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April 4th, 2023
e-GEOS (ASI/Telespazio) will be building the infrastructure for access to the data of the Italian IRIDE satellite constellation

The company will be leading a team that will also include Leonardo, Telespazio, Planetek Italia, SERCO, Exprivia and Atos


Rome –  e-GEOS, a Telespazio (80%) / Italian Space Agency (20%) company, has won a tender from the European Space Agency (ESA) to build the infrastructure for access to the data and services of IRIDE – the innovative Italian Earth observation satellite constellation promoted by the Italian Government and funded by the PNRR – to be managed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Italian Space Agency (ASI).

e-GEOS will be leading an industrial team that also includes Leonardo, Telespazio, Planetek Italia, SERCO, Exprivia and Atos.

The IRIDE digital marketplace will ensure a single, reliable and cyber-protected point of access for institutional organisations and commercial customers, transforming Earth observation into a wealth of information and analysis for the benefit of the community and promoting the use of geoinformation services in the everyday context.

The new platform will integrate advanced technologies with open standards and will be interoperable with other Earth observation data delivery, processing and analysis systems.

The industrial team led by e-GEOS offered ESA, ASI and the Italian Government the best solution for creating the IRIDE marketplace. This drew upon each company’s technological histories that they had built up through their participation in the most important Earth observation space programmes – such as Copernicus and COSMO-SkyMed – the use and advanced processing of geoinformation data, strong expertise in the context of ICT (Information & Communication Technology), cyber security and critical digital infrastructure protection, and their extensive knowledge of space systems.

“The European Space Agency is pleased with this contract with e-GEOS”, says Simonetta Cheli, director of Earth Observation programmes at the European Space Agency and head of the ESRIN centre in Frascati. “The Italian government has given ESA the task of creating the national Earth observation constellation, an innovative and strategic programme for Italy. With the signing of this contract, which comes in addition to those signed in recent weeks, we are close to completely defining the IRIDE constellation in line with a roadmap in which the ESA will achieve the programme’s first target, the deadline for which is 31 March, in-line with the PNRR funding guidelines.”

“e-GEOS is proud to be leading a team that constitutes not only a fair geographical representation of Italian industry, but also a wealth of solutions developed by large companies and SMEs with the ability to meet the specific objectives of the IRIDE programme”, comments Paolo Minciacchi, CEO of e-GEOS. “Through digital innovation, the IRIDE marketplace will be the exclusive point of access for those wishing to take advantage of the programme’s data, services and applications. We will create a shared and advanced platform to encourage the growth of the Earth observation market in Italy and across the world, facilitating a more responsible use of resources for a greener and more digital planet”.

IRIDE is opening up an innovative frontier for the development of applications by small and medium-sized enterprises, start-ups and businesses in the geospatial sector. The project symbolises a revolution that will channel the contribution of the Italian supply chain engaged in the sector itself and in the processing of data to study our country’s climatic and environmental conditions. These data are of use, for example, to the Civil Protection agency. The contribution of IRIDE will also be focused on monitoring and managing critical natural phenomena caused by climate change, such as coastal erosion, fires and hydro-geological disruption, as well as on studying the characteristics of air and meteorological conditions to enable practices that benefit the health of the planet and of mankind.


IRIDE will be built in Italy with funding from the PNRR and will be completed by 2026, under the management of ESA – the European Space Agency – and with the support of the Italian Space Agency (ASI). The constellation, together with other national and European space systems, will also support the Civil Protection and other administrations in fighting hydrogeological instability and fires, protecting coastlines, and monitoring critical infrastructures, air quality and weather conditions. Finally, it will provide analytical data for the development of commercial applications by start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises and businesses.


e-GEOS, a joint venture of the Italian Space Agency (20%) and Telespazio (80%), is a global leader in the supply of applications and services through highly technological and innovative geoinformation platforms based on artificial intelligence and cloud technology. e-GEOS offers a unique portfolio of application services, ranging from data acquisition to analytics reporting. This is partly made possible by its optical and radar capabilities and by its rapid access to the superior monitoring capabilities of the first and second generation COSMO-SkyMed constellation, whose data it markets exclusively worldwide. e-GEOS manages the acquisition, storage and processing of multi-mission satellite data at the Matera Space Centre. This Centre is one of the Core Ground stations of Copernicus and receives radar data from the Sentinel-1 mission.