The Speakers


French Minister Of Higher Education, Research And Innovation

French Presidency of the Council of the European Union

Before being appointed as the Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Frédérique Vidal had been the President of the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis (UNS) since 2012. She holds a master’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis, a post-graduate degree from the Institut Pasteur and a doctorate from the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis where she became a lecturer in 1995. Since 2004, Frédérique Vidal has been a professor of biochemistry, molecular and cell biology at the UNS. In addition, she was Associate Dean of the Department of Life Sciences from 2007 to 2009 and was appointed Research Assessor to the Dean of the Faculty and then Dean of the Department in 2009. Previously, she was responsible for internships before becoming the Deputy Director of the post-graduate diploma in Pharmacology. An outside member of the INSERM Regional Scientific Council from 1999 to 2003, Frédérique Vidal has been on the assessment panel for the master’s degree in virology at the UPMC-Paris Diderot-Institut Pasteur since 2004. She was also co-responsible for the European Tempus project in relation to the implementation of the LMD system in the Balkans, from 2006 to 2009. Frédérique Vidal has been a “Chevalier” of the French Legion of Honour since 2013.


European Commissioner for Internal Market

European Commission

Thierry Breton ran several companies and served as CEO at Bull, Thomson Multimédia and France Télécom. From 2005 to 2007, he served as French Minister of Economy, Finance, and Industry before joining Harvard Business School as a Professor. In 2009, he became CEO at Atos, a function he held until 2019 when he became the European Commissioner for Internal Market. His portfolio includes industry, goods and services, digital, defence, space, tourism and audio-visual topics.


Director General

European Space Agency

Josef Aschbacher is Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA), headquartered in Paris, France, a role he assumed in March 2021. Born in Austria, he studied at the University of Innsbruck, graduating with a Master’s and a PhD in natural sciences. He has had an accomplished international career in space, combining more than 35 years’ work experience at the European Space Agency, European Commission, Austrian Space Agency, Asian Institute of Technology and University of Innsbruck. As Chief Executive Officer of ESA, Mr Aschbacher is responsible for the definition, implementation and development of Europe’s space infrastructure and activities, which include launchers, satellites performing Earth observation, navigation, telecommunication and space science together with robotic exploration and ESA astronauts working at the International Space Station. He is responsible for an annual budget of 7 billion euros and a workforce of 5,500 distributed across several establishments, principally in Europe. When taking up office as Director General of ESA, Mr Aschbacher published a new strategy for space in Europe, called ESA Agenda 2025, aimed at accelerating significantly the use of space in Europe through major new initiatives and programmes. From 2016–2021 he was ESA Director for Earth Observation Programmes and Head of ESA’s ESRIN establishment in Frascati, Italy. He has been a key leader of the European Copernicus Programme, which has grown beyond all expectations and is now considered to be one of the most ambitious and successful Earth Observation programmes in the world. He worked in various functions within ESA from 2001 onwards both in Paris, France and Frascati, Italy. From 1994–2000 he worked at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, in his latest position serving as Scientific Assistant to the Director of the Space Applications Institute. From 1991–1993 he was stationed as ESA Representative in South-East Asia, where he developed projects in the Asian region while, at the same time, working in a full-time academic teaching capacity as Associate Professor at AIT Bangkok. In 2021, Mr Aschbacher became Grande Ufficiale Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana, the highest recognition accorded to non-Italians.

Phil Evans

Director General

European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT)

Phil Evans became EUMETSAT’s fifth Director-General on 1 January 2021. Phil took over leadership of the organisation at an exciting and challenging time. Exciting, because the organisation will deploy the first of its next-generation geostationary and polar-orbiting satellite systems from 2022. Challenging, due to the complexity of these systems and the global coronavirus pandemic’s impact on working conditions. Phil brings to the role the experience gained from his long career in senior management positions at the UK Met Office and a background in remote sensing and satellite instrumentation. He also has a strong commitment to collaboration with partners around the globe. He brought to the position a deep understanding of EUMETSAT’s culture and values, having led the UK’s delegation on the organisation’s Council from 2018 to 2020. Starting at the Met Office in 1988, Phil rose to become Chief Operating Officer from 2017 to 2020. In this role, he was responsible for the organisation’s operational forecasting, observation development and infrastructure and international relations, as well as organisation-wide operational delivery, resilience and security. Other positions Phil held at the Met Office included Director of Government Business, Chief Advisor to Government, Head of Secretariat and Managing Director of Commercial Business. As Director Government Business, he was responsible for Met Office services to Government and industry related to climate research, weather forecasting, defence, international aid and UK warnings.
Phil started at the Met Office in scientific and technical roles related to remote sensing. This work involved satellite data retrieval, instrument specification and design. After leaving the Met Office and before joining EUMETSAT, Phil was Director of Physics Programmes at the Institute of Physics, in 2020. There, he was a member of the Executive Board and Board of Trustees. He was responsible for education improvement and physics innovation programmes, equality, inclusion and diversity programmes for the physics community and the Enterprise Programme Office. He has an Honours degree in Physics from Birmingham University.

