GEO Update

GEO-CRADLE establishes network and Data Hub for Earth Observation in MENA and the Balkans

GEO-CRADLE and EC logos

A new project “Coordinating and integRating state-of-the-art Earth Observation Activities in the regions of North Africa, Middle East, and Balkans and Developing Links with GEO related initiatives towards GEOSS” (GEO-CRADLE) has brought together the Earth observation community from theose regions in an inaugural workshop.

GEO-CRADLE is coordinated by the National Observatory of Athens and funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme. The GEO-CRADLE consortium brings together research institutes, public authorities, specialised SMEs and leading international associations, combining a wide range of expertise in monitoring the  environment using Earth observations in the areas of Climate Change, Raw Materials, Food Security, and Energy.

As the project coordinator and host, Dr Haris Kontoes, research director of the National Observatory of Athens, highlighted in his introductory speech, these partners join forces with the overarching objective of establishing a multi-regional coordination network that will:

  1. Support the effective integration of existing EO capacities (space/air-borne/in-situ monitoring networks, modelling and data exploitation skills, and past project experience),
  2. Provide the interface for the engagement of the complete ecosystem of EO stakeholders (scientists, service/data providers, end-users, governmental organisations, and decision makers),
  3. Promote, through dedicated feasibility studies, the concrete uptake of EO services and data in response to regional needs across four thematic priorities: adaptation to climate change, improved food security, access to raw materials and energy
  4. Contribute to the improved implementation of and participation in GEO, GEOSS, and Copernicus in the region.

In this context, GEO-CRADLE will set out to establish a regional Data Hub serving as a “one-stop-shop” that facilitates access to and sharing of geospatial data and information collected from satellites and ground-based networks.

The GEO-CRADLE Portal will act as an interface between scientists and diverse data providers, providing a single point for the stakeholders to identify existing data, skills, gaps and complementarities, necessary for the development of synergies and market opportunities across the entire value chain and in relation to regional priorities. By doing so, GEO-CRADLE aspires to catalyse further promotion and tailoring of Copernicus data and services within the region, while leveraging the integration of North African, Middle East and Balkan EO capacities in the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).

Project activities have commenced with the construction of a comprehensive mapping of regional EO capacities in the four thematic areas. Regional stakeholders. Surveys will support the identification of regional gaps and challenges and the elaboration of a comprehensive overview of EO maturity in the region.

The GEO-CRADLE on-line questionnaire takes approximately 25 minutes and will be available until Wednesday, 18 May 2016 here: http://geocradle.eu/index.php/inventories/capacities/gc-survey1.

Answers will be treated in the strictest confidentiality and will be used exclusively for the purpose of this research effort.