SLR presented expertise to the European Commission

SLR was invited to present at the recent "EU Research and Innovation in Support to the Earth observation Market" workshop, organised by the Directorate Climate Action and Resource Efficiency of European Commission's DG Research and Innovation (DG RTD) in Brussels. Peter Kinghan, Principal, SLR Consulting Ireland, presented examples of SLR’s work using remote sensing (related to O&G, mining and waste projects) along with ideas on how to bridge the gap between research / innovation and viable commercial end uses.

The presentation delivered by Peter was well received and the EC officials were particularly interested in the type of work SLR does, how SLR uses other data sources (e.g. drones) and the global potential of the projects the company is involved in. The team will be looking to build on the progress already made in this area and to developing their client base in new markets.  The European Space Agency (ESA) is promoting earth observation (EO) as best practice source of Environmental Impact Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation methodologies, which aligns with areas in which SLR has extensive experience and expertise. 

The European Commission has recognised that this is an immature market and is keen to invest in companies like SLR gain a competitive edge in the EO global market. To harness the potential of the industry the EU are actively developing a model of collaboration between the EC, researchers and the commercial sector to give EU companies a competitive edge when competing in the global market.   

The overall objective for the workshop was to explore Research and Innovation actions needed for the development of a dynamic EO market in Europe in relation to the Copernicus and GEO (Group on Earth Observations) initiatives.    

The three main themes of the workshop were:

  • To characterise the current EO market in Europe and globally and its future trends;

  • To identify Research and Innovation actions in support to the delivery of new EO services and products and define the appropriate measures to accelerate their uptake by industry;

  • To elaborate a mechanism for consulting/involving the European commercial sector towards GEO and Copernicus taking into account the dialogue already initiated between the two programmes.

Copernicus ( is a European system for monitoring the Earth. Copernicus consists of a complex set of systems which collect data from multiple sources: earth observation satellites and in situ sensors such as ground stations, airborne and sea-borne sensors. It processes these data and provides users with reliable and up-to-date information through a set of services related to environmental and security issues. The first satellite was launched in 2014 and the data produced is free.


​An area of growth for SLR

There is a ‘geospatial revolution’ unfolding as the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Earth Observation (EO) industries merge to form the Geospatial Industry. The current market size is €3.5 billion for EO services, with a projected growth of 8.5% per year. Of this market 21% is linked to Environmental Monitoring, 33% Infrastructure, 13% Natural Resources and 9% Energy – all these sectors are relevant to SLR. Both consolidation and new entrants into the industry are driven by a ‘sensor revolution’.

In addition, there will be 2,130 satellites launched over the next 10 years, in what is the advent of small satellites constellations. Watch this space!


Key Contacts:

Peter Kinghan