Sunday, December 4, 2016

si-Cluster and the ecosystem of space technology in Greece

...and how a company like NEUROPUBLIC can be a core part of it.

It may sound strange to many people (including me some months ago), but there is space technology in Greece. In fact, there are various types of stakeholders, such as private companies and university labs, working on the design and development of innovative earth observation hardware and software, building drones and sensors, working with major customers and collaborators and sharing their expertise abroad through projects and contracts. The place to find most (if not all) of these stakeholders is si-Cluster, an initiative established in 2009 jointly between Corallia and the Hellenic Association of Space Industries, is a Gold Labeled, industry-led and user-driven innovation cluster focusing on Space Technologies and Applications in Greece. Currently, the si-Cluster consists of more than 50 members; including both large businesses and SMEs.

NEUROPUBLIC is a member of the si-Cluster and so I had the opportunity not only to attend part of the si-Cluster Partnering Meeting that took place on Friday, December 2nd but also to make a short 3x3 presentation (3 slides in 3 minutes) on how NEUROPUBLIC is making use of space/satellite technologies (like earth observation ones). It felt nice to see that a SME like NEUROPUBLIC is actually implementing such technologies and data in its workflows, on which its smart farming services are based.

The aim of the meeting was for all si-Cluster members to be informed about existing opportunities, at national and international level, both public and private sector ones, and discuss opportunities for collaboration and alignment of existing efforts. There was also time for networking and getting to know everyone better, as the space technology ecosystem in Greece is obviously limited.

During the meeting I had the pleasure to meet again Dr. Jorge-Andres Sanchez-Papaspiliou, Chief Strategy and Financial Officer at Corallia - an acquaintance from the CAPSELLA project times (I was partially involved in the project as a part of the Agroknow team, contributing to its open data strategy and activities, among others). I also made some interesting connections with both SME representatives and university researchers working on the same topics but from different fields.

I was glad to see many references to precision agriculture in the slides of various participants and surprised to see so many different applications; however, most of them are still in lab testing phase. In any case, this is surely a sign that agriculture is one of the fields where space technology (referring to earth observation / remote sensing) finds a high number of practical applications.