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Capacity Building in Balkans, Middle East, North Africa & Black Sea

Point of contact
Charalampos (Haris) Kontoes
National Observatory of Athens
Lofos Nymfon
11851 Athens
Phone: +30 2103490012


This action will continue the work supporting Geo-Cradle’s Initiative Capacity Building activities to other regions of EC interest than the one’s covered under a former action. The action will leverage on the existing knowledge and tools that exist and in addition to other activities in that region e.g. collaboration with EuroGEOSS project, EuroGEOSS Inititative etc. It will support a GEO related activity that aims at exposing and contributing to the user uptake of EO and Copernicus data by exploring regional capacities, identifying needs/gaps and proposing EO derived products showcasing the suitableness to current operations of relevant stakeholders (e.g. Agencies, Ministries etc.).

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, North Africa and Black Sea. This activity will run each year so as to maximize the engagement (mapping) and the capacity building of the initial region and in addition the Black Sea area.

The following activities are foreseen:

  1. Conduction of 3 regional Workshops (e.g. Geocradle’s Regional Workshops in Thessaloniki, Sofia , Istanbul,Tunis) in the Black Sea area, complementary to other EU activities such as EuroGEOSS, NextGEOSS etc.
  2. Extensive mapping and assessment in the new region of the EO capacities, assets and state-of-the-art. Documentation of the identified capacities in a well-structured and easily searchable data base. Specific focus with the regional workshops will be on capturing the current state-of-play with regards to monitoring infrastructure, skills, national policies, involvement in international projects, pilot studies using EO data, etc. This activity will be a continuous process, initiated under WP2019 but will have to be updated and enhanced each year.
  3. Regional Data Hub (RDH) will be used supporting and allowing ease and effective access to many more regional portals and datasets existing in the area.
  4. Capacity building activities and training, following the identification of regional/national gaps, priorities, maturity and potential for integration.

For the successful implementation of this activity a continuous effort shall be secured so as achieve important results and more specifically to:

  • Promote the uptake of EO services and data in response to regional needs;
  • Support the effective integration of existing Earth Observation Capacities in the region;
  • Facilitates the networking and engagement of the EO stakeholders in the region.
  • Builds trust and capacity among the actors, and enhances their participation in and contribution to the implementation of GEOSS and Copernicus in the region.

Outputs and Results

  • Conduction of 3 regional workshops (broadcast) in the region of Black Sea, in collaboration and aligned with other EC and Copernicus cornerstone project activities such as EuroGEOSS and NextGEOSS etc.
  • Mapping of the current status of assets and the needs in the region
  • Dissemination of EO activities (e.g. EuroGEOSS, NextGEOSS etc.)
  • Enhancing Regional Data Hub of GeoCradle, facilitating networking and free data exchanges in the specific thematic priorities of the region
  • Training material for capacity building on topics that will emerge from the analysis of the assets and regional needs