Summary of CloudFerro conference celebrating 25th anniversary of the Copernicus Programme

On June 15th, 2023, CloudFerro, a member of the Copernicus Relays network, organised a conference "See more from space – a revolution in monitoring the Earth – 25 years of the Copernicus Programme."

The event took place at the Cosmic Hub in Warsaw, Poland, celebrating the Polish Copernicus Year, and the 25th anniversary of the Copernicus Programme in Europe. The aim of the conference was to summarize the achievements of the Programme, indicate directions of its further development, and benefits from using Earth observation data. Over one hundred representatives of the Polish public administration, space and government agencies, scientific institutions and business attended the event.

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Copernicus Programme anniversary, CloudFerro, a Copernicus Relay, invited representatives of the Polish public administration, local government, science, education, and business, as well as all those interested in using Earth observation data, to discuss  the programme’s  achievements, its potential for innovation and prospects for future development. The Copernicus Programme has revolutionized the use of satellite data, supporting many economic sectors, scientific communities as well as public and commercial users around the world.

The conference speakers raised the issues of the importance of the programme in the Polish perspective, its potential development and impact on the planet. The experts also discussed the potential and challenges facing the Copernicus Programme in the near and distant future, including the use of its data in statistics or innovative solutions, such as simulations of Digital Earth Twins.

The event was opened by the CEO of CloudFerro Maciej Krzyżanowski, and keynote speeches were given by the representatives of the Polish Ministry of Development and Science, and the Polish Space Agency. The first part of the conference referred to the Copernicus Programme’s achievements and directions for its further development, which were presented by the representatives of the Statistics Poland, National Research Institute, the Institute of Geodesy and Cartography, and Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center affiliated to the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Science.

The 25 years of the Programme's history have brought many projects that have revolutionized various industries and sectors of the economy. In the second part of the meeting, experts showed some examples of the use of satellite data in crisis management, agricultural monitoring and carbon balance research, among other topics. Selected projects were presented by the representatives of Polish institutions such as the Space Research Centre at the Polish Academy of Science, the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management, the Institute of Geodesy and Cartography, and the Agency for Restructuring and Modernisation of Agriculture, among others.

The conference ended with a panel debate moderated by Dr. Milena Ratajczak and attended by Dr. Maciej Krzyżanowski, the CEO of CloudFerro, Dr. Dominik Rozkrut, President of the Statistics Poland, Dr. Jakub Ryzenko from the Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Dr. Agata Hościło from the Institute of Geodesy and Cartography, and Paweł Durka from the Institute of Environmental Protection, National Research Institute. In addition to the discussions about the development of the space sector in Poland, and the cooperation between the industrial sector and the community of science and public administration in terms of providing access and processing Earth observation data, the panellists addressed the need of systemic support in creating opportunities for a wider use of the potential of the Copernicus Programme. A discussion was also held about the contribution of the Polish institutions and enterprises to the development of the Copernicus Programme, and how to expand the scope of Copernicus data applications in various fields of the economy. One of the most interesting conclusions from the debate, which was also joined by numerous conference participants, was the need for closer and structured cooperation of the industry with educational institutions, which would broaden competences in this narrow field of science.

The 25th anniversary of the Copernicus Programme is an excellent opportunity to summarize its achievements and draw conclusions for the future. We are pleased that Polish companies have built a very strong position in the industry of processing and providing access to satellite data in Europe. This is supported by the fact that we are becoming prime contractor for the industry’s leading European institutions, such as ESA or EUMETSAT. In my opinion, this is the perfect time to take the next step and make satellite data services a Polish specialization in the space sector. Such a hub could translate, for example, into placing an ESA competence center in Poland, and dynamizing the development of the sector.

– says Dr. Maciej Krzyżanowski, the CEO of CloudFerro

The event was accompanied by an exhibition of winning works from the last edition of the international competition "Seize the beauty of our Planet" for the best satellite image of the Earth showing climate change in water areas.

The honorary patrons of the conference were the Minister of Education and Science, and the Polish Space Agency, whereas the partners of the event were the Polish Space Agency, the Industrial Development Agency, the Space Technology Center of the AGH University of Science and Technology, the Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences, and the Institute of Geodesy and Cartography.

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