BBC News item of interest

General Discussion

I found this article that BBC News ran last Friday, on how "Temperature maps from space would 'boost crop production'" interesting for several reasons -mainly because it shines a light in popular media on the importance of this remote sensing work that we are doing.

Also, it raises an issue toward the end of the article that i have not thought about, to wit: if/when Brexit goes through, could that possibly jeopardise the participation of important UK players in the Copernicus programme and related projects? I wonder if this issue has been explored at all inside the GROW consortium, and if anyone can offer an assessment of related risk, if indeed there be any?

1 comment

Hi Walt, great to hear from you here, its a lonely place this discussion forum. My understanding was that H2020, Erasmus and other academic partnerships will continue if and when Brexit happens. However a no deal scenario might be different. 'And although Britain will be leaving EU membership behind in just under two years, its membership of Esa - an international organisation that is a separate legal entity - will continue. That adds an extra layer of complexity into the Brexit process. But Graham Turnock, the chief executive of the UK Space Agency, said that skills, jobs and science would all benefit from Britain continuing to play a full role in Copernicus.'

Implications from ...

"Copernicus has a free and open data policy which means that the data produced by its satellites (Sentinels) and the Land, Marine Environment, Climate Change and Atmosphere services will continue to be freely available to UK users.

The UK’s memberships of European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and Mercator Ocean are unaffected, therefore those organisations will retain access to high-bandwidth data that supports the Land, Marine Environment, Climate Change and Atmosphere services.

Other UK users could lose the right to high-bandwidth access to the standard data from Copernicus Sentinels. The UK will lose access to data sourced by Copernicus from Contributing Missions. The UK is clarifying this with the ESA and the European Commission.

UK-based businesses, academics and researchers will be unable to bid for future Copernicus contracts tendered through the EU, or through any other process using EU procurement rules, such as EUMETSAT. The government is seeking to clarify with the European Commission what this will mean for those UK-based businesses, academics and researchers holding Copernicus contracts with delivery dates that run past the date of the UK’s exit from the EU. It should be noted that given ECMWF and Mercator Ocean operate procurement processes that differ from EU procurement rules, UK entities will continue to be able to bid for Copernicus contracts tendered through these organisations. Similarly, the UK will continue to remain a member of ESA, and as such UK entities will continue to be able to bid for contracts tendered as part of the Copernicus Space Component Programme 4 or under other programmes such as Earth Observation Envelope Programme 5.

EU-based users of Copernicus data and services will be unaffected in a ‘no deal’ scenario. EU-based businesses, academics and researchers will remain eligible to participate in all aspects of the design, build and operation of the Copernicus programme. The government is seeking to clarify with the European Commission whether EU businesses, academics and researchers involved in partnering arrangements with UK will be affected in any way."

It does look like there is going to be significant delays now with Brexit and the chances of leaving with no deal is looking more unlikely.