The data in question comes from ESA's Copernicus programme and includes earth observation and geospatial data. Copernicus is the largest earth-observation programme in the world, with a set of dedicated satellites feeding it imagery and data (Sentinel satellites), and many on-the-ground sensors recording air quality, precipitation, sea levels, and other information. The data is already being used by governments and businesses worldwide for a variety of uses from counter-piracy to climate change tracking.
The contract has been awarded to Serco's Italian arm, and will last for 4 years. The new platform will launch after a 6-month building and testing phase. Serco and ESA have already worked together on projects over several years.
The platform will be easy-to-use and is aimed at providing data to entrepreneurs for new applications and services.
The press release states that "the project aims to stimulate a wave of innovation, resulting in the creation of a range of exciting new data-based applications and services."
The full press release is at the SERCO website.