Pierre Bahurel

Director General

Mercator Ocean International

Pierre BAHUREL est le directeur général de Mercator Ocean International. Diplômé de l’Ecole Polytechnique (France), il est l’un des fondateurs de Mercator Ocean en 1995, qui est devenu depuis un chef de file international de la prévision océanique et de l’océan numérique, indispensable à une gouvernance internationale de l’océan. Pierre est à l’origine du succès du service marin du programme Copernicus de l’UE, opéré par Mercator Ocean International depuis 2015, pour la Commission Européenne. Il anime une communauté mondiale de l’océanographie numérique au sein des Nations-Unies et s’est engagé dans la Décennie des Sciences Océaniques au service de l’océan durable et du citoyen.
Pierre BAHUREL is the Director General of Mercator Ocean International. A graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique (France), he was one of the founders of Mercator Ocean in 1995. It has since become an international leader in ocean forecasting and digital oceanography, an essential service for international governance of the Ocean. Pierre is behind the success of the EU Copernicus marine service, operated by Mercator Ocean International on behalf of the European Commission since 2015. He leads a global digital oceanography community under the auspices of the United Nations and is committed to the Decade of Ocean Science for a Sustainable Ocean and the Citizen.

Florence Rabier

Director General

European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)

Dr Florence Rabier has been Director-General of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) since 2016. She is an internationally recognised scientist, whose leadership has greatly contributed to delivering major operational changes at both ECMWF and Météo-France. She is especially well known for her key role in implementing an innovative method making an optimal use of satellite observations in weather forecasting and climate monitoring.
She is currently chairing the Advisory Committee for Earth Observations of the European Space Agency and a member of the International Scientific Board of the International Foundation Big Data and Artificial Intelligence for human development. She has been awarded the title of “Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur” in 2014 and has been an Honorary Member of the American Meteorological Society since 2021.

Hans Bruyninckx

Executive Director

European Environment Agency

Dr Hans Bruyninckx became the Executive Director of the European Environment Agency on 1 June 2013. In 1996 he completed a PhD in international environmental politics at Colorado State University and from 2010 headed the HIVA Research Institute in Leuven which specialises in policy research. Over the last 20 years, he has conducted research in more than a dozen countries, in areas including environmental politics, climate change, and sustainable development.

Stephen Quest

Director general

Joint Research Center of the European Commission

Stephen Quest is the Director-General of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) as of 1 May 2020. Prior to this, he was the Director-General of the Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union (TAXUD) and the Director-General for Informatics (DIGIT), driving the digital transformation of the Commission. His career spans more than 30 years in the European civil service, and has included work on the EU budget, social and environmental policy and four years as Assistant to the Secretary-General. As Director-General, Stephen is particularly focused on modernising organisational culture and promoting innovation within the Commission, both as regards the use of technology and empowering and involving staff in decision-making. He is particularly passionate about communication and the interface between policy and technology.

Mauro Facchini

Head of Earth observation unit

DG for Defence industry and Space, European Commission

Thomas Pesquet

French Astronaut

European Space Agency

A graduate of the École Nationale Supérieure de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace (Toulouse, France), Thomas Pesquet first worked as an aerospace engineer in Spain and for the French space agency (CNES) before becoming an airline pilot. In 2009, he was the youngest of the six Europeans selected to form the new class of ESA astronauts. Basic training includes fluid science, material engineering, medical training and intercultural communication, among others. After an intense training in Europe, North America, Russia and Japan, he launched from Baikonur on November 17, 2016. Alongside Soyuz Commander Oleg Novitskiy and the soon-to-be NASA record holder Peggy Whitson, he took part in an international crew composed of scientists, engineers and pilots. After 196 days in space, he returned to Earth in June 2017. Between his two missions, he flew Novespace’s Zero-G parabolic aircraft for space agencies to run experiments in weightlessness. For his second mission, Alpha (April – November 2021), he travelled the International Space Station on the second SpaceX Crew Dragon, Crew-2, as the first European launching from the U.S. since a decade. The mission lasted 199 days and saw Thomas Pesquet break two impressive European records: most cumulative time spent in space and most time spent spacewalking. He also became the first French commander of the ISS. During his two missions, Thomas Pesquet worked daily on scientific experiments in the Station’s cutting edge laboratories in a variety of fields from neurology to biology and took part in the maintenance of the spaceship, orbiting at 28000 km/h. On his free time, he took advantage of the wide audience enabled by the power of social networks to keep the public updated on his missions and alert them to the dangers of global warming.

