The Icon Group, a new EO4GEO Associated Partner, is an interdisciplinary geoscience company, a European leader of earth imaging services

Short description of your organisation

The Icon Group is a European leader of earth imaging services and is Ireland’s largest processor of optical and image data. We are an interdisciplinary geoscience company, specialized in Earth Observation, Environmental Monitoring, GIS, and Spatial Data Analytics.

How does your organisation currently support the development of GI and EO skills?

We consider people to be our greatest asset, so it is very important for us to support the evolution and ambition of our workforce. Providing them with training and reskilling is one of the best ways we can do that and it helps us to always be innovative and grow the company.

We also have a privileged partnership with the Maynooth university that allows us to take onboard students and give them their first working experience.

And last but not least, we organise a yearly Student Essay Competition. We reward a student for an essay they may have written themselves, or as part of a college course. The winner has to demonstrate good knowledge of EO systems, as well as a good capability to link EO skills to current events happening in the world. For example, this year’s topic is “Looking at the Environment”. We really want to reward excellence in our field which is why we give the winning entry a €1,000 prize and 2nd Place: €500.

What do you think we need in order to improve GI and EO skills in Europe?

Raising general awareness about our sector is a must. The sector is growing but it can only do so if there is a constant flow of new qualified people entering the GI/EO job market. Educating university students and graduates on the different career opportunities in our sector is very important. We basically need to go “mainstream”.

Why was it important for you to join EO4GEO?

As mentioned previously, people are our greatest asset, therefore, we are always looking for opportunities to learn about EO skills and bring added value to our team. EO4GEO being one of the largest EU projects dealing with this subject matter it only made sense that we should join and contribute to the ongoing discussion.

An innovative strategy for skills development and capacity building in the EO/GI field