Earth Observation (EO) is the collecting, analysing and presentation of information related to the Earth to improve understanding of our planet. The data that is gathered is usually centered on physical, chemical and biological systems that help researchers identify and understand changes in the natural and manmade environment. Observing Earth from a vantage point in and around space - often through satellites - enables scientists to access a bird’s eye view of the planet, providing a unique perspective on a wide range of subjects, such as extreme weather events and their effect on the environment. Improved observations have come together with the explosion of modelling and cloud computing, which helps make better, and more sustainable, decisions. As technological capabilities have increased, so too has the focus on EO. Countries around the world are developing means of observing the Earth in an attempt to reap the related rewards, such as improved understanding, but also the creation of jobs and the achievement of various goals highlighted within international organisations, such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Indeed, the potential positive outcomes from sustained EO can hardly be overstated, as it permeates through into an extremely broad range of different areas that will touch and impact humans around the world either now or in the future. It is with this in mind that e-shape has been established. This is a flagship project of the European Commission that falls under the Horizon 2020 programme. It is a unique initiative that brings decades of public investment in EO and cloud capabilities together to form a range of services for decision-makers, members of the public, industry and researchers. With 55 partners from 17 countries, this project has far-reaching impacts.