Olga Kletsky, MBA, Editor-in-Chief / CEO, Picking Alpha
Who could ever imagine while launching first EU Sentinel satellite that it had been destined among other functions to become a key player in risks management process?
The most unpredictable often violent and ruthless components of any project management are in-built in programmatic risks management. These risks are hardly succumbed to any management tools due to their external nature, such as weather, climate changes, and all other “ingredients” of the Earth System Environment. For the period from 1980 to 2015 in EU total losses caused by the aforementioned factors reached as much as 433 billion euro, and in 2015 alone they amounted to 13,500 billion Euro. Clearly they heavily affected assets of insurance companies, State budgets and asset management companies. Though banks have developed lots of programs in risk management which were designed to significantly diminish the losses in question the challenge is still there. Earth System Environment “misbehaved” unexpectedly and severely, causing the growing damage for economies, and of course asset management and insurance companies.
Inability to properly manage these risks is based on two major reasons: number Two – poor prediction of the disastrous events, which we are all in that or another extent often witnessing. While not seeing that in fact it is rooted from the reason number One – limited abilities of monitoring the Earth System Environment with the existing so far technologies.
With space industry intervention the problem number One has got the most exquisite solution ever available. Permanent observation of the Earth System Environment with the extremely sophisticated and sensitive equipment finally delivers the highest quality and accuracy in information of multiple processes happening or preparing to happen in the Earth System for its’ further processing and interpretation.
This breakthrough has been preparing for years and years by the European space industry supported by the European Commission through the Copernicus Earth Observation Program. The distinctive feature of all this data is that it is given to all companies and individuals for free. Just use it!
Along with the availability of the new type of the information both in terms of quality and unusually high volume it also brings with itself huge opportunities for new jobs creation. European Commission this way addresses one more side of the risk management – decline of unemployment by jobs creation, which expected to grow exponentially in the next ten years.
Timely delivery of the information on any weather and climate changes allows not only manage risks in asset management , but also diminish expenses of the insurance companies, only in 2015 EU insurance market benefited from this program for more than 186 million Euro. Speaking of the risks which always accompany farming, forestry and all industries around, it is important to mention that space technologies can prevent losses of the crops, provide precise usage of all inputs unburden farmers from their risks and unexpected losses.
The major risks connected with water scarcity, arable land decline and others can be and already are successfully managed from the space by introducing precision farming technologies in the farmers’ lives. Another group of risks connected with fossils, renewable energy and environmental damage also can be successfully solved from the space in many ways.
One of them is assistance to solar panel producers with the accurate weather forecasts. In EU in 2015 it generated by 50% more benefits for these producers compare to regular weather forecasts.
What happens now can be named the democratization of the previously Elite industry. Starting from the lower and lower prices of the satellites themselves to the availability of the space technologies for economy, including risk management.
To reproduce this process the European Commission launched the Copernicus Accelerator Program. In 2016, the first year of its operation, 40 Start Ups were selected to benefit from the Program. In October 2017 a “graduation” Award Ceremony was organized with the Oscar style chic, it was held during the Space week in Tallinn, Estonia this time. The selected start-ups were given a year to work on the topics their company needed the most. Right before their graduation a new set of start-ups was accepted into the accelerator. They will spend the next year with the mentors, who are top professionals in the industry and business.
Below we provide a list of the Award winners, who are ready to contribute to risk management. And we do wish them all the success!
Picking Alpha Choice of Start Ups to watch this year:
Overall winner of the 2017 Space Awards:
FFSCAT – Towards Federated Earth Observation Systems (nanosatlab.upc.edu/en). FFSCAT will be the precursor of a constellation of federated small satellites for Earth Observation achieving high temporal resolution and moderate spatial resolution in a cost-effective manner.
Company: Adtelecom (www.adtelecom.es), Spain. Project: Dante – is an integral low-cost solution for the early detection of forest fires that features advanced methods of reporting and managing fires. Dante aims to be the first smart and interactive UAV navigator capable of automatically guiding drones in real time during firefighting and fire management operations.
Company: Geoimaging.com.cy, Spain. Project: LARA – Underground Visualisation for Utility Management. It is ideal for utility companies, engineering, construction and maintenance firms, grid owners and operators.
Company: Zebris, Project: Firemaps.net (Firemaps.net) – support fire management through ready-to-use information on fire impact and smoke emissions. The solution provides information for areas of any size up to and including entire countries.
Company: Ticinum Aerospace, Project: Saturnalia (www.saturnalia.tech) – How Good is Your Wine?
Fine wine is recognized as an alternative asset class, whose value is strictly related to its quality. The service will let investors and distributors access insights on wine quality indicators and their trends, as well as help wine growers to manage and care for their crops.
Forest Sentinel – App Based Deforestation Alerts. This app alerts of illegal logging, so fast and timely measures can be taken. This app is produced by Prof. Heiko Balzter, University of Leicester and National Center for Earth Observation, UK.
OPTOSS AI – Incident &Security Alarm Platform (Optoss.nl). OPTOSS will ensure the flawless function of emergency notification systems and provide detection of critical situations on a country-wide scale. Incidents are prevented through early notification and corrective action. This platform is produced by Taras Matselyukh and Team.