Space4Ghent: Satellite data improving life in cities

Ghent, Belgium


Ides Bauwens, Co-founder & Managing Partner, Nazka Mapps, Belgium

Ides is co-founder of Nazka Mapps. He finished his studies as bio-engineer in 2002, travelled around and gained experience in working with spatial and remote sensing data. In 2012, he founded Nazka Mapps with two partners and a clear mission: making socially-relevant, customised and innovative geo-ICT applications. Nazka specialises in interactive maps and location-based services for mobility, health and climate. With “Aircheckr”, Nazka is providing validated air quality information at street level and in real time for Flanders and beyond.


Nicolas Beaugendre, General Manager, KERMAP, France

Nicolas is General Manager at KERMAP. He has an experience of ten years in the fields of GIS and remote sensing. He worked as an R&D engineer for a leading company in geographic information and also as an independent consultant. He is co-founder of Kermap and works with his research team on the development of innovative solutions using Earth observation data to provide better land management.


Federica Bordelot, Policy Advisor, EUROCITIES, Belgium

Federica has been policy advisor at EUROCITIES since March 2015. She is responsible for policy and advocacy work on behalf of the member cities on topics such as digital economy and society, ICT, smart cities, and innovation. In these areas she also supports the network’s specialised working groups. She represents the network in thematic conferences and meetings, including the Urban Agenda for the EU – digital transition partnership. She is Italian and has a master’s degree in international relations with a specialisation in EU policies and institutions.


Djida Bounazef-Vanmarsenille, Doctor in Business Management, Smart City Institute HEC Liege, Belgium

Djida is a post-doctoral researcher in the Smart City Institute at HEC Liège Management School. She is responsible for developing research projects on sustainability, management control and monitoring of smart cities. She specialises in urban mobility, digitalisation and smartainability approaches. She is currently coordinating the second Belgian Barometer of the Smart City.


Karl-Filip Coenegrachts, Chief Strategy Officer, City of Ghent, Belgium

Karl-Filip is Master of Laws, specialised in European Law. He started in Ghent as political advisor of the Deputy Mayor, responsible for personnel and IT. In that capacity he co-founded Digipolis and Gentinfo, the first local government citizen service centre in Europe. Since 2015, he is Chief Strategy Officer of the City of Ghent.


Damien Closson, Project Manager, GIM, Belgium

Damien is Project Manager at the Earth Observation Department of GIM. He is an expert in radar remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems. He authored more than 130 scientific publications and developed his experience in the domains of Earth Sciences at the Space Centre of Liege (CSL) and of Imagery Intelligence (IMINT) at the Royal Military Academy (RMA).


Ilaria D’Auria, Communications and Project Manager, NEREUS, Belgium

Ilaria is responsible for the association’s communication strategy. She supports the Secretary-General in developing the network’s political dialogue for advocacy purposes and managing project-related activities. With a background in Social Sciences, she has over seven years of experience in working with decision-makers in different fields and contexts (European Capital of Culture 2019, Universal Exhibition 2015). She has matured a hands-on approach to the use of digital communication tools in online communities for social innovation.


Annekatrien Debien, Senior Consultant, Copernicus Support Office, Belgium

Annekatrien has a Masters in bioscience engineering with a specialisation in remote sensing. She has several years of experience in the European space industry. She is currently a senior consultant for SpaceTec Partners, working as a technical expert on the Copernicus Support Office and overseeing the organisation of Copernicus training and information sessions.


Frank De Boeck, Sales Director, Eurosense, Belgium

Frank graduated as a geographer in 1981 at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels. He started his professional career in sales in the insurance business. In 1993, he arrived at EUROSENSE, where he was involved in project management in Flanders. Since 1998, he has been responsible for sales coordination tasks at management level in the EUROSENSE group of companies. After 25 years, he is still passionate about the potential and the evolutions in remote sensing. 


Bart De Lathouwer, Director Innovation Programme and General Manager, Open Geospatial Consortium, Belgium

Bart is responsible for planning and managing OGC’s interoperability initiatives, such as testbeds, pilots and experiments, with an emphasis on Europe. In this capacity, Bart has lead 4 Architecture Implementation Pilots for GEO and is coordinating a H2020 support action to identify the standards used in Smart City initiatives supporting the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities. He is task leader in the H2020 NextGEOSS project, looking at how Earth Observation can be used to support Smart Cities initiatives in an interoperable environment using OGC standards.


