GEO Week 2019 Learnings

Industry Track
Exceeding All Expectations

GEO Week 2019 hosted a broad range of Earth observation innovators from around the world showcasing the latest in Earth observation data and technology.

This extensive and diverse collection of Earth observation discussions created a great opportunity to gain a more detailed understanding on key issues and activities influencing the development of the sector.

Participants at the Industry Track heard presentations revolving around a thematic basis highlighting new ideas and capabilities, providing updates on cutting edge technology and their applications, whilst raising topical issues for discussion.

FrontierSI was honoured to have played a crucial role by facilitating, coordinating and participating in the week-long event.

What Did We Learn?

  • We were enlightened with 10 EO-based businesses giving rapid-fire pitches during the AU-EU Industry Showcase; a fantastic way to learn about the interesting work being carried out in the sector;
  • The End User Forum lead to many useful insights for the spatial industry in how we can better serve businesses, including:
    • EO has the potential to improve the speed and accuracy of insurance claims processing;
    • EO has the potential to improve how remotely conducted activities are managed;
    • There is a strong need for organisations to understand the available data so that they can better help their customers (particularly in insurance and finance);
    • A barrier for the use of EO data is that these businesses don’t know what’s out there and what’s possible;
    • Spatial companies/governments who want to engage with industry should engage by approaching:
      • The coordinating bodies within a given sector;
      • Parent companies, who have more reach to ensure new tech and solutions are implemented across all companies they manage; and
      • Industry leaders.
    • Customer trust in EO data is currently low. People will often ask “How do you know that?” when presented with insights from EO;
      • Trust will also depend greatly on how critical a decision is, and how risk-averse the organisation is.
  • The End User Forum successfully used a polling application to ensure audience questions were addressed;
  • The Design Thinking 101 workshop provided an opportunity to reflect on some of the learnings from the End User Forum;
  • There were excellent opportunities for leading Earth Observation industry players (global and local) to share knowledge;
  • The importance of creating opportunities for GEO;
  • The opportunity for delegations to talk and truly engage with industry;
  • GEO consideration for the voice of industry to ensure a sustainable program, one which is well-informed and considers all aspects of EO activity and innovations in the public and private sector;
  • Leveraging the GEO Associate category, which is now available for the private sector to engage and participate in GEO discussions; and by keeping an open dialogue.

Added Value at GEO Week

Melbourne Cup + AU-EU EARSC session (10 rapid-fire company pitches)
Led by FrontierSI‘s Eva Rodriguez Rodriguez, and Rory Donnelly from the European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC), this session presented some of the most exciting developments by European and Australian industry in remote sensing. It was an opportunity for business-to-business interaction and to learn more about companies, capabilities and activities occurring in these regions.

End User Forum
Facilitated by FrontierSI‘s Eva Rodriguez Rodriguez, this session of the Industry Track centred on the end users and customers for EO. End-users took to the stage as attendees heard directly from key representatives of the Agriculture, Mining, Aquaculture, International Development Aid and Banking sectors. They helped uncover pressing problems and needs, and attendees had the opportunity to participate in a live Q&A.

Design Thinking 101 training
Coordinated by FrontierSI and delivered by ThinkPlace‘s Laura Kostanski, the session built on the discussions from the End User Forum. The session aimed at helping companies better connect with their users, assisted them in understanding their problems to help create better products and services as a result. Participants had the opportunity to use some of the previously uncovered real end-user problems as examples to test new discovery research capabilities, and test tools and methods for collaboration and problem solving. A primary focus was uncovering how the market for EO products and services could be widened by understanding and deploying new skills and frameworks, better defining user problems and tailoring product offerings.

AO Industry @ GEO
Facilitated by FrontierSI CEO Graeme Kernich, this lively session gave attendees an opportunity to better understand the rich Earth Observation capabilities across the Asia-Oceania (A-O) region, to become familiar with EO-relevant companies and their subsequent expertise, and to understand the current and potential markets, experiences, challenges, opportunities and approaches to doing business.

Hackathon ‘Leaders’
Identifying Challenges leading into co-creating solutions.
Facilitated by FrontierSI mentors Chris Morgan, Caitlin Adams and Andrew Hicks, these were a series of regional hackathons in various Indigenous communities ranging from the Arctic to Amazon and aimed to identify challenges that can be solved or addressed using open Earth observation (EO) data, including satellite imagery, remote sensing and in situ data. The primary goals of this project were to promote the use of open EO data among indigenous youth (e.g.: Sentinel data from EC, ESA’s 3rd Party Missions, ESA’s Earth), to enhance local capacity among indigenous communities to support local efforts towards building resilience, and to explore innovative uses of combined data products (both from space and in-situ sources), notably looking at Open Data Cubes. Approaches were co-developed to address locally relevant challenges by combining traditional knowledge and science across cultural and generational lines. The hackathons encouraged innovative EO-based applications which are locally relevant and which also enhance community learning.

How FrontierSI achieves traction with, and for, our partners

  • We have intimate knowledge that governments cannot do it alone. We know that government, as an enabler and beneficiary of working with the private sector (e.g.: Digital Earth Africa or Digital Earth Australia and DEA Labs), clearly show how they can empower the private sector to use EO data and create services to stimulate the economy;
  • We offer the opportunity to tap into the huge reservoir of data collected by private sector and end users. A great deal of work on EO is still project-based and with an R&D focus. The private sector can play a critical role in providing operational services in a sustainable manner;
  • We collaborate to build capability, education, awareness and knowledge-sharing;
  • We’re a critical conduit to move from the current R&D project-base scenario to having operational services and solutions which are sustainable;
  • We build trust through strategic partnerships, particularly at regional and country level;
  • We value trust and our research tells us that business is built on trust. We nurture local partnerships at a national level, through regional GEO’s in collaboration with industry.

Our role in the delivery of the GEO Week 2019 Industry Track – and as speakers at the GEO-XVI Plenary – allowed us to present and connect with most attendees, partners and EO delegates, further showcasing the key role FrontierSI played with partners and EO delegates. This was a result of our trusted and unbiased reputation as an industry collaborator and ultimate partner to the space/spatial industry, including Not for Profit organisations and small-to-medium enterprises. We provide our partners real opportunities, and a voice at the table on the global stage.

If you’d like to partner with us or envisage an opportunity to collaborate with any of our partner organisations in government, academia and/or private enterprise, then click here to connect with one of our specialists.