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VAE > About us


VAE is an element of the programme that represents the ‘backbone’ of ESA activities in EO, the Earth Observation Envelope Programme (EOEP). This programme (EOEP) is implemented in slices of 4-5 years of activity, and is currently in the 4th slice (EOEP-4), covering the period 2013-2016.

The main objective of VAE is to support the European and Canadian EO information services sector (both companies and institutional suppliers) to grow the prospects of long-term sustainable use of EO-based products and services in businesses and organisations that have needs for geospatial information for their operations.

The aim is to improve the positioning of the EO service sector as competitive suppliers of leading-edge EO-based products and services in the global market place. To do this, VAE builds on the initial results and achievements made since activities began in 2000 (see below for high-level summary).


This goal is of growing significance with the start of the EU–ESA second flagship project for space (Copernicus), and the emergence of new national EO missions in Europe and Canada. Over the next few years, Earth Observation will move from the science and research domain, into a technology that forms the long-term source of sustainable, operational information services. It is within this context that VAE fosters the growth of a customer-oriented EO service industry that communicates convincingly the benefits of what it can offer, and is fully positioned to exploit new opportunity.

Within ESA, the team in charge of VAE is the Industry Section (EOP-SEI) under the Directorate of Earth Observation Programs, Science, Applications and Future Technologies Department, Exploitation and Services Division.

The Industry Section is based at ESA ESRIN in Frascati, just outside Rome, Italy.

Read more about our upcoming opportunities for EO service providers, search our current and past projects or see our strategic partnerships.