1.Introduction

Welcome to the third edition (December 2023) of the newsletter from the PROTECT project that provides an update on the developments in the market regarding climate services based on Earth Observation (EO). The focus is on five application domains, namely: Energy & Utilities, Sustainable Urban Communities, Agriculture, Forestry and other Land use, Marine and Coastal Environments and Civil Security and Protection.

2.Market Updates

The following section provides updates on the current developments, news and evolution of the Earth observation market, particularly with regard to the evolution of climate services relevant for the public authorities in Europe.

Energy & Utilities

  • French environmental and energy analytics firm Kayrros launched a free version of its global methane tracker, leveraging data from the Sentinel-5P satellite and a sensor on the International Space Station, aimed at tracking emissions from the energy sector;
  • German startup LiveEO, which provides EO-based infrastructure and deforestation monitoring solutions raised $10M, and plans to expand into the regulatory compliance market;

Sustainable Urban Communities

  • VIDA, a German EO analytics startup raised €3M to provide physical climate risk information for infrastructure-related investments within urban environments;
  • Portuguese EO firm GEOSAT has announced that it will be launching 11 high and very high- resolution satellites in 2025, focused on several applications, including urban planning and development as well as high-resolution mapping services for governments;

Agriculture, Forestry and other Land use

  • Insights derived from satellite data are being used by winemakers trying to harvest at the right time, helping farmers adapt to global warming;
  • Wildfire monitoring startup OroraTech won a contract from the Forestry Corporation of New South Wales, to improve wildfire management in Australia;
  • Estonian startup KappaZeta, which builds agriculture and forestry solutions in Europe based on synthetic aperture data has raised €480K;

Marine and Coastal Environments

  • Advancements in artificial intelligence and its applications for the EO sector has been demonstrated with one algorithm able to swiftly and accurately chart the expanse of large Antarctic icebergs in satellite images, faster than manual monitoring;

Civil Security and Protection

  • European meteorological agency EUMETSAT released preliminary data from the MTG-I1 weather satellite, showing combined data from the imagers;
  • Smallsat manufacturer Open Cosmos raised $50M in a Series B round to focus on building Earth observation satellites used for a range of Earth observation applications, from agriculture to disaster management.

3.Summary

December, being the month of COP28, the annual climate conference, saw several new developments and information with respect to the use of satellites for businesses and governments, such as for tracking greenhouse gas emissions and monitoring climate change. The EO sector also demonstrated its importance for climate change, as seen from Kayrros launch of global methane tracker and the release of data from the weather satellite launched by EUMETSAT. Venture capital funding for EO solutions that have implications for the growth of the climate services market continued in December, with investments across almost all domains relevant for PROTECT. Finally, the use of artificial intelligence (AI)