Agreement with ESA signed to implement Copernicus, Europe's Earth Observation Programme
The European Commission paves the way for the take-off of the new earth observation programme Copernicus.
To this end a budget of about € 3.15 billion of the EU budget for the period 2014 2020 will be delegated over the next 7 years to the European Space Agency (ESA) as coordinator of the Copernicus space component. This amount is needed to pay for the development, launch and operations of the Sentinel -1 and -2 satellites, as well as for the construction of follow-on units.
Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director General of the European Commission's Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry, and Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA's Director General, signed the milestone Agreement between the Commission and ESA on the implementation of Copernicus.
According to the agreement, the European Commission has the overall responsibility for Copernicus, and will define the programme's strategic priorities and objectives. ESA, as the system architect of the space component, will ensure the technical coordination and will procure and develop dedicated Copernicus missions. This agreement will ensure the smooth functioning of the programme in the years to come, and constitutes a model for the evolving relationship between the EU and ESA.
Copernicus, the EU's Earth Observation Programme, ensures the regular observation and monitoring of Earth sub-systems, namely the atmosphere, oceans, and land surfaces. Through a combination of state-of-the-art satellites, contributing missions and in-situ data, Copernicus provides timely, reliable, and validated information in support of a broad range of environmental, climate and security policies and applications.
Copernicus will support its users public authorities, the global scientific community, the private sector and citizens in their vital tasks of monitoring our environment and security, by providing Earth Observation data and information, as well as added value services. This programme will enable considerable progress in improving maritime security, monitoring climate change, and providing support in emergency and crisis situations.
Copernicus opens up new business opportunities
Copernicus will also help Europe's enterprises creating new jobs and business opportunities, through added-value services for environmental data exploitation, as well as supporting the space industry itself. Indirectly, a variety of other economic sectors will benefit from the advantages of timely, accurate and reliable Earth observation data, such as transport, oil and gas, insurance and agriculture.
Independent studies show that Copernicus could generate a financial benefit of some ¬30 billion to Europe's total GDP and create around 50,000 jobs in Europe by 2030. Moreover, the free, full and open dissemination of Copernicus data and information will help citizens, businesses, researchers and policy makers to integrate an environmental dimension into their activities.
Already today, space activities foster the development of a market for satellite-enabled products and services, providing high quality jobs, enhancing our industrial competitiveness and fostering Europe's R&D, which our societies will need in order to thrive now and in the future.