Toni Tolker-Nielsen

Head of the Earth Observations Projects Department in ESA ESTEC

European Space Agency

Mr Toni Tolker-Nielsen is of Danish nationality. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Southern University of Denmark. He started his professional career in industry in 1983 developing evaporation and drying plants for APV ANHYDRO in Copenhagen. In 1984, Toni joined CERN in Geneva where he was responsible for the design of guidance systems for elementary particle beams. He joined ESA in 1987 in the Technical Directorate as a Mechanism Engineer, where he mainly worked on pointing and tracking systems for free space laser communication. In 2001, Toni completely changed his career path taking up duty as Head of the Industrial Monitoring Office, in the Directorate of Industrial Matters and Technology Programmes, in ESA HQ. He went on to join ESA’s Launcher Directorate in early 2003 and was responsible for the Return to Flight Programme of Ariane 5 ECA following the launch failure in December 2002. He became Head of the Ariane Development Project Division in 2005 and Head of the Ariane Programme in 2006. Toni implemented the profound reorganisation of the launcher sector decided at the Ministerial Council in May 2003, which took Ariane 5 from its infancy into successful exploitation with today more than 100 flights. In 2014, Toni took up the post as Inspector General of ESA with a mandate to guarantee consistent, affordable, technical excellence within the Agency. He became member of ESA’s Executive Board in 2015, contributing to the overall strategy and management of ESA and supporting the preparation of Ministerial Councils. In 2019, he was appointed Head of the Earth Observations Projects Department in ESA ESTEC. From March 2021 until end of December 2021, he assumed, in parallel, the role as Acting Director of Earth Observation Programmes and Head of the ESRIN establishment in Frascati, Rome. In December 2021, Toni has been appointed by the ESA Director General to coordinate the relations between the EC and ESA on the Accelerators and Inspirators.

Youba Sokona


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, United Nations

Prof SOKONA, with over 40 years of experience addressing energy, environment and sustainable development in Africa, has been at the heart of numerous national and continental initiatives. He is currently a Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change after serving as Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III following being a Lead Author since 1990. He has a proven track record of organisational leadership and management, for example as Inaugural Coordinator of the African Climate Policy Centre and as Executive Secretary of the Sahara and the Sahel Observatory. He is affiliated with numerous boards and organisations, including, as Honorary Professor at the University College London, Member of The World Academy of Sciences and the African Academy of Sciences, Science Advisory Committee of the International Institute for Applied System Analysis. In short, Prof SOKONA is a global figure, with deep technical knowledge, extensive policy experience and an unreserved personal commitment to African led development.

Barbara Pompili

French Minister of the Ecological Transition

Ministry of the Ecological Transition

Director of Secretariat


Group on Earth Observation (GEO)

Yana Gevorgyan is the Director of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Secretariat since July 2021. Ms Gevorgyan is an expert in international relations whose career spans humanitarian relief and development, international think tanks, and government organizations. Prior to her selection as the next Director of GEO Secretariat, Ms Gevorgyan was the GEO Program Manager at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA). She had represented the United States to GEO in many capacities, including as a Co-Chair of the GEO Programme Board until May 2021. As a member of the United States delegation, Ms Gevorgyan spearheaded several key initiatives in GEO, including the landmark policy on GEO Associates, the GEO Awards and GEO Pledge Campaign.

Cyril Crévoisier

Research Director

Dynamic Meteorology Laboratory at the École Polytechnique, Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)

A former student of the Ecole Normale Supérieure of Cachan, Cyril Crevoisier is Director of Research at CNRS in the Dynamic Meteorology Laboratory where he leads the ABC(t) team which specializes in the observation from space of atmospheric climate variables. His research focuses in particular on the study of the variability and evolution of anthropogenic greenhouse gases (CO₂, CH₄, N₂O) using space and in-situ observations. He is lead-scientist of the IASI-NG space mission and coordinates the MAGIC atmospheric composition measurement campaigns. He has participated in many projects aimed at setting up the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service. Since 2019, he is Chairman of the CNES Scientific Committee for Earth Observation.

