Space-based services for regional strategies in the digital economy: Balkan and Black Sea perspectives
A workshop on ‘Space-based services for regional strategies in the digital economy: Balkan and Black Sea perspectives’ will take place on 18-19 April, in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Jointly organised by ESA and the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy, under the auspices of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the workshop is being coordinated with the adjacently organised Copernicus information day on 17 April. It is also benefiting from the support of the European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC) and the Bulgarian Academy of Science.
The Bulgarian Minister of Economy, Emil Karanikolov, will open the meeting, followed by the representatives from the European Commission, the European External Action Service, the World Bank, the Black Sea Commission and the Commission for the Danube Strategy.
The ESA Director of Industry, Procurement and Legal Services, Eric Morel de Westgaver, will present ESA programmes to support digital economy, while the Head of the Industry Office for ESA Earth Observation Programmes, Gordon Campbell, will chair one of the sessions of the workshop and will outline the way forward.
The event will focus in particular on promoting dialogue with Sustainable Development and Security actors and partners on both sides of the Black Sea basin, as well as on supporting satellite data uptake and identifying new challenges.
Special attention will be paid to regional perspectives, such as the Danube strategy, the Black Sea and the Western Balkans. The workshop also aims to promote transboundary space-based services, particularly for SMEs and by fostering space-enabled digital ‘skills for the future’ among the younger generation.
More than 150 participants have registered, including policy makers, scientists, service operators and EO application specialists from many different countries.
Bulgaria signed the Plan for European Cooperating States (PECS) agreement with ESA on 8 April 2015. Currently, almost 60% of the Bulgarian PECS projects are in the area of Earth observation.