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Integrated Policy Expert Scheme (IPES)

The European Space Agency’s Earth Observation Programmes (EOP) Directorate has established the new Integrated Policy Expert Scheme (IPES). This innovative initiative aims to bridge the gap between cutting-edge Earth observation (EO) solutions and international and European policies on the environment and sustainable development.


Why this scheme?

One of EOP fundamental goals is to accelerate the adoption of EO-based services by external stakeholders and end-users.  This is currently facilitated by our existing research and development efforts in which we closely work together with various partners that have a pro-active role in the projects (e.g. involvement in co-design/co-development processes and/or hands-on capacity development courses).

Taking a step further, the new scheme allows for direct integration of a policy expert within an ESA team with specific agreed tasks and, if required, with ex post activities that generate mutual benefits.

This scheme fosters collaboration and further ensures that EO solutions are:

  • Policy relevant – aligned with evolving needs and priorities of European and global policies.
  • Impactful – effectively address environmental and development concerns for enhanced decision-making.
  • Inter-disciplinary – developed considering the socio-economic, ethical, operational and legal aspects for successful adoption.

The scheme also promotes:

  • Synergy – strengthens partnerships with the involved entities and facilitates alignment of resources and investments.
  • Engagement and empowerment of all stakeholders and end-users.


How it works

Through this scheme, ESA can host policy experts from various entities:

  • International and European organizations
  • National/regional/local entities
  • Multilateral conventions
  • Civil society organisations
  • Indigenous societies.

These experts will be seamlessly integrated into ESA teams for a pre-defined period (typically up to two years, renewable).  ESA will cover associated costs, while the expert’s employer retains their salary and benefits. Confidentiality is ensured through a non-disclosure agreement.

Experts remain employees or their original organisation, which endorses and supports the integration scheme with a letter to ESA.



Get in touch with ESA via the dedicated e-mail address.