Claire Giry

Director General

French Ministry for Research, Innovation and Higher education

Claire Giry has been appointed Director General of Research and Innovation at the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation in June 2021. A doctor in molecular and cellular biology, trained at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Lyon, Claire Giry was responsible for developing national, European and international partnerships at the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) and the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (Inserm). She was also technical advisor to the Prime Minister for higher education and research between 2007 and 2009. She then became head of the joint department of the General Directorate for Higher Education and Professional Integration (Dgesip) and the General Directorate for Research and Innovation (DGRI) of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research. She was in charge of territorial issues and the implementation of the first Programme d’investissements d’avenir (PIA). Claire Giry then directed the “Centers of Excellence” program of the French General Commission for Investment, before joining Inserm in 2012 where she held various positions before being appointed Vice-CEO.

David Edvardsson

Director General

Swedish Ministry of Education and Research

David Edvardsson is the Director General for the Research Policy Unit at the Ministry of Education and Research. His main field of work is research policy in general. David is the chairman of the Board of Auditors for the Nobel Foundation. Previously, David was employed as a Research Officer at the unit for Research Infrastructure at the Swedish Research Council. He has been the Swedish delegate to ESO (European Southern Observatory) Council, ESO representative in the ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) Council, Swedish delegate in FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) Council and member of the financial oversight group of the IceCube neutrino observatory.

Timo Pesonen

Director General of DG DEFIS

European Commission

Timo Pesonen is the Director General for Defence Industry and Space (DG DEFIS) at the European Commission since January 2020. His previous functions include Director-General for the European Commission’s directorate general for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs in 2019, and for the directorate general for communication between 2015 and 2019. He also served twice as head of cabinet of European Commission Vice-President Olli Rehn, who oversaw the economic and monetary affairs from 2010 to 2014, and enlargement from 2004 to 2009. Earlier in his career, Timo Pesonen worked as a spokesperson to Commissioner Erkki Liikanen, responsible for budget and administration.
Before joining the European Institutions, he was the foreign policy adviser to the Prime Minister of Finland, Paavo Lipponen. He holds a MSc in Social Sciences-International Politics from the University of Tampere, Finland.

Joanna Drake

Deputy Director-General for Implementation, Impact and Sustainable Investment Strategies

DG for Research and Innovation, European Commission

Ondrej Svab

Head of Space Technologies and Applications Unit at Ministry of Transport of the Czech Republic

Czech Republic

Magali Domergue

Delegate at the user Forum of Copernicus France

Ministry of the Ecological Transition

Magali Domergue is Head of the climate, observation and evolution of the Earth system Mission at the Sub-Directorate for research of the French Ministry for an Ecological Transition since 2019. She is a member of the French Delegation to the European Earth Observation Programme Copernicus, and is in particular the titular delegate to the User Forum.Before joining the Ministry, she held various positions from 1998 to 2019 in bulidings renovation/construction and in environmental and climate expertise at the City of Paris (waste, water, sustainable development, climate, performance and energy renovation of public buildings, sports buildings). She obtained an engineering degree in 1998 and a Master’s degree in applied mathematics and a Specialised Master’s degree in public action management from the Ecole des Ponts ParisTech in 2003. She defended her PhD in environmental economics on non-market values of the environment in 2016 with the CIRED (International Research Centre for Environment and Development).

Carolina Sá

Delegate at the user forum of Copernicus Portugal

Portugal Space Agency

Carolina Sá is the Earth Observation Officer of the Portuguese Space Agency – Portugal Space since December 2019. She integrates the Portuguese national delegation at the European Commission Copernicus User Forum and Copernicus Committee. Before joining Portugal Space she was a research fellow at the University of Lisbon, where she also taught satellite remote sensing to marine biologists. She holds a PhD in Marine Sciences from the University of Lisbon with focus on ocean-colour satellite products validation and algorithm development for monitoring the Portuguese coastal waters. During her research she participated in several projects targeting the development of satellite applications for the maritime sector (e.g. aquaculture), engaging both with public and private end-users.

Helmut Staudenrausch

German representative of the Copernicus user forum

Dag Anders Moldestad

Delegate at the user forum of Copernicus Norway

Norwegian Space Agency

Dag Anders Moldestad has worked at the Norwegian Space Agency with earth observation since 2008. He is the lead of the Copernicus programme at the Norwegian Space Agency, and the Norwegian delegate in the Copernicus Committee that assists the European Commission with the strategic coordination of Copernicus. Nationally, he manages the operational development of Copernicus-based services within a range of disciplines including e.g. mapping and monitoring of ground motion (InSAR Norway –, avalanches, lakes, snow and climate. Dag Anders Moldestad received his Dr. ing. degree in Arctic technology from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology – NTNU in 2000. Between 1998 and 2003 Moldestad was responsible for the practical accomplishment of the Norwegian Olympic Committee collaboration project “Gliprosjektet” including the Winter Olympics in 1998 and 2002 and the Summer Olympics in 2000. Between 1999 and 2008 Moldestad was crucial in the development of the Norwegian invention Autosock that has sold over 2 million copies worldwide. Autosock is a textile tyre cover aimed at increasing tyre-to-road friction when driving cars on icy or snowy roads.

