GEP offer expands to include commercial service packs

This entails new opportunity to get ESA NoR support for user access to GEP Services

Introduction

GEP (https://geohazards-tep.eu) started as an ESA TEP project back in 2015. It was conducted by a consortium led by Terradue and with a team of public and private experts from the European Earth Observation (EO) sector.
End 2018, GEP had announced the domain name change for the platform (moved under “geohazards-tep.eu”), and the start of a new phase of sustainability, supported by a user registration and authentication service fully operated by the GEP consortium via its own Identity Provider, and along with improved identity federation capability.

These were tools to pave the ground towards a new phase of community engagement and activity growth, in order to go beyond the initial ESA TEPs funding and anticipating new, more diversified, funding schemes and revenue models.

The GEP approach for sustainability is based on the following principles:

  • The hosted EO services on GEP are provided either on a pay per use basis or via subscription. These services encompass on-demand and systematic generation and delivery of Value Added products, as well as the ability for expert users to integrate customized EO services.
  • The service production cost is based on tailored components including the cost for EO data (especially when licensed, commercial data are used), for the cloud processing resources, for the support from VA service owners (including license fees when relevant) and the cost for the Platform operations.
  • The primary focus is on open and free EO missions data such as the Copernicus Sentinel, complemented by commercial High Resolution Optical & Radar missions and derived products relevant to the geohazards community;
  • The deployment of processing services relies on several Copernicus DIAS and ICT providers, in a constant search of optimization of the overall costs;
  • The delivery of such hosted EO services is based on a publicly available price-list and user organisations can directly purchase these services or seek collaborations with entities able to align resources to bear service production costs. Such collaborations include sponsorship such as ESA sponsorship concerning European research users.

The recent start of the ESA Network of Resources (NoR) initiative is such an instantiation of a marketplace providing a new way for buying EO services, where GEP users can now directly purchase service packs or seek sponsorship for these purchases.

A look back at the engagement of GEP Stakeholders

ESA has been the first GEP promoter since the beginning, and will remain an important Stakeholder for GEP in the coming years.

GEP stakeholders are organizations interested in promoting the use of EO data and services towards categories of analysts (staff or collaborators) that are skilled with the analysis of Geohazards. Such analysts can range from experts to trainees, as the GEP Services portfolio provides a large choice of services, from basic to advanced levels.

In the past year, the GEP Consortium worked to extend and diversify its sources of funding through new stakeholders, by providing access to GEP services in support of:

  • The International Charter: Space and Major Disasters (Terradue Charter Platform Prototype)
  • The European Plate Observing system (EPOS https://www.epos-ip.org/) Thematic Core Service on Satellite Data
  • The Indonesian government initiative for capacity building on hazard and risk mapping, coordinated via the 5 years collaboration agreement between ESA & the Asian Development Bank (cf. article on ESA Applications portal)
  • Various training programmes on the use of the GEP Services, organised with partner organisations such as IGME, INDRA or BRGM, for training classes in Indonesia, Greece, Germany, Abu Dhabi, Spain, Switzerland…

The Twitter handle @geohazards_tep (https://twitter.com/geohazards_tep), created end 2019, is the new GEP umbrella dedicated to the engagement with existing and new community stakeholders who want to join GEP, in order to onboard their user communities and promote their use of satellite earth observations to study geohazards.


Information for existing and candidate GEP stakeholders now disseminated via @geohazards_tep on Twitter

Network of Resources (NoR)

To support the sustainability of the GEP Services that are accessed by a growing user base, specific GEP Service packs have been onboarded on the NoR marketplace, allowing interested analysts to purchase these packs or seek sponsorship for accessing them.

This is a recent and major evolution for all the GEP Community engagement activities.

The ESA NoR now provides a privileged channel for subscribers to the GEP Services to renew their subscriptions, or for newcomers to engage with the GEP offer.

Many of the GEP existing users have always and only known the “GEP Early Adopters Programme” under which the costs of their use of the GEP services have been covered since 2015. The Network of Resources is replacing this, by providing a more sustainable model for the service subscription and delivery procedures.

If you are a geohazards analyst (i.e. principal investigator, researcher, scientific engineer, PhD student, trainee) interested in data processing, a service or data provider interested to connect resources for their use via the Platform, or an organization interested in receiving training for its personnel, Terradue is now ready to help you in leveraging the ESA NoR, in particular for requesting sponsorship (getting vouchers) for your forthcoming GEP activities.

How to apply for ESA NoR sponsored access

Applicants interested with getting NoR vouchers for their GEP user account are kindly requested to take in consideration the NoR sponsorship eligibility rules here:

Information is provided on that page about the eligibility for awarding of vouchers, the rules for priority in awarding of vouchers, and the commitment and deliverables required from successful applicants.

As a candidate to NoR sponsorship for accessing GEP Services, you will get initial support from Terradue for your choice of the GEP Service packs matching your needs.This journey will start from one of the following cases:

  1. You have been part of the GEP Early Adopters Programme (EAP) already, and you are interested in continuing your activities on the platform (from July 2020 onwards)
  2. You have registered an account on GEP in the past 6 months and already submitted an application scenario
  3. You are a newcomer to GEP, and you are considering to submit an application

Terradue will accompany you to define your GEP Application scenario, especially for any clarifications or refinements needed, and will deliver to you a guidance document describing the GEP services that are best fitting your request together with providing the related quotation.

The guidance document will support your formal request for sponsorship to the NoR. With this guidance, you will get a step-by-step to sign-in (ESA-SSO account) and submit your request via the link at the end of the NoR procedure page for Platform Services.

  • Take care that a single request for NoR sponsorship shall cover a work period up to 12 months, and with clearly defined milestones for that period’s workplan.

Submitted proposals will be assessed by ESA and the NoR Prime and decision will be made on case by case basis. Note: if your application is not eligible for ESA NoR sponsorship, there will be the possibility to purchase services directly at the NoR marketplace.

For the proposals for sponsorship that are accepted, Terradue will proceed with your GEP account upgrade in order to grant you access to the requested GEP Service packs.

New perspectives

Thanks to the ESA NoR initiative, Terradue is moving GEP forward, by ensuring that its service delivery process becomes ever more sustainable. This will contribute to accelerate the achievement of scientific goals and the sharing of the results, and will support analysts in engaging the digital information market quicker and in an easier way.


GEP Services Pricing List - 202006.pdf (142.3 KB)
GEP on NoR - Step-by-Step guidance - 202006.pdf (1.2 MB)