GEO-CRADLE - 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

The GEO-CRADLE project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 (H2020) research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 690133.

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Project Duration: 01/02/2016 - 31/07/2018 (30 Months)

The Project in Steps

1. Throughout the implementation of the project, GEO-CRADLE foresees not only the activities related to project management, but also a concrete structure of regional coordination that will support the efficient interaction between consortium members. It also entails the active liaison with EC, GEO and UN initiatives, in order to ensure maximal traction and mutually beneficial synergies with the relevant stakeholders.

2. The development of inventory of existing Space-borne capacities, in-situ networks, modelling and computing facilities and the execution of a thorough user need analysis, both vertically (e.g. data accessibility and interoperability, funding opportunities,) and horizontally (i.e. across different application segments) user needs.

3. An in-depth gap analysis of the existing infrastructure and capacities, vis-à-vis the needs of the users follows to serve as a guideline for the elaboration of appropriate (G)EO Maturity Indicators, a novelty by GEO-CRADLE, that will allow to capture the level and measure the progress of each country's involvement in the implementation of GEO and Copernicus vision. Based on the results of the gap analysis and the maturity indicators, GEO-CRADLE will identify the priorities in relation to regional challenges, and conclude to a concrete action plan to tackle those challenges.

4. GEO-CRADLE will perform the first tangible step by defining and implementing pilot activities towards addressing such regional challenges. Building on the results of the two workshops organized by NOA, GEO-CRADLE has proactively sought to define a concrete line of RoI common actions, addressing the challenges related to the adaptation to climate change, improved food security and water extremes management, better access to raw materials, and better exploitation of renewable energy sources. The focus of the pilots lies on utilizing the existing capacities (networks, datasets, models, EO skills), engaging a critical mass of relevant actors from the regional EO ecosystem.

5. GEO-CRADLE aspires to build a Regional Data Hub, which provides a centralized access to various regional EO datasets (e.g. space borne, in-situ, airborne), linked and open geo-spatial data, available models, and data processing tools, as well as catalogues with descriptive metadata, aiding thus decisively the implementation of GEOSS and Copernicus in the RoI. The outputs of the pilot activities, combined with the findings of the gap analysis will allow the elaboration of a roadmap for the future implementation of GEOSS and Copernicus.

6. Communication, dissemination and engagement activities to enable the maximization of the impact of GEO-CRADLE activities such events tailored to corresponding audiences, publications in relevant journals, participation in workshops (e.g. GEO Plenary, Copernicus Fora, etc.) are involved in the Project's dissemination strategy. Furthermore, a wider engagement of the different stakeholders across the EO value chain, including policy makers, end-users, monitoring network operators, data and service providers is the key enabler for the success of GEO-CRADLE communication, dissemination and engagement activities and will be pursued through the involvement of “super-connectors” such as EARSC, EURISY, EGS and CEDARE for the respective communities.

7. Finally, GEO-CRADLE will perform an impact assessment, gauging the effectiveness of the different actions against pre-defined Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and identifying potential enabling or constraining factors. GEO-CRADLE will also define and implement an exploitation plan.

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