Julia Röhrig

Project Leader

German Aerospace Center

Dr. Julia Röhrig studied Geography at the University of Bonn and made there her PhD on “Evaluation of agricultural land resources in Benin by regionalisation of the marginality index using satellite data’ in an interdisciplinary IMPETUS project in 2008. From 2010 to 2013 she conducted research as senior research fellow in different water projects in Africa at the Institute of Social-Ecological Research in Frankfurt/Main. Since 2013 she works at the DLR, the German Aerospace Center. Until 2017 she was a regional manager in the staff Department of International Relations at DLR coordinating activities in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Since 2018, she has been coordinating the FPCUP project (FPCUP: Framework Partnership Agreement on Copernicus User Uptake; FPCUP is one specific action in the European Commissions‘ User Uptake Strategy and shall foster the Copernicus user uptake activities of the Member States.

François Alter

Deputy for industries and ecosystem

National Center for Space Studies

Devis Tuia


Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Devis Tuia is associate professor at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland. He leads the Environmental Computational Science and Earth Observation (ECEO) laboratory, where he develops technology to tackle environmental and society problems with Earth observation and AI. He develops strategies that are rooted in machine learning, natural language processing and computer vision. He works towards understanding loss of biodiversity, supporting animal conservation, quantifying ecosystem services and modeling the consequences of climate changes in fragile environments like the Alps or polar regions.

Olivier Lemaitre

General secretary


Maxime Puteaux

Principal Advisor


Maxime Puteaux works as a Principal Advisor at Euroconsult, Paris. Since joining Euroconsult in 2012 Maxime manages consulting and research assignments related to space industry activities such as launch and manufacturing for leading and emerging stakeholders. Maxime manages customer assignments end-to-end from business development to final deliverables. Maxime also plays a critical role in the development of the new space activities including the growth of Finspace, Euroconsult’s startup pitch competition taking place during the World Satellite Business Week. Over the last eight years, Maxime has managed and contributed to more than 40 consulting missions including for government institutions, industry players and investors covering commercial due diligence, launch market analysis, satellite and constellation forecasting and strategic foresight. On the research side, Maxime is the editor in chief for Euroconsult’s research report Satellites to Be Built and Launched and supervises the report Prospects for the Small Satellite Market. Maxime has been a speaker and moderator at various international conferences or media. Prior to joining Euroconsult, he worked as a young graduate trainee at CNES in Toulouse and participated in the ISU Space Studies Program held at NASA Kennedy Space Center. Maxime holds a Master’s Degree in Law with a specialization in Space and Telecommunication Law from the Institut du Droit de l’Espace et des Télécommunications (IDEST), Paris Saclay University. He was also an exchange student at McGill University’s Institute of Air & Space Law in Montreal.

Isabelle Bénézeth

Interministerial Coordinator for Copernicus

French Ministry for Research, Innovation and Higher education

Engineer graduated from the Ecole Nationale de la Météorologie and from the Ecole Centrale Paris in Computer Science, I followed a one-year training at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques et Techniques in 2011. I started my career in the telecommunication systems department at Météo-France, then I joined the Ministry of Transport as a senior advisor to the Director of Research. I was appointed to Head of the Global Change and Earth Observation mission in 2009, and Head of the Earth Observation Environnement and climate within the Research and Innovation Department of the Ministry for an Ecological and Solidary Transition in 2017. I joined the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation in 2019 to take responsibility for the inter-ministerial coordination of Copernicus and GEO.

