilities) allowing the private sector to offer EO data processing as a service.

Registration and Costs

The participation in the workshop is free of charge, however, registration is mandatory (deadline 12 March 2017). The workshop is organized by the Earth Observation and Remote Sensing working group of the Swiss Space Center.

For any questions, please contact
(secretary of the working group and coordinator of the workshop).

Page URL:
© 2017 Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich