Slovenia increasingly successful in the field of space technologies
- Ministry of Economic Development and Technology
A Slovenian company Sinergise, together with partners that form the T-Systems International consortium, signed an agreement with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Commission (EC) on setting up a system for storing, processing and distributing data from the Copernicus system (Copernicus Space Component Data Access ‒ CDAS), worth EUR 150 million in total.
Sinergise first drew attention to itself in 2016, when it garnered enthusiasm among the ESA and EC representatives by developing the Sentinel Hub online platform, for which it received the highest possible accolade in the field of remote sensing in Europe, Copernicus Masters. Since then, Sinergise has remained an important player in the development of interface systems for satellite data users.
In 2016, the Republic of Slovenia signed an Association Agreement with ESA. This enabled businesses like Sinergise to participate in tenders put out by this international agency. Over the past six years, Slovenian entities thus signed more than 60 agreements resulting from ESA’s tenders, totalling at more than EUR 17.7 million.
“The fact of the matter is that Slovenian businesses and institutions are very successful in obtaining projects from ESA. We have good reason to believe this trend will continue. To this end, Slovenia, at the ministerial conference held in November of this year, increased its financial contribution in the ESA programmes for the following three years,” said Tanja Permozer, head of the Slovenian delegation at the ESA from the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology.
The amount of Slovenia’s financial input in ESA programmes will thus increase from EUR 3 million to EUR 5.8 million per year. The Slovenian space sector is becoming an increasingly important generator of growth and innovation, as well as an important element of internationalisation. What is more, collaboration with ESA is a sign of excellence that enables companies to obtain other business, including commercial.
On 2 December 2022, Sinergise, with partners that make up the T-Systems International consortium, signed a six-year agreement with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Commission (EC) on setting up a system for storing, processing and distributing data from the Copernicus system (CDAS), worth EUR 150 million in total (the share of Sinergise, along with its subsidiary Sentinel Hub GmbH in Austria, amounts to more than EUR 20 million). Within the group, Sinergise is in charge of data processing and distribution, whereby its high-tech product Sentinel Hub plays the key role.
CDAS is the world’s largest project of setting up the infrastructure for remote sensing data, and one of EC’s largest IT projects. With its role, Sinergise is positioning itself at the very centre of the space industry in Europe – on its platform, several hundreds of thousands of users from all over the world will access data produced by satellites from the European system called Copernicus, which is the world’s largest system for observing the Earth. Grega Milčinski, the CEO of Sinergise, says that “revenue coming from the project is only part of the opportunities opening up – the CDAS system will also be available to commercial users, whose revenue will probably exceed multi-million amounts every year.”
The project is important both for the European Union and the world. It is establishing a system for effective processing of satellite data obtained from observing the Earth. These data are essential in monitoring climate change, the impact thereof on our habitats, as well as in monitoring human activities that cause global warming. CDAS represents a single point for the entire archive of collected data and, as a result, is a system that will be used by research institutions, businesses and public institutions to develop applications that use satellite data. At the same time, CDAS is positioning Sinergise at the very centre of developing services aimed at monitoring activities on the Earth’s surface. An example of such a service is the SOPOTNIK system, which was developed for the Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Agricultural Markets and Rural Development. According to Prof. Krištof Oštir, the CDAS system will completely transform remote sensing data processing and offer the opportunity for many new applications, which will be developed by both established players in the field and those who are only just becoming familiar with the technology. The prominent role of Sinergise in CDAS would have a positive impact on the entire field in Slovenia and in the wider region. In Slovenia, there is already a wide and diverse ecosystem of companies and institutions that are developing products based on satellite data. This ecosystem includes the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU), the Slovenian Centre of Excellence for Space Sciences and Technologies SPACE-SI, SkyLabs, the Universities of Ljubljana, Maribor and Nova Gorica, the Geodetic Institute of Slovenia and many others.