European Data Relay System (Credit: ESA)

EGU news New ESA–EGU award for Earth observation excellence announced

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European Geosciences Union

New ESA–EGU award for Earth observation excellence announced

7 May 2020

Like all gatherings during these times of COVID-19 isolation, the European Geosciences Union’s annual General Assembly is different this year. Instead of convening in Vienna, thousands of Earth, planetary and space scientists are instead discussing their research and latest findings virtually. So, with eyes still very much on science this week, the European Space Agency’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Josef Aschbacher, announced the launch of a new award for excellence in Earth observation during his online presentation yesterday.

“I am extremely pleased to announce this upcoming award,” said Aschbacher. “Together with the European Geosciences Union, ESA is not only looking for excellence, but also innovation, and we also hope to honour those at the start of their careers.”

New digital technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning, are leading to a major transformation in Earth observation, opening up a wealth of opportunities for science, research and business alike. This new joint ESA–EGU award will recognise and honour individual scientists or teams that have contributed to the innovative use of Earth observations, with a focus on the use of European datasets in the field of science and applications.

EGU is delighted and honoured to collaborate with ESA on this new award and would like to thank them for partnering with us on this exciting initiative,” said Jonathan Bamber, EGU’s Vice-President. “Earth observation is fundamental to many geoscience disciplines and plays a crucial role in taking the pulse of the planet, which is more important now than it has ever been for the safety of humanity.”

The award will be presented at next year’s EGU General Assembly in Vienna following a nomination process, which will begin in a few months.

“The advancement of Earth science remains a core use of Earth observation and, equally important, it is fundamental to a myriad of everyday applications to improve daily life,” said Aschbacher. “We are living in exciting times, and the opportunities to expand its use are almost limitless.”

More information

The European Geosciences Union (EGU) is the leading organisation for Earth, planetary and space science research in Europe. With our partner organisations worldwide, we foster fundamental geoscience research, alongside applied research that addresses key societal and environmental challenges. Our vision is to realise a sustainable and just future for humanity and for the planet. We publish a number of diverse scientific journals, which use an innovative open access format, and organise topical meetings, and education and outreach activities. Follow the EGU on Twitter and Facebook.


Terri Cook
Head of Media, Communications and Outreach
European Geosciences Union
Munich, Germany


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