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Building an active user dialogue with the Balkans, Middle East, and North Africa

This activity is going to provide the necessary connections between different users in the Balkans, Middle East and North Africa for a dialogue, which will allow the achievement of collaboration. Partner NOA mainly is intending to leverage on existing networking activities in these regions:

  1. Allow the European scientific and research communities to collaborate with local stakeholders to tackle open research questions and
  2. to invite European companies to penetrate these new market segments by providing tailored and Copernicus-based technical solutions to address existing needs.

This activity will provide the instrument to allow stakeholders in the Balkans, Middle East, and North Africa to connect with each other on the one hand, and with the European Copernicus players on the other. The activity will help the users to identify their needs, to collaborate pursuing common solutions and interacting with the developers of applications/services.


NOA is well positioned in the EU continent but also specifically in the areas of the Balkans, Middle East, and North Africa through specific coordination and support action (GEO-CRADLE[1] H2020 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) and networks (National Contact Points, Enterprise Europe Network). In the context of this ongoing activity, the following assets have already been generated of the specific geographic region:

  1. A map of the entire EO ecosystem, including inventories of assets and players.
  2. An analysis of the gaps and the maturity levels of the different EO activities along the EO value chain (from data to products).
  3. The identification of regional priority areas for which EO uptake has significant potential.
  4. Set up of a Regional Data Hub[2] to enable the exchange of EO data between the different entities.
  5. Performed feasibility studies to highlight concrete ways of tackling regional challenges related to adaptation of climate change, improved food security & water extremes management, better access to raw materials and energy.
  6. Developed a Regional Networking Platform[3] to facilitate the cooperation between EO stakeholders.
  7. Proposed a roadmap for the implementation of GEO, GEOSS and Copernicus in the three regions.

New activities in this line

NOA will capitalize and build upon this background experience and momentum, to engage stakeholders and end-users outside the core of Europe, and strategically target the regions of the Balkans, Middle East and North Africa.

The following are foreseen within this activity:

  1. Specify concrete scenarios to uptake Copernicus Sentinel data to tackle the already defined regional challenges.
  2. Build upon the existing database of local stakeholders and facilitate its wider use, fostering networking activities and collaboration between organizations from this area.
  3. Downstream the networking platform and the regional data hub to address the identified regional priority areas. In this context two different working groups will be formed for the priority areas already identified:
    1. improved food security
    2. water extremes management &
    3. energy
  4. Identifying best practices for setting up standard and coordinated mechanisms at the local level that connects to national and European levels. Existing networks such as the Copernicus Relays will be engaged too.

Outputs and Results

  • One workshop (webinar) with at least 20 participants from the mentioned areas. Monitored by having registration desk on the workshop. The announcement of the workshop will be published on the official website of the FPCUP, on NOA’s web portals and in social media;
  • 2 EO databases for the 2 different regional thematic priorities. Monitored by the analytics of GEO-CRADLE’s Regional Data Hub;
  • Identification of 2 new exploitable thematic areas. The new thematic areas will be published to all means of communication and dissemination tools of both FPCUP and NOA;
  • Number of stakeholders in Copernicus networks. Monitored by the analytics of GEO-CRADLE’s Networking Platform;
  • Number of reports (e.g., workshop reports) describing Copernicus impact for different application domains;