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Success Stories

Forging Global Partnerships: how the European Union is enabling space industry cooperation in more than 90 countries

21 November 2023

Almost two full
years of webinars, on-site events and matchmaking sessions around the world are bearing their fruits: through the ‘European Union Global Action on Space’ (‘the Global Action’), the European Commission has enabled 29 Letters of Intent between EU space companies and non-EU counterparts, and more are in the making.

The Global Action seeks to add value to EU space assets as catalysts for growth in a wide range of domains, spanning from agriculture and forest management to mining and transportation, supporting the digitalisation and green transition the EU is spearheading. Thanks to its flagship components Copernicus, EGNOS and Galileo, the EU Space Programme provides unparalleled solutions in terms of Earth Observation and position and navigation accuracy.     

In the field of agriculture for instance, Copernicus provides satellite mapping data that enables assessing soil quality and other important variables for agriculture (i.e., humidity, sun exposure, etc), while ultra-precise EGNOS and Galileo signals have become key in Precision Agriculture” or “Smart Agriculture”, as they enable farmers and agribusinesses to improve the ratio of input (water, fertilisers, pesticides etc.) and output (agricultural products).


From Business Coaching to Letters of Intent (LoI)

The EU Global Action on Space initiative features a Business Coaching Service designed to help eligible EU and non-EU entities find a suitable international business partner and prepare for commercial, technological, research and capacity-building collaborations. To this end, the Business Coaching Service grants approved entities access to ad-hoc informative sessions on the EU Space Programme as well as matchmaking opportunities to find the right business partner.

Letters of Intent enabled through the Business Coaching Service are the last step of a successful matchmaking process seeing an EU entity and a non-EU entity consent on the exchange of services or products leveraging on EU Space capabilities. While not legally binding, Letters of Intent seek to lay the foundation of long-lasting business partnerships using EU space technologies, services and products. Such partnerships enhance the usage of the EU Space Programme, for instance, by promoting the use of its space components.

The first step for EU and non-EU companies and organisations looking to find new international partners is to apply for the EU Global Action business coaching service: EU entities can apply for free through this link, while non-EU entities can do it via this link. Eligible entities will then be guided towards internationalisation through tailored business support, access to the EU Global Action closed platform for networking, and exclusive invitations to attend matchmaking and pitching sessions. For more information on the benefits of business coaching, please browse here. A complete overview of the eligibility criteria for coaching can be accessed here.


What are the areas involved in the Letters of Intent signed so far?

The GA team has assisted in reaching agreement in the following areas:

  • Carbon emissions measurements (with attribution to individual facilities)
  • Earth Observation data aggregators
  • Satellite-powered population distribution and growth monitoring
  • Crop monitoring and soil moisture assessments
  • Bathymetry and high-resolution water quality monitoring
  • Agro-meteorological reporting systems
  • Hydrographic mapping
  • Communications software and hardware (ground transceivers)
  • Drive-sharing apps


Below are three examples that provide a more in-depth look at some of the agreements that have been successfully achieved:


  1. A Portuguese company reached an agreement with a public research institute in Mozambique to outline the execution of an inventory assessing Mozambique's needs in hydrography and coastal cartography. The EU Partner will carry out a study of the coasts of Mozambique to identify eligible areas for the application of remote sensing techniques, with the aim of producing up-to-date hydrographic cartography.


  • Another remarkable joint endeavour involves a Swedish company and a research institute from Mauritius; the latter will use the products of the EU entity to build a ground station in Mauritius.


  1. Lastly, an Irish company plans to offer cloudless carbon capture in forested and humid areas to a Colombian company through the EU Space Programme´s satellite services and provide clean images for forest monitoring and management, biodiversity conservation and the recovery of areas without forest cover.


What regions are targeted by the EU Global Action on Space?

The global demand for space-based solutions is growing fast, but each country has specific needs with regard to satellite data and signals. Whether it comes to crop mapping for the agro-industry or satellite navigation signals for smart mobility solutions, Copernicus, Galileo and EGNOS provide services at no cost for users that can serve the unmet needs of governments, organisations and companies in multiple market segments across the world.

The EU Global Action provides support for internationalisation to institutions and companies in more than 90 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America & the Caribbean (LAC), European Neighbourhood, North America, the Gulf Countries and the Pacific. The Global Action provides country-level space market reports for each of these regions, providing valuable specialist insights on opportunities and market trends for the space upstream and downstream segments. Thanks to the market reports, the Business Coaching Team was able to identify the needs, priorities and opportunities in each target region and identify the eligible EU entities most suited to provide pertinent solutions. As a case in point, the market report on Central America, Caribbean and South America identifies Brazil’s growing interest in the use of space technologies for agriculture, forestry and natural resources management. For this reason, the EU Global on Space team organised a dedicated event in Brasilia that brought together EU space companies and the Brazilian agricultural ecosystem.

The complete list of targeted countries can be accessed through this link.


Global partnerships on agriculture and forestry based on EU space technologies


A case study of the use of Copernicus and Galileo in extensive agriculture in Brazil

On 14 September, the Global Action event “Harvesting from Space: EU Space Programme Benefits for Agriculture in Brazil” explored the wide array of benefits that the EU Space Programme can bring to the Brazilian agricultural sector, from crop health monitoring to the many solutions enabling smart agriculture. In line with previous activities launched in the other target regions, the event featured dedicated pitching and Business-to-Business sessions, offering selected EU-based companies the opportunity to present their products and services to local stakeholders and to participate in matchmaking activities.

As a result of the pitching sessions enabled through the Business Coaching service, an Austrian company and a Brazilian university institution agreed to develop a test field for European timber marking and tracking technology for Brazilian public entities, using Copernicus and Galileo services.

The region, with over 600 million citizens, represents a thriving marketplace where opportunities in the space/digital sphere are likely to arise in the coming years: indeed, the Global Gateway Strategy, the EU-LAC Digital Alliance and the new Copernicus Centres in Panama and in Chile will enhance further cooperation on space between EU and Latin American & Caribbean stakeholders, contributing to new trade and investment opportunities.


→ Check the eligibility criteria for the Business Coaching service and apply on this page

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