Data integration and artificial intelligence: Telespazio and e-GEOS’s new platform for defeating Coronavirus

06 August 2020

Using artificial intelligence to integrate satellite data and information from the web in order to isolate new outbreaks of Covid-19, while monitoring areas where people congregate. This is ECO4CO – Earth Cognitive System for CoViD-19 – a platform created by Telespazio and e-GEOS (a company owned by ASI, 20%, and Telespazio, 80%), and winner in the Health Emergency category of the global call for “Innovative Ideas and Technologies vs. COVID-19 and beyond”, launched by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in response to the coronavirus emergency. Telespazio and e-GEOS tied for the award with the Chinese company Shanghai Zhizhong Environmental Protection Technology.

“ECO4CO sets the new standard in terms of conception and implementation of innovative high added-value services based on the know-how and satellite technologies of Telespazio and e-GEOS, along with the cross-cutting “non-satellite-native” technologies now available. The platform is one of the results of the process of ongoing innovation that takes place in our companies,” explained Telespazio Chief Technology and Innovation Officer Marco Brancati.

1,101 companies, start-ups, universities and research centres from 108 countries around the world responded to responded to UNIDO’s global call. Of the four competition categories, Health Emergency, focused on solutions combating the current medical emergency, was the most popular with 390 entries. The international contest closed on July 14 with a digital awards ceremony.
ECO4CO systematically organises the skills and know-how of the entire Telespazio Group, and can correlate data from global observation and positioning satellites with non-satellite information from web searches and social network messages using artificial intelligence systems.

In this way, using predictive analysis systems and autonomous acquisition of satellite data, as well as tracking and data learning ability, the platform supports systematic surveillance of areas of aggregation such as parks, public markets and sports stadiums, supplying data on human activity and on any possible gatherings. The information obtained can help isolate new outbreaks of the epidemic while monitoring places where people tend to concentrate.

“In addition to supplying data on human behaviour and gatherings, ECO4CO – by combining multidisciplinary skills and information, and merging medical and geographic data – also offers a view of the dynamics of the epidemic and a predictive analysis service for identifying future requirements for stocks of medical equipment,” adds Marco Brancati.

Having won the UNIDO competition, ECO4CO will have a dedicated stand at the 2020 EuroScience Open Forum in Trieste, Italy in September 2020. Next year, the platform will be presented along with the other contest winners at Expo Dubai.

ECO4CO not only fits into Telespazio’s ongoing innovation programme, but epitomises the company’s constant commitment to sustainability. The platform fulfils three of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN’s Agenda 2030: Goal 3 – ensuring health and promoting well-being for all at all ages; Goal 8 – encouraging lasting, inclusive and sustainable economic growth to create full, productive employment with decent jobs for all; and Goal 9 – building resilient infrastructure, fostering innovation and promoting fair, responsible, sustainable industrialisation.