Nathalie Dumarey, Smart City Manager, Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities, Belgium

Nathalie is staff member at the Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities (VVSG), gathering 308 members. She works on smart cities and digital innovation. In the past, she has worked with the city of Ostend, where she coordinated the system of local administrative penalties and contributed to several initiatives aimed at tackling different nuisance issues.


Jurgen Everaerts, Business Development, VITO, Belgium

Jurgen has been active in remote sensing since 1990. He is currently Business Developer and Project Manager at VITO Remote Sensing, where he works with government agencies to promote the added value of aerial and satellite imagery in day-to-day operations. He also manages the development of the Terrascope platform, facilitating the use of Copernicus satellite data in Belgium.


Ludvig Forslund, GIS Consultant, European Environment Agency, Copernicus Land Monitoring Service, Denmark

Ludvig is as a Geographic Information Systems consultant at the EEA, where his primary role is to handle all GIS activities related to the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service. His main responsibilities within the team are to prepare, publish and maintain the produced spatial data which is made available through the Copernicus land portal. Ludvig also provides spatial analysis to the team, to foresee future product development and evolution.


Dirk Frimout, Former Astronaut, European Space Agency

Dirk is an astrophysicist and former astronaut at ESA. He has a degree in Electrical Engineering and a PhD in Applied Physics from the University of Ghent. He also completed a post-doctorate at the University of Colorado, in the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. In 1992, he flew aboard NASA Space Shuttle Mission STS-45 as a payload specialist, being the first Belgian in space. At mission conclusion, Dirk had travelled 3.2 million miles in 143 Earth orbits and had logged over 214 hours in space.


Nicolas Helssen, ESA Business Applications Ambassador Platform for Belgium

Nicolas Helssen is currently the Belgian ambassador for the European Space Agency’s Integrated Applications Promotion programme, working out of the Belgian Science Policy Office in Brussels. His brief is to promote the IAP programme to potential candidates and guide them through a successful application process with ESA and BELSPO. He previously worked at the European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications in the United Kingdom as an economic researcher.


Mario Hernandez, Special Consultant, United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization

Mario has an extensive experience in assisting developing countries in using satellite imagery for environmental monitoring. He has served within the United Nations Environment Programme, and the Global Resources Information Database (GRID). He has been Chief of Remote Sensing in the Natural Sciences Sector of the UNESCO, being responsible for managing a network of space agencies, research institutes and private organisations working under the framework of the ´ESA – UNESCO Open Initiative on the use of space technologies to support the World Heritage Convention. He is currently a special consultant for UNESCO.


Lars Holmegaard, Managing Director, Lemvig Water and Wastewater, Municipality of Lemvig, Denmark

Lars is a Civil and Environmental Engineer, specialised in cleaning techniques. He also studied economics at the AU University in Herning. Since 2014, Lars is Managing Director (CEO) at Lemvig Utility. He is member of the Advisory Board C2C CC (Coast to Coast Climate Challenge), of the Advisory Board Danva, and of the Advisory Board IWA Denmark.


Annemarij Kooistra, Program Director, Department of Engineering, City of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Annemarij has a Master degree in Engineering Geology from the Delft University. She worked during 10 years in construction works, in the Netherlands and abroad. Since 2010, Annemarij is employed at the Engineering Department of the Municipality of Amsterdam.


Steven Krekels, Unit Manager, Remote Sensing Department, VITO Remote Sensing, Belgium

Steven has been the manager of VITO’s Remote Sensing unit since November 2014. VITO develops and operates space- and airborne-based Earth observation systems that translate raw data into consumable information about population, growth, urban development, agriculture, natural disasters, and more. In May 2017, Steven was selected as one of the top 50 Belgian Tech-Pioneers, working hard to create a better future.


Nicolas Lebert, Intelligent Networks Project Manager, HESPUL, France

Nicolas holds a degree in Engineering from Ecole des Ponts ParisTech. He is specialised in applied mathematics and energy. After two years in hydroelectricity and production optimisation, in 2016 he joined Hespul, a French non profit organisation promoting the energy transition. As an intelligent networks specialist, Nicolas works on PV modelling, weather forecast models and facilitation of renewable energy integration into the grid.


