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EO Research and Beyond


New RSS Users: Start-ups, non-EO Projects, and Advanced Education

In the last couple of years new types of users have started to request RSS support. While historically RSS users belonged to the Earth Observation community (i.e. Research Centres or Service Companies), recently non-EO entities have peeped out to get a closer look at the EO data exploitation potential enabled by RSS and its tools, in terms of value added for their activities. 


For example, this year various Start-ups from ESA Business Incubation Centres have approached RSS to better understand the type of support they can rely on. With three of these Start-ups we have entered into more detailed discussions, and two of them have factually followed-up the preliminary discussions by providing their concrete requirements. None of them is an EO company: one company is in the agricultural business, the other in the energy management industry. The support is on-going and covers basic training, data and tools provisioning. 


Another example regarding new EO data user types, comes from the support provided by RSS to architecture related projects last year and this year. Initially, the support was limited to data and customised CloudToolbox provisioning, both needed for some workshops at UCL-Bartlett. Successively, the support was extended to an Architect Firm involved in urban and environmental requalification projects of various European sites, some of them achieved with good media resonance. In this second case, besides data and tools provisioning, the support included basic training (on data and tools) and customised optical data processing. Currently, RSS has resumed the support to UCL-Bartlett for new on-going workshops: among the other usual things (customised CloudToolboxes, data), the preparation of these activities included the “Train the trainer” service as well. 


Last but not least, RSS has been involved since the very beginning in the definition phase of the new Master’s Degree in Data Science offered by “La Sapienza” University of Rome, Italy. The consultation process involving various Big data stakeholders (including ESA RSS) started in Autumn 2014, and the course started the successive year. 



We are now discussing with the University of Rome La Sapienza to effectively plan the fulfilment of their requirements. According to the initial requirements, from the second semester of the current academic year (next February), RSS will contribute to the Earth Observation class of the Master’s Degree in Data Science by providing dataset and customised CloudToolboxes, as well as frontal lessons and laboratory exercises. 


In addition to those mentioned in this post, other non-EO entities have recently requested support from RSS. We expect the observed growing trend of this types of requests to continue and consolidate in the next years. 


For more information 

RSS Portal: rssportal.esa.int

Author's email: giancarlo.rivolta@esa.int