Elisa Rivera

European Environment Agency

Elisa Rivera Mendoza joined the European Environment Agency in August 2021 as a National Expert to lead the User Uptake and Communication tasks of the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service. Elisa coordinates the Copernicus user uptake activities in the EIONET Network with Member States and liaise with other Copernicus services to identify the relevance of service products to the EEA and advancing the cooperation among the services. Elisa is a high-level civil servant that worked before as Chief of Cabinet of the Secretary General for Innovation and as Head of the international unit in the Cabinet of the Spanish Vice-president and Minister for the Ecological Transition. From 2012 to 2020 Elisa was appointed as the Spanish representative of the Copernicus User Forum and coordinated User Uptake activities at national, regional and local level to create solutions to end users; setting up the Annual meeting and network of the Copernicus Spanish users the public administrations and more than 400 entities from the private sector as well as research centres; organizing sectorial workshops on policy applications of Copernicus, involving public and private sector; promoting the use of Copernicus as an outstanding tool for policy makers; creating a permanent training programme of Copernicus for the Public Sector in the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and Ministry for Agriculture and designing and setting up a Copernicus programme for Iberoamerica. Before joining the Spanish Public Administration, Elisa worked 3 years in the Council of Europe in the Biodiversity Programme.

Andrea Taramelli

Delegate at the user forum Copernicus Italy


Professor Associate at IUSS University, Pavia and Senior Scientist in Remote Sensing and Surface Process at the Institute for Environmental Protection and Research Rome. He has degrees from the University of Perugia and Master Business Administration applied to environment from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna Pisa. His doctorate was undertaken jointly between the University of Perugia and the LDEO of Columbia University. His postdoc was held using SAR techniques at LDEO of Columbia University. He took up a University Lectureship position (2003-2007) and Fellowship at Perugia University (2006 – 2009), an Adjunct Research position at LDEO of Columbia University (2004-2009) and a Lectureship at La Sapienza University Roma (2009-2011). He is actually teaching at IUSS Pavia “Economical aspect of Space Strategy” and “GIS and Geomatics. Scientific Director of Centro Interuniversitario di Ricerca sul Telerilevamento applicato all’osservazione dello spazio e della terra CIRTA. He is Italian national delegate at the European Commission Copernicus User Forum, Copernicus Committee, Destination Earth National Expert and coordinator of the Copernicus National User Forum. He is a member of the ‘Technical Space Committee” at the Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri. Member of the Joint Scientific Committee of ASI-ISPRA, head of the Space Economy implementation Group in ISPRA and delegate to the Comitato di Sorveglianza della Space Economy at Ministry of Sustainable Industrial Development.

Cédric Giordan

User Support Manager

Mercator Ocean International

Cédric Giordan served the French Navy as meteorologist-oceanographer for 17 years. He joined Mercator Ocean International in 2012 for building the Service Desk. He is now managing a User Support Team and has been developing many service monitoring tools and online information resources for advancing the Copernicus Marine Service user interface and experience and for improving user satisfaction and loyalty.

Thomas Folegot


Quiet Oceans

Dr. Thomas Folegot received a PhD in Physical Acoustics from the University of Paris in 2003. Thomas Folegot has started working as a research scientist for the French Military Centre of Oceanography on ocean acoustic tomography technologies. After a 5 years period as a senior scientist at the NATO Undersea Research Centre, he founded Quiet-Oceans in 2010 to address the issue of anthropogenic noise in relation with the emerging regulations and concerns for the marine life.

Vincent-Henri Peuch

Director of CAMS

European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)

Vincent-Henri Peuch is Director of the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and Deputy Director of the Copernicus Department at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). He oversees the management of a large body of scientific and technical activities, which underpins the operational delivery of information products about air quality and atmospheric composition worldwide. He has been involved since 2003 in the design, development and implementation of Copernicus, the flagship Earth Observation programme of the European Union. A native of France, he obtained his PhD from Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon in 1996. He worked as a scientist for Météo-France for 15 years before joining ECMWF in 2011 to lead the precursor European R&D activities that eventually led to CAMS. He is an internationally respected scientist working on numerical modelling and data assimilation of air quality and atmospheric composition. To date, he has co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications and advised a dozen PhD candidates. He serves in several national and international scientific and advisory committees, including for the World Meteorological Organization and the World Health Organization.

Jacques Moussafir

Aria technology

Jacques Moussafir holds a Degree in Engineering from Mines-ParisTech, with a major in Fluid Dynamics, and a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Physics with UPMC (Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris). Jacques started his professional journey with BERTIN Company, taught Meteorology classes in Oran, Algeria, spent eight years as a Research Scientist with the Environmental R&D Division of the French Electricity Board (EDF), focusing on early warning modelling systems for nuclear accidents. He created ARIA Technologies in 1990, ARIANET, the ARIA Technologies’ sister company in Italy in 2000, and ARIA do Brazil in 2012. All of these companies joined the SUEZ Group in 2021 and are now part of the Group’s Smart Environmental Solutions (SES) division. Jacques’ achievements are essentially the promotion and consolidation of the great projects the brilliant young people in ARIA are able to put forward, worldwide. His scientific work is now limited to the ongoing developments and applications of PMSS, the micro-scale Atmospheric Transport and Dispersion Model now embedded in the US-DOD HPAC system as well as in the heart of the AIRCITY system. His skills include Management, Modelling of the Atmosphere, Atmospheric Transport and Dispersion Modelling, Integrated Air Quality Management Systems. Jacques is a member of the Board of FIMEA (the French « Professional Federation of Atmospheric Environment Businesses ») as Export manager, and on INERIS Développement Strategic Board.