Jeroen Mercy, Environmental Department, City of Ghent, Belgium

Jeroen is graduated as bio-engineer. He first worked as a researcher in the field of Sustainable cities at the Centre for Sustainable Development of the Ghent University. Since six years, he is responsible for data, GIS and planning at the Environmental Department of the City of Ghent. In particular, Jeroen is working on the development and monitoring of various actions included in the City’s Climate Plan 2014-2019.


Jacques Nijskens, General Manager, Belgian Federal Science Policy Office

Jacques is an Agricultural Engineer with a PhD in Agricultural Sciences. During 12 years, he carried out research on Energy saving in greenhouses. Since 1990 he has been representing BELSPO in different international organisations, such as ESA, EUMETSAT, ECMWF, the EU and within the Bilateral meetings of Belgium and France. His expertise ranges from Earth Observation to Space Stations, Telecommunications, and Space Technologies. Since 2012, Jacques is Head of the space Department at BELSPO.


Ingrid Reynaert, Business Group Leader Smart Cities, Agoria

Ingrid is Business Group Leader Smart Cities at Agoria, the Belgian federation of technology companies. Before she was expert Innovation and Advisor Industrial Policy & Innovation for ICT at Agoria. She also served at the Interuniversitair Micro-Electronica Centrum (IMEC) in Leuven and at the Flemish Minister for Economy, Enterprise, Science, Innovation and Foreign Trade. Since February 2011, she is managing director of TIPEAS, a consultancy-based firm on intellectual property.


Jean-Christophe Schyns, Programme Manager, Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO), Belgium

Holder of a Master’s degree in Geography, Jean-Christophe has been working for the Space Department of BELSPO for more than 10 years. He is co-manager of the national programme for the exploitation and research in Earth observation (STEREO), aimed at enabling high quality research in universities and research centres. Many STEREO projects are currently focusing on urban topics, like city mapping, air quality, heat island, and urban ecosystem services. The programme also wants to connect researchers and users of research outcomes, like public authorities.


Daniël Termont, Mayor of Ghent

Daniël has been active in local politics with the Socialist Party from the age of 15. He was elected in the Ghent city council in 1976, at the age of 23, and has been a member ever since. 
After 1994, he was appointed as Deputy-Mayor of the Port, Economic Development and Utilities of the City of Ghent and then Deputy-Mayor of the Port, Economy and Festivities in 2000. Since 2007, he has been serving as Mayor of the City. During his 12 year term as Deputy-Mayor of the Port, Daniël Termont has been very active on the international level. Among other things, he is Vice-President of the ‘Ghent Port Company AMC’, an experts in energy supply for the Socialist Party and President of the board of directors of Fluxys PLC. Since 2016, he chairs the Executive Committee of EUROCITIES. Daniël strongly believes that Europe’s future will be made in and by cities and regions.


Dominique Tilmans, President, Eurisy, France

Dominique has a degree in Political Sciences and Diplomacy from the Université Libre de Bruxelles. In 1993, she became the first female Permanent Deputy to the Province of Luxembourg. From 2007 to 2014 she served as a senator at the Belgian Senate. She created the Forum des Luxembourgeoises (Meridienne) and presided it from 2001 to 2008. She was designated as ‘Femme de Paix’ by the Conseil des Femmes Francophones de Belgique and is an Officer of the Order of Leopold. In 2014, she founded YouSpace, a non-profit organisation aimed at connecting academia with the space sector. Since 2016, Dominique is the President of the Eurisy association.


Jo Van Valckenborg, R&D Manager, Information Flanders, Belgium

Jo has a degree in Agricultural Engineering from the Catholic University of Leuven and a Master of Arts in Landscape Design and Planning from the University of Sheffield. He is Programme Manager of the Image Processing Chain Flanders at Informatie Vlaanderen, a Flemish governmental organisation. He has a long experience in the innovative use of GIS and remote sensing. Jo also worked as landscape, city planner and remote sensing expert at the Catholic University of Leuven and for different private companies.


Dirk Voets, Account Manager, Imagem, The Netherlands

Dirk studied Cartography, Geodesy, Topography, Remote Sensing and Geo-Informatics in Breda, Antwerp, Arnhem, Wageningen and Utrecht. After a brief period as a land surveyor, he has worked in the geospatial software domain for 22 years. During this time, his work has shifted from more vector-GIS oriented workflows, towards true remote sensing applications. He has lived in seven countries (including Belgium) in three continents. At Imagem, Dirk is working with customers in the educational, municipal and defence domains.