France: The European Commission has renamed its earth observation programme after renaissance astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. “By choosing the name Copernicus we are paying homage to a great European scientist and observer: Nicolaus Copernicus,” said Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani in Brussels, in tribute to the Krakow-educated astronomer.
The Copernicus programme, previously known as Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES), uses satellites and terrestrial sensors to collect data.
As outlined in a statement released by the European Commission, it “enhances our safety in numerous ways, for example by better management of natural disasters, allowing for earlier intervention, thereby helping to prevent loss of life and damage to property.”
The programme also aims to improve the quality of urban planning, “by monitoring urban sprawl and easing the flow of transportation.”
The European Commission forecasts that Copernicus could create up to 83,000 jobs between the period 2015-2030.
This is the result of a study presented by European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani during the London conference “European Space Solutions”, an initiative of the European Commission, hosted by the UK Space Agency. GMES”s primary objective is to provide information services giving access to accurate data in several environmental and security fields and tailored to users” needs.
Initial results show that GMES will stimulate economic growth and employment in a wide range of industrial sectors, and by 2030 will lead to the creation or maintenance of approximately 20,000 direct jobs in Europe, if enabling factors are put in place. With highly skilled jobs in this sector typically impacting employment in other sectors, the GMES-related economic stimulus could also result in a wider economic effect, with an additional 63,000 indirect jobs secured by 2030.
Source: The News & EC