Carlo Buontempo

Director of Copernicus Climate Change Service

European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)

Carlo Buontempo coordinates the activities of a number of international contracts working on the interface between climate science and decision making in sectors ranging from energy to city planning. Carlo completed a PhD in physics at University of L’Aquila in 2004 then he moved to Canada for his post-doc before joining the Met Office. Carlo worked at the Hadley Centre for almost a decade were he led the climate adaptation team and more recently the climate service development team. In this role he led numerous projects involving climate change adaptation and regional modelling in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America. In 2012 Carlo became the scientific coordinator of EUPORIAS, and project funded by the European Commission through the 7th framework programme.

Ana Lopez

Science Lead


Ana López is a co-founder of Climate Scale, a climate services start-up that offers data and support for climate change physical risks’ analysis. Ana has a PhD in Physics, and more than 20 years of research experience in physics and climate science at Oxford University and the London School of Economics. She has also worked on the commercial implementation of machine learning forecasting models for the financial and energy sectors. In Climate Scale she leads the scientific development, ensuring that all the products and services are solidly grounded on the state of the art in Climate Science.

Frederic Adragna

Head for New Space startups’ support

French National Center for Space Studies

Frédéric Adragna is in charge of the economic development and support of NewSpace start-ups, within the CNES’s Directorate for Strategy. He also coordinates CNES participation in the European FPCUP programme, which aims to promote and develop the use of Copernicus Data and Services.

Marc Tondriaux


European Association for Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC)

Marc Tondriaux has been working in the Space sector for more than 35 years after 7 years spent as a Telecom engineer in the French Telecom Research Centre. He joined Matra Espace in 1985 and has continued working for this company which became Matra Marconi Space, and then EADS Astrium and Airbus. He has been given different responsibilities, including Director of the Ground Systems Division and then Director of Earth Observation Services during 11 years, gathering and managing Spot Image and the various Infoterra subsidiaries created in 6 European countries, launching and managing the development of the Spot6/7 satellites private investment program. He left Airbus in 2014, just before his retirement, for creating the TerraNIS company, specialised in EO services for Agriculture, Viticulture and Environment, which gathers now 20 employees, and where he is still President. Marc Tondriaux joined the EARSC Board of Directors in 2017, where he took the responsibility of coordinating the working group dealing with Applications for Local and Regional Institutions. He was nominated in June 2021 as Chairman of EARSC.

Thierry Cotelle


Network of European Regions Using Space Technologies (NEREUS)

Gratuated as Engineer in Industrial Chemistry (Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers), Thierry Cotelle has managed several SMIs in the aeronautics sector for 25 years and is currently General Director of a Business Unit at Satys Aerospace. In terms of political commitments Thierry Cotelle has been Deputy Mayor of Toulouse in charge of employment, economic development, space and aeronautics between 2008 and 2014. Thierry Cotelle is Regional Councillor since 2016 and was previously President of the regional agency for renewable energies (AREC). Since 2021, he is First Vice President for the Commission “Economy, Employment, Re-industrialisation” and belongs to the following thematic commissions “Climate Emergency” and “Water and Risk Prevention”. Thierry COTELLE has been elected NEREUS President in December 2021. He is also a member of the Board of NEREUS-associate member Cité de l’Espace for 20 years.

Fiammetta Diani

Head of Market, Downstream and Innovation

European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA)

Fiammetta Diani was appointed Head of Head of Market, Downstream and Innovation at the GSA, now EUSPA, in January 2019, previously she was Deputy Head of Market Development. She has been working at the Agency since 2009 and has been responsible for transport and governmental segments, while supervising the mass market and professional domains and contributing to some of the Agency’s major achievements in terms of Galileo market adoption and user uptakes.
Before joining the GSA, Fiammetta Diani worked in the private sector for more than a decade, both in the aerospace and information technology industry, with focus on market and business development of products, applications and services based on space technologies (GNSS, Earth Observation and Satellite Communications). Fiammetta Diani holds a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Politecnico di Milano and a post-graduate Master in Economics and Business Administration of governmental and non-profit organisations from the University of Ferrara, in Italy.

