Welcome to the second edition (November 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.

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

  • Austrian geospatial company Blackshark.ai which is creating the first 3D digital twin of the entire Earth used for energy, utilities and infrastructure monitoring applications raised $15 million in Series A extension;

Sustainable Urban Communities

  • Luxembourg-based weather startup Databourg, which uses satellite signals from tens of thousands of existing satellite terminals to monitor real-time weather for urban protection and disaster management, has raised a seed round of $1M;

Agriculture, Forestry and other Land use

  • Finnish EO startup Kuva Space, which plans to launch a constellation of hyperspectral satellites, used to provide accurate global yield forecasts and crop health analysis raised €16.6M in Series A funding;
  • New data on global sea levels was published, thanks to data collected from the SWOT mission, jointly launched by the French Space Agency (CNES) and NASA, which is focused on monitoring almost all of Earth’s water resources;
  • Planet announced the launch of its Forest Carbon Diligence product – a global, 30-meter historical time series of forest carbon, as well as tree height and cover, expected to be used in carbon accounting projects.

Marine and Coastal Environments

  • The Copernicus Ocean State report which provides an overview of the state of the global oceans, was released by the Copernicus Marine Service leveraging data from data from Sentinel satellites;
    The European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) handed out €2.85M, as part of CASSINI prizes to three teams from Germany, Greece and France to detect, and remove plastics from oceans and waterways;

Civil Security and Protection

  • ESA and the European Commission are joining forces to accelerate the use of Earth- observing satellites and the information they provide to address the pressing challenge of climate change, particularly encompassing the European Green Deal;
  • German startup Marble Imaging and Polish firm Scanway Space are partnering to develop a satellite constellation with multispectral sensors to perform environmental monitoring, implementation of sustainability and climate adaptation regulations, ensuring food security, as
    well as security, stability, and humanitarian aid purposes.


The EO sector continues to grow with growing venture capital investments in both upstream and downstream segments, as demonstrated by examples in this edition – Austrian startup Blackshark.ai, Finnish startup Kuva Space and Luxembourgish startup Databourg. All of these  companies are building solutions that are critical to the climate services being developed by public authorities, not only due to the innovative technologies they are based on, but also due to the inherent focus they have on monitoring and responding to climate change. Furthermore, the growth of the ecosystem is also supplemented by support from public funding such as the prizes handed out by EUSPA for plastic detection in oceans, part of the CASSINI initiative. Resources such as the Copernicus Ocean State report, mentioned above, leverage analytics derived from satellites and are important inputs for public authorities to develop policy measures to protect the coastal and marine environments.