Smart Cities Project: Creating a market for satellite-based applications

 Smart Cities Project: Creating a market for satellite-based applications

According to the European Commission, smart cities are places where traditional networks and services are made more efficient with the use of digital and telecommunication technologies for the benefit of its inhabitants and business.

Satellite technologies are part of those digital and telecommunication technologies available to us. And while telecommunication (broadcast) and positioning (navigation) are well-established, the market for observation with remote sensing technologies (Earth observation) is slower to develop. And yet this observational data can be of great value in developing new information services in monitoring, management of resources and decision-making.

In this project we are looking into the opportunities to integrate satellite-based information services into the smart city environment as well as the barriers holding back market creation. One of our focus areas is public procurement of operational services.


Authorities are considered (first) customers for space data products. The demand for innovation in the public domain is considered scarce, albeit the risk/uncertainty involved in innovation cycles.

Local authorities should organise (also in an international perspective) to define and address challenges and share this with the industry. Create a “mind shift” in the necessity of collaborating with the various actors within the industry (from startup to corporate).

International agreements (eg Paris Climate Agreement) as well as recent courts judgements about carrying individual climate responsibilities of large industry players could open up the way for the application of new technology domains ( eg. Navigation, EO and Satellite Communication).

Information/ knowledge exchange mechanisms and our rich technology legacy, contribute to the development of the smart cities of the future in other global regions and stimulate the Dutch industry.

Integrated governance of satellite data products is required to increase data uptake.

Project objectives:

  1. Increase transparency in the innovation needs of Cities/ local Authorities, define proper regulatory framework (who carries the risk) and set clear identifiers of how space data should perform (to which benchmarks)
  2. Keep stimulating the awareness creation about space data to a non-space audience to identify stakeholders in public procurement, organise political backing, and identify supporting financing mechanisms
  3. Involve branch organisations/networks for inventory of demands and technical requirements in a public procurement process

Interested in these Calls to Action?

Contact Martijn Seijger (


This project is an initiative of the Entrepreneurship department of the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, led by the dotSPACE Foundation, in partnership with Ideas from Europe (IFE).

Remco Timmermans

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