ESA and the software company SAP have signed a letter of intent to develop innovative approaches for the quick and efficient processing of large amounts of Earth observation data through access to processing platforms.
The amount of data from ESA satellites – in particular the Sentinels for Europe’s Copernicus programme – is a challenge for traditional data processing and handling.
Through the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, quick and efficient processing of vast amounts of Earth observation data would be possible, and would open access to many new applications and users working with the SAP cloud.
The cooperation also foresees joint promotional activities for start-up companies and small- and medium-sized enterprises. This includes events on digital transformation, such as the App Camp, and other support activities such as ESA’s Business Incubation Centres.
To formalise this envisaged cooperation with SAP, a Letter of Intent was signed at the World Mobile Congress that took place in Barcelona 22–25 February.
“There is a lot of potential in this cooperation, especially for small and medium enterprises and for start-up companies, as they will have access to the HANA Cloud of SAP and merge the Cloud with the wealth of ESA’s Earth observation data. That will be an important stimulus for new applications,” said ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Volker Liebig.
Dr. Carsten Linz, Business Development Officer and Global Head of SAP’s CIO Center for Digital Leadership said: “Our collaboration with ESA helps us to combine the power of SAP’s HANA Cloud Platform with ESA’s accurate, timely, and easily accessible Earth Observation information, in particular Copernicus data. This is digital innovation at its best and it helps to shape the future of the digital economy.”
Following this signature, ESA and SAP plan to enter into new rounds of negotiations to transform the ideas set out in the letter into concrete activities.
A first topic could be the Space Solutions project which would promote the synergies between the start-ups in ESA’s incubators and those promoted under the SAP Startup Focus programme.