What is IAP?
The increasing complexity of modern society, the pressure on natural resources, the degradation of the environment and maintaining the security of citizens are significant challenges facing today's governments and political decision-makers. To meet these challenges, timely access to high-quality and reliable information is of strategic importance to governments, companies and citizens.
The Integrated Applications Promotion (IAP) programme is developing a range of new applications by using and integrating different available space assets, resulting in viable services for the benefit of society. Intrinsic to these new applications is the added value of space assets in facilitating them, and the sustainability of the resulting services facilitated by the user-driven nature of the IAP programme.
This programme aims to respond to users’ needs, addressing a number of themes such as health, safety, development, energy and transport, as well as other relevant thematic areas that may be identified in consultation with, and in response to, the needs of users.
Why is it needed now?
Despite impressive growth, the full potential of satellite-based systems has yet to be achieved. Recognition of this fact drove the creation of programme that can embrace a wide range of new applications through a common approach. In addition, there is much added value that such systems may offer, of which users and service providers are unaware. This approach involves starting from a set of user needs that relate to a specific problem or opportunity, rather than starting from a particular technological solution. The approach then seeks to develop applications and services that combine existing space and terrestrial assets to meet the user needs; in short, ‘integrated applications’.
What are the benefits?
The IAP programme is bringing space-based solutions to new markets, creating new communities of users, creating added value through exploitation and combination of existing space assets. The current estimate of the value of the potential market involving satellite-based services is huge, being many times greater than the initial costs associated with the development of the satellite infrastructure.
Benefits to society are manifold. To name a few, integrated services are important to disaster assessment and management, all forms of transport including those on the open seas and to health services (particularly early-warning systems and remote health systems) encompassing preventive, nominal and emergency situations.
IAP is facilitating innovative solutions and services that are not possible with single-satellite solutions. Integrated applications will benefit European industrial competitiveness and put Europe in the forefront of exploitation of its space assets.
Who is implementing it?
ESA is implementing the programme in close cooperation with end users (institutional and private), solutions and service providers, as well as major stakeholders such as European and international organisations and institutions. Close coordination is being set up with the European Commission and Member States.