Copernicus Program Presented in Zagreb, 48,000 Chances for Employment?

Lauren Simmonds

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 7th of June, 2019, Venice is sinking, the Berlin metro is going to collapse into the earth, and the surface of the earth has risen in some places by up to two metres after the earthquake in Japan and the nuclear disaster in Fukushima – all this is what we know today thanks to the European Space Agency and the European Commission – Copernicus, worth more than ten billion euros, and presented recently at the premises of the Croatian Employers’ Association in Zagreb.

This ambitious program monitors the atmosphere, the oceans, and the earth’s land surface, it is based on a satellite system designed for observing the earth, and the use and application of its data open up great opportunities for the Croatian economy.

At the program’s presentation, prof. dr. sc. Željko Bačić from the Zagreb Geodetic Faculty highlighted the fact that the European Commission’s studies show that by the year 2030, in terms of jobs directly related to Copernicus, as many as 48,000 work positions will be opened.

“By 2035, EO-based business and services will be worth 131 billion euros. Since Croatia represents 1 percent of the EU, we can draw a parallel and say that in Croatia alone, this segment of digital business should amount to 1.3 billion euros, which is now the volume of the total IT business in Croatia,” Bačić said.

“We’re well aware that information today is extremely important, but information that is spatially defined is of particular importance and concerns the geodetic profession. Geoinformatics is taking on an increasingly important role and combines classical geodesy and information technology, and geodetic and information technology companies are increasingly growing.

The interest of our profession is the faster development of geoinformatics. Here I see the potential and the prosperity for the economy and for the general population. We’re happy to be involved in this project and we gladly responded to it. Collaboration with academic institutions is of utmost importance, so, we can see the importance of this project,” said Željko Perić, president of the HUP Association of Geodetic Geoinformatics.

According to Boris Dril, President of the HUP Association for Information and Communication, this program is an excellent fit to the national coalition for digital skills and jobs, with the aim of developing an information and communication economy in Croatia. “It’s not a scientific project in a lab that is only relevant to a narrower circle of people, but a research product to be applied to real life and show its value,” Drilo stated.

To briefly recall, Copernicus was initially created to develop earth-based information services, satellite and in-situ data analysis, and the various services it provides helps to correctly address some of the most difficult environmental challenges we face today, such as food safety, sea levels rising, natural disasters, urbanisation, glaciers melting, and the comprehensive topic of climate change.

This Zagreb conference was taken from Estonia’s shining example, which used its data to check if farmers were actually following the basic conditions for the use of agricultural subsidies. In this way, Copernicus helped to reduce the misuse of subsidies, and the savings yielded from that side of things alone amounted to about 500,000 euros a year.

It was also used for the mapping of groundwater floods in Ireland. Thanks to Copernicus, flood data can now be collected at a level that was previously considered inaccessible and thus provided timely information to the relevant bodies. Sentinel satellites used in the program can also be useful in discovering hidden cultural heritage sites for which we’ve searched for decades, as well point to hidden archaeological artefacts.

“Unlimited ways of applying this fascinating data that can strongly affect the future of the earth will soon be able to be contributed to by Croatian developers, entrepreneurs, and professionals of various profiles, as well as students and students through Copernicus Hackathon, a 24-hour contest where teams will create applications for data use,” said Copernicus Hackathon’s organiser, Zvonimir Nevistić, from the Zagreb Geodetic Faculty.

The aforementioned contest will be held on October the 23rd and 24th this year, with the aim of creating content that can significantly improve the quality of life, the economy, or the environmental protection in the chosen area of ​​application.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and lifestyle pages for more. If it’s just Zagreb you’re interested in, give Total Zagreb a follow or check out Zagreb in a Page.


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