Space Economy

By Steven Krekels 14 September 2017

Space is inspiring. Space is innovating. Space supersedes barriers we have on earth. Space is about stars, planets, moons, asteroids and astronauts.
But above all, space is here to make senseDown on Earth. To you.


Space is - and always has been - an engine for innovation. Space inspires people to cross the limits of the possible and go into the impossible. In this day & age this continued search for innovation needs to prove its relevance down to earth: for every euro spent in space, we need to make sure there is a socio-economic benefit on earth.

It is the untapped potential of Remote Sensing that we – as VITO Remote Sensing – want to explore. We will put our expertise and knowledge into play so that governments and industries around the globe will see and make use of the added value of Remote Sensing.
Thanks to more reliable, more performant and more accessible data we can better than ever observe things and measure them. That is exactly what Remote Sensing can bring to you: objective information. So you can make better informed decisions.

Let me give you a couple of industries that have been using remote sensing to boost their business: 
  • Agro-industry get invaluable information for crop monitoring, yield predictions, early warnings for diseases or impact of drought…
  • Insurance or reinsurance companies use index based insurances to protect the investments farmers do when they buy seed
  • Seed breeders need to measure, monitor and compare new seeds varieties
  • Mining companies want to measure the extracted volumes of ore
  • Dredging companies to plan and monitor port construction

It’s not about the data, but what we do with it

Data is just the start. Abundant high quality data is processed by clever algorithms to look for meaningful information hidden in the data. It is the technical evolutions and innovations in IT technology – think artificial intelligence, deep learning, affordable cloud access… – that have enabled vast amounts of Remote Sensing data to be analysed and consumed.

That’s exactly what is so important. Getting the information out of the data. Start from your needs and use remote sensing to get the info that can sharpen up your business.

VITO Remote Sensing - Space Economy, the real impact is down on Earth from VITObelgium on Vimeo.

The big return in space and non-space economy

As the data demands grow by the day, more investment in remote sensing solutions will be made. The investments in the space assets are significant but have a limited return. The real return on investment is within the downstream applications because that’s when the added value becomes clear.

Today the return in non-space activities is more than 15 times higher than within space itself, and it will grow. The Copernicus program is expected to lead to the creation of some 50 000 jobs in the downstream services and at least 30 billion euro in benefits. The real return of investing in space is down on Earth. To you.


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Steven Krekels
An article by
Steven Krekels
Director Valorisation Environmental Intelligence Unit
More info about Steven Krekels

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