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Start-ups explore the value of Earthnet Third Party Missions data

06 June 2019

Since mid 2018, in the framework of the Earthnet Third Party Missions (TPMs) activities the Category-1 also includes use of TPM data by start-ups during the incubation period in Business Incubation Centres supported by ESA.

In full coordination with the TPM Owners (TPMOs), the Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) document has been subsequently updated so that the TPMO's ownership and intellectual property rights over the TPM Data shall not prevent principal investigators from creating Value Added Products and from owning intellectual property rights over the method/s to obtain the Value Added Products and the Value Added Products themselves.

Giuseppe Ottavianelli, TPM Mission Manager, explains: "This change of the T&Cs will encourage entrepreneurs to fully explore the value of TPM data to test their solutions before implementing a full operational and scalable service. The new T&Cs guarantee the start-ups to maintain the IPRs over their innovative solutions and gives the opportunity to potentially pivot in the early development phase to test various scenarios and gain valuable preliminary customer feedback."


When these start-ups are no longer in their research and development phase and progressively move to a sustainable commercial phase, they would then buy data directly from the data provider to continue the provision of their operational services/products. Therefore, the implementation of this change will bring beneficial long-term returns.

Furthermore, it confirms the importance of the Earthnet programme as ESA Basic Activity ensuring complementarity and cooperation of other ESA elements, such as the Technology Transfer Programme, the ESA's Telecommunications and Integrated Applications Directorate and the ESA Business Incubators activities.