Enabling the public sector to save money, innovate and make more effective policy decisions by using space technology and data

Defra Earth Observation and Open Data Showcase Event

5 February 2016 – The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), in partnership with the Space for Smarter Government Programme (SSGP), the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), the National Centre for Earth Observation (NERC), the Satellite Applications Catapult, and the UK Space Agency, this week hosted the inaugural Defra Earth Observation and Open Data Showcase event.

This invitation-only event was an opportunity for government representatives, policy makers, industry and academia to debate and share information on the priorities for exploiting the latest advances in Earth observation (EO) and the government open data initiative to drive innovation in public services.

The programme consisted of an exhibition and several seminar sessions. The exhibition ran throughout the day and demonstrated a range of EO capabilities, applications and technologies.

The seminar sessions included presentations from a number of projects, currently funded by SSGP, under the headings of:

  • Efficient food supply chain – looking at efficient inspections, sustainable intensifications and precision farming, and sustainable food chain.
  • Clearer, healthier environment – looking at efficient water quality monitoring, conservation and biodiversity, systems for air quality management and delivering a clean marine environment.
  • Risk management and resilience – looking at maritime risk and response, flood risk assessment, plant health and animal health management.
  • Natural capital accounting – looking at the production of living maps from EO, natural capital and forestry.

Attendees at the event also had the opportunity to hear from Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs the Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP, Defra Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Ian Boyd, and Andreas Veispak from the European Commission.

In her speech, the Secretary of State explained how satellite data can help protect and improve our natural environment. The keynote addresses from the day can be accessed here