User-centric approach to facilitate a widespread uptake of satellite-based solutions for agri-food sector

by Annalisa Donati, Eurisy

The European agricultural sector is one of the world leading producers of food, guarantor of food security and quality and provider of millions of jobs. Yet it faces many challenges from environmental pressures, mostly related to climate change and loss of biodiversity, to the need for sustainable and efficient management of resources such as water, soil and energy.

Data-based technologies, including satellite positioning systems like GPS, remote sensing, and the Internet have the potential to increase farm efficiency and improve production, and also to contribute to making farming systems more sustainable from an economic, social and environmental point of view.

Such technologies can optimise all types of farming, enable better decision making, and reshape the functioning of agri-food markets. Increased use of data-based technologies will also have a positive impact on the quality of life for farm workers and the rural population, and may attract a younger generation to farming and rural business start-ups.

However, the use of digital technology in agriculture and rural areas in the EU is, on average, low. The lack of information about existing technologies, the lack of digital skills and the limited availability of reliable cost/benefit analyses of the new technologies are challenges limiting the adoption of digital applications from end-users.

Eurisy, a European non-profit association of space agencies, works as a facilitator and catalyst for innovation, stimulating the uptake of space-based solutions and supporting collaboration between public institutions, SMEs, industry, and academia.

Eurisy strives to promote the use of satellite solutions for the benefit of a number of professional communities in many sectors like agriculture, energy, infrastructure, transport, just to name a few. Eurisy does this through a unique bottom-up approach, putting at the centre the end-users, understanding their needs and challenges, providing relevant fora to share experiences and expertise by tapping into its repository of good practices, the biggest in Europe.

In this perspective, Eurisy has lent its expertise to the dissemination of the Horizon2020 funded project: e-shape. E-shape is a unique initiative that builds on decades of public investment in Earth Observation and in cloud capabilities to develop 27 cloud-based pilot applications based on a user-centric approach building easy service, from data to information provision and/or visualization/exploitation.


About Annalisa Donati

Annalisa is currently Coordinator of Activities of Eurisy, the European association of space agencies striving to bridge the gap between space and society. As Research Fellow at the European Space Policy Institute she was responsible for the studies on space economy, finance and innovation’s domains. Before joining ESPI she was a Young Graduate Trainee within the Industrial Policy and SMEs Division of the European Space Agency (ESA) and Temporary Officer at the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). Annalisa holds a M.S. in Diplomatic Studies from the SIOI and in Multilateral Security from the University of Perugia.

About Eurisy

Eurisy is a non-profit association founded in 1989 by Hubert Curien, then France’s Minister of Education.

Eurisy’s unique membership structure include most space agencies or governmental offices in charge of space affairs in Europe, and international organisations dealing with space matters.

The mission of Eurisy is to bridge space and society. To fulfil its scope, Eurisy stimulate and support dialogue and collaboration between public institutions at any level, SMEs, industry and academia from the space and non-space sectors. The goal is to build solid relations with communities, new to space, encouraging early adopters to share experiences creating a common ground for professionals from different backgrounds.

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