7 June 2023


Earth Observation, Media Updates, News, Space

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  • Aimed at understanding and predicting the planet’s phenomena, the Cyber Italy project will be carried out within IRIDE, the Italian constellation
  • It will be based on integration of data, models, artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced computing to offer very high-precision digital representations of Earth processes.


Capgemini, NAIS, Engineering D.HUB and RHEA Italy have been selected to lead one of the two Cyber Italy projects carried out within IRIDE, the Italian Earth observation satellite space programme. Capgemini and its partners will lead a project focused on a prototype of digital twins. The project will focus on the Italian territory to develop a highly accurate digital model (a digital twin) of the Earth for the understanding and prediction of the planetary system and its complex interactions with human activities. It will ensure coherence and cross-fertilization with other digital twin initiatives at a European level.

The project will support civil defence bodies, administrations and users interested in services and applications based on IRIDE data to monitor and fight hydro-geological instability and fires, protect coastlines, and monitor critical infrastructures, air quality and weather conditions, for example. It will also provide analytical data for the development of commercial applications by start-ups, small and medium-sized organizations and industries.

IRIDE is managed by the European Space Agency (ESA) in collaboration with the Italian Space Agency (ASI) for the creation of a satellite Earth observation infrastructure to provide services to government agencies. It is drawing on resources from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR).

Cyber Italy is in line with the overall mission of the IRIDE programme: it aims at producing information and decision-making support tools to represent the dynamic relationships between the physical and natural environments (the Earth system) and society (e.g. socio-economic pathways, adaptation and mitigation actions or governance).

“I am proud that Capgemini is part of this important programme, which is dedicated to measuring the impact on environmental sustainability and the preservation of our territory’s natural treasures. It will help control and prevent natural disasters and the damaging effects of human activities on the environment. It was only possible due to our deep expertise in data management and in the implementation of digital twins in the most diverse contexts, key dimensions of our Intelligent Industry[1] approach,” says Eraldo Federici, Head of Manufacturing, Aerospace, and Life Sciences industries at Capgemini in Italy.

“I am very pleased and proud that RHEA will be able to participate in this important project, where we will be able to apply our deep expertise in the management and use of Earth observation data to the implementation of digital twins. We will work closely with the Italian user communities to maximize the usability and usefulness of the models and simulations we will develop,” comments Michele Betti, ESA/ESRIN Account Manager, RHEA Group.

“New technologies offer revolutionary opportunities to monitor, protect and enhance our country’s territories. Engineering D.HUB is very proud to pool its assets and the technological skills of the entire group in a project that once again demonstrates how digital transition and environmental sustainability must always proceed together, generating real benefits for the environment and people,” adds Fabio Momola, CEO Engineering D.HUB.

“In the Cyber Italy project, NAIS will be responsible for the development of a digital twin prototype and the user interface of the whole system, contributing with our expertise in EO data analysis and the development of innovative human-machine interfaces, also based on mixed reality techniques. NAIS will contribute to the Cyber Italy project thanks to its connotation as an ICT company engaged in the development of innovative software with a strong verticalization on satellite downstream services,” says Antonio Monteleone, CTO of NAIS.

“The European Space Agency is delighted to have signed this contract,” says Simonetta Cheli, Director of the European Space Agency’s Earth Observation programmes and Head of the ESA-ESRIN Centre in Frascati. “The Italian government has assigned us the task of implementing this particularly challenging and innovative programme, and we are convinced of the importance of creating a highly accurate digital model of the Earth, for the understanding and prediction of our planet’s phenomena. Congratulations on this important contribution to the IRIDE system. We are more than ever certain that the IRIDE system, by integrating national and European assets, will make Italy even more competitive in the Earth observation sector.”

IRIDE satellites in space. Image copyright Argotec

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[1] ‘Intelligent Industry’ is the new era of digital transformation: characterized by a growing convergence of the physical and virtual worlds – product, software, data, and services – across all industries; and fuelled by the rapid development of technologies, including cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), edge computing and 5G.

Main image: © ESA