A closer look at the latest Earth Observation Services Industry trends

A closer look at the latest Earth Observation Services Industry trends [Jun/2020]

The European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC) conducts regular industry survey to assess the health of the Earth Observation sector, a very dynamic sector that covers companies selling geospatial products which use satellite data. Its fourth survey in 2019 (covering 2018) provides analysis of sector trends, regarding employment, revenues, markets, activities and more.

Figure - Earth Observation Services Value Chain

EO Services Value Chain

Source: A survey into the State & Health of the European EO Services Industry – EARSC

Over 2017 and 2018, the EO market has evolved significantly. Particularly, the supply side has seen new technologies and new systems being brought into operation. In addition to the impact of cloud, the EO service industry finds itself at the crossroads of two revolutions, the one of Big Data/Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the one of commercialisation of space (through its main drivers, small and micro satellites).

According to EARSC, the Earth Observation sector continues to grow at a good rate of 10% per year. The results of the survey for the year 2018 indicate that there are 515 European companies active in the sector which are employing some 8,400 employees and generating €1.25b of revenues. Each of these figures shows a growth of over 20% since the last survey (State and Health of the EO Services Industry 2017).

Regarding the markets’ outreach for European actors of the EO Services Industry, growth of sales in North America increased from 10% in 2016 to 15% in 2018. In fact, both big and smaller companies  have reported significant business shares of sales in North America. The other markets seem to be more or less stable; the North American sales seem to have grown at the expense of the Asian market (from 12% to 7%) and Middle East (from 8 to 2%).

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