SPACE/ENVIRONMENT : COMMISSION OPENS ACCESS TO COPERNICUS SATELLITE DATA.

The European Commission will provide, starting from December, free, full and open access to a wealth of important environmental data gathered by Copernicus, Europe's Earth observation system. The new open data dissemination regime will support the vital task of monitoring the environment and will also help Europe's enterprises, creating new jobs and business opportunities. An illustration of the services provided by Copernicus is that the Copernicus Emergency Management Service - established under this programme - was immediately activated and delivered the first damage assessment maps for typhoon Haiyan, allowing for better and faster assessment of needs. A regulation that will be published in the Official Journal of the EU by mid-November foresees a set of criteria that will address the protection of the Union and its member states' security interests. With that protection in place, the Copernicus open dissemination regime can deliver its full benefits to the downstream industry and users. The Commission will closely monitor the effects of the open dissemination regime and will adjust it if necessary.

Studies show that Copernicus - which includes six dedicated satellite missions, the so-called Sentinels, to be launched between 2014 and 2021 - could generate a financial benefit of some 30 billion and create around 50,000 jobs by 2030. Moreover, the new open data dissemination regime will help citizens, businesses, researchers and policy makers to integrate an environmental dimension into all their activities and decision making procedures. Sectors directly stimulated by Copernicus are likely to be services for environmental data production and dissemination, as well as space manufacturing. Indirectly, a variety of other economic segments will see the advantages of accurate Earth observation, such as transport, the...

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