Rodrigo Da Costa

Executive Director

European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA)

On 16 October 2020, Rodrigo da Costa took up his duties as Executive Director of the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA), formerly the European GNSS Agency (GSA). Prior to this, he was the Galileo Services Programme Manager from March 2017. Before joining the GSA, Rodrigo da Costa held several senior project management, business development, and institutional key account management positions in the space industry, in the areas of human space flight, exploration, launchers and R&D. Rodrigo da Costa holds a degree in Aerospace Engineering from the “Instituto Superior Tecnico” in Lisbon, a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Delft, and an MBA from the EuroMBA consortium of Business Schools.

Benoit De Vrieze

Open Innovation consultant

Verhaert Masters In Innovation

Benoit is an Open Innovation consultant at Verhaert Masters In Innovation, where he manages the CASSINI Hackathons & Mentoring action on behalf of the European Commission. In addition, he advises and coaches deep tech ventures at different stages throughout the innovation cycle. Benoit is really passionate about space and wants to go there someday. He loves to talk about the systems, structures and processes that enable lasting innovation on an organisational and ecosystem level.

Raphaëlle Barbier

PhD candidate


Raphaëlle Barbier graduated from a Master’s degree in Science and Executive Engineering at MINES ParisTech – PSL University (France) in 2018, with a major in Engineering Design and Innovation Management. She is currently preparing a PhD in Management Science at MINES ParisTech investigating socio-economic value creation from Earth observation data. She is especially involved in H2020 EU-funded ‘e-shape’ project, as leader of the work-package in charge of developing new ‘co-design’ methods to support the development of Earth observation data-based services for different types of users – both private and public organisations – in various sectors (agriculture, health, renewable energies, biodiversity, water resources, natural disasters, climate).

Philippe Blanc

Research Professor


Prof. Philippe BLANC is the head of the department Energy and Processes of MINES ParisTech and is a researcher for the center Observation, Impacts, Energy (OIE) ( He is working on the modeling of solar radiation and its assessment and forecasting from in situ measurements, numerical weather models (NWP) or/and satellite images, namely from Copernicus. His background is related to signal and image processing, data sciences and applied mathematics. He was associate editor for the ISES Solar Energy journal (Elsevier) for 5 years and he is presently the leader of the sub-task 2 ‘Enhanced data & bankable products’ of the Task 16 ‘Solar resource for high penetration and large-scale applications’ for the PVPS program of the International Energy Agency. He is also the showcase leader (PI) for Renewable Energy Showcase of the on-going Horizon 2020 project e-shape ( List of publications:

Claire Tinel

Chargée de Projets Environnement

Service Education Jeunesse, Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales

Bertrand Pajot

Ministère de l’Éducation nationale, de l’Enfance et de la Jeunesse

Olaf Bruns


Olaf Bruns is a Brussels-based journalist and conference moderator. A former Deputy Head of the Brussels office of the international TV news broadcaster Euronews, he now works as a freelancer. Amongst others, he writes for the European Green Journal and is the deputy editor-in-chief of the quarterly magazine Progressive Post. He provides Media Training for NATO armed forces via Crown Media and teaches journalism at the Brussels-based media school IHECS. He holds a master II degree in Social Anthropology from Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University with several years of social science research work in various African countries.

Sophie Voinis


Sophie Voinis is a journalist & professional facilitator.She studied in Boston, Emerson college, in the US, where she graduated in journalism and Communication in 2001. She was responsible for the daily newscast on the campus radio and also anchored the news on TV, on a regular basis.She has been working on TV for the past 20 years, in Boston, USA and in France, Toulouse on the local TV, TLT. For the past 15 years, she was the main anchor for the daily newscast as well as the health magazine and the weekly space and Aeronautic show.Her expertise goes from filming, interviewing, editing and anchoring in all journalism fields.She is also a mediator in various conferences, debates or gala nights both in French and in English, and often provides media training sessions both in french and in english.She lately anchored Pierre Fabre’s International Convention, the Closing Conference «Grenelle de l’Education» for the French Ministry of Education, the launch of Alpha Mission with French Astronaut Thomas Pesquet, The national conference on the Weekly Space European programs in Marseille, the south west Europe railroad financing project, the Aerospace Summit in Brussels, and the annual conference for Groupama (1900 people attending).She was also Master of Ceremony for many Airbus deliveries in English, the IFAC World Congress and the ESOF Ceremony in English (5.000 people attending) and hosting both live shows on the take off and landing of Perseverance NASA mission for CNES (1,2M views).