The EO4GEO Alliance of skills and education for tomorrow’s needs

The newly established EO4GEO Alliance provides solutions to learners and employers within the Earth Observation and Geographic Information community, enabling the match between offer and demand of skills. All relevant stakeholders are invited to contact the Alliance and be active part in this process.

4 min readDec 20, 2022

Assessing the skills in demand for the workforce of tomorrow

The EO4GEO Alliance endeavour to foster skills development in the space downstream and GI domain is based on the idea to close the skills gap between the supply and demand of education and training in the sector. Actual working processes and job requirements provide important insights to specifically address training needs.

Therefore, designing the EO4GEO training offers — curricula, modules and courses — and the respective training resources shall be oriented on business processes and occupational profiles. Subsequently, individual scenarios of learners follow the entire process — based on the need to fulfil a specific business task. Dedicated curricula matching these requirements provide the framework for training materials and actions to equip learners with the necessary skills for their work.

The EO4GEO training approach

1. Gathering needs for training by understanding business contexts:

Understanding business needs is important to assess which training is needed to close the skill gap. This is a key point of the EO4GEO training approach. For this, the EO4GEO occupational profile tool is available.

2. Designing academic courses and vocational education and trainings:

Designing the training offers based on identified business needs may utilise the EO4GEO curricula design tool, which enables the creation of structured learning content. The approach yields to a growing collection of resources and tools that are available to the public for use.

Creating the material for the lectures, which are provided in the EO4GEO training material catalogue. The catalogue allows educators and instructors to access and search through state-of-the-art material designed by the EO4GEO partners. The EO4GEO Training Material Catalogue allows educators and instructors to access and search through state-of-the-art material designed by the EO4GEO partners. The content, provided under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY-SA 4.0, can be used and adapted for any teaching purpose.

3. Performing demonstration trainings:

A wide variety of training actions was offered during the project lifetime . Structured in three domains — Integrated Applications, Smart Cities, and Climate Change — covering many topics to fit the needs of different stakeholders and audiences. The actions variety of different training actions. Until the end of the project, over 1,400 people from almost 50 countries joined the training actions.

The EO4GEO training approach

The connections within the Alliance were initially built and strengthened throughout the EO4GEO project period. Training actions used to combine the knowledge and experience of project and associated partners to create something unique within the EO*GI community.

These courses were able to reach a wide variety of participants who were confronted with “real-world” problems and their solutions for their day to day lives. Through this case-based approach knowledge and skills were transferred which led to closing the gap of supply and demand within the sector.

The ambitions of the Alliance

Europe has a strong and diversified space downstream and geoinformation service industry capable of providing many products and services derived from satellite observations, positioning data, ground sensors and various geoinformation data across a wide range of applications. Many parts of society, however, lack the skills to develop products on their own. This provides opportunities for the European service industry to offer tailored products and services for local and regional markets in third countries, potentially through partnership programmes and joint ventures.

Before promoting the space downstream and geoinformation sector abroad, it is important to ensure the required skills and competencies to succeed abroad are available/developed in the skills development setup such as internal adoption of common innovative practices to increase internal uptake of EO-technology, and help to build the required expertise and credibility to effectively develop international markets.

Due to this reasons, the Alliance takes up the rich expertise, that was created within 4.5 years in the EO*GI sector within the EO4GEO project. Skills development and formalised vocational education and training offers in the sector are still a matter of possible improvement and not yet standardised. They are usually part of projects, summer schools or just organised as a training offer, in an ad-hoc manner. The downstream sector still needs more attention, especially the many sectoral or thematic application domains that (can) make use of geospatial data and services. From this perspective, more practical, case-based learning curricula could and should be designed in a collaborative effort by academia, EO*GI service companies, the public sector, and other business actors.

Moreover, it is often hard for candidate learners from the space downstream and geoinformation business sectors to find their way through the offer and receive the support they need to define a personalised learning path. This is where the work of the Alliance steps in, to provide solutions to learners and employers enabling the match between offer and demand of skills. All relevant stakeholders are invited to contact the Alliance and be active part in this process.

Visit the EO4GEO Alliance website

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Large-scale Skills Partnership for the downstream segment of space economy dedicated to data, services and applications(under the EC initiative Pact for Skills)