National Observatory of Athens

Athens, Greece

National Observatory of Athens

Athens, Greece
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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERA-NET-Cofund | Phase: SC5-15-2015 | Award Amount: 52.36M | Year: 2016

In the last decade a significant number of projects and programmes in different domains of environmental monitoring and Earth observation have generated a substantial amount of data and knowledge on different aspects related to environmental quality and sustainability. Big data generated by in-situ or satellite platforms are being collected and archived with a plethora of systems and instruments making difficult the sharing of data and knowledge to stakeholders and policy makers for supporting key economic and societal sectors. The overarching goal of ERA-PLANET is to strengthen the European Research Area in the domain of Earth Observation in coherence with the European participation to Group on Earth Observation (GEO) and the Copernicus. The expected impact is to strengthen the European leadership within the forthcoming GEO 2015-2025 Work Plan. ERA-PLANET will reinforce the interface with user communities, whose needs the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) intends to address. It will provide more accurate, comprehensive and authoritative information to policy and decision-makers in key societal benefit areas, such as Smart cities and Resilient societies; Resource efficiency and Environmental management; Global changes and Environmental treaties; Polar areas and Natural resources. ERA-PLANET will provide advanced decision support tools and technologies aimed to better monitor our global environment and share the information and knowledge in different domain of Earth Observation.


GEO-CRADLE brings together key players representing the whole (Balkans, N. Africa and M. East) region and the complete EO value chain with the overarching objective of establishing a multi-regional coordination network that will (i) support the effective integration of existing EO capacities (space/air-borne/in-situ monitoring networks, modelling and data exploitation skills, and past project experience), (ii) provide the interface for the engagement of the complete ecosystem of EO stakeholders (scientists, service/data providers, end-users, governmental orgs, and decision makers), (iii) promote the concrete uptake of EO services and data in response to regional needs, relevant to the thematic priorities of the Call (adaptation to climate change, improved food security, access to raw materials and energy), and (iv) contribute to the improved implementation of and participation in GEO, GEOSS, and Copernicus in the region. In this context, GEO-CRADLE lays out an action plan that starts by inventorying the regional EO capacities and user needs, which in turn leads to a gap analysis, the definition of region specific (G)EO Maturity Indicators and common priority needs. Through showcasing pilots, it demonstrates how the priorities can be tackled by the GEO-CRADLE Network, and provides the roadmap for the future implementation of GEOSS and Copernicus in the region, building on the GEO-CRADLE Regional Data Hub, which abides by the GEOSS Data Sharing Principles. To maximise the impact of GEO-CRADLE activities, well-defined Communication, Dissemination and Stakeholder Engagement strategies are proposed. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will be used for the quantified assessment of the impact, identifying potential enabling or constraining factors, while pursuing realistic but also ambitious exploitation scenarios. For efficient project coordination, the project management is assisted by a regional coordination structure, and active liaison with EC, GEO and UN initiatives.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRADEV-3-2015 | Award Amount: 31.03M | Year: 2015

The nations of Europe are distributed around some of the most complex and dynamic geological systems on the planet and understanding these is essential to the security of livelihoods and economic power of Europeans. Many of the solutions to the grand challenges in the geosciences have been led by European scientists the understanding of stratigraphy (the timing and distribution of layers of sediment on Earth) and the discovery of the concept of plate tectonics being among the most significant. Our ability to monitor the Earth is rapidly evolving through development of new sensor technology, both on- and below-ground and from outer space; we are able to deliver this information with increasing rapidity, integrate it, provide solutions to geological understanding and furnish essential information for decision makers. Earth science monitoring systems are distributed across Europe and the globe and measure the physico-chemical characteristics of the planet under different geological regimes. EPOS will bring together 24 European nations and combine national Earth science facilities, the associated data and models together with the scientific expertise into one integrated delivery system for the solid Earth. This infrastructure will allow the Earth sciences to achieve a step change in our understanding of the planet; it will enable us to prepare for geo-hazards and to responsibly manage the subsurface for infrastructure development, waste storage and the use of Earths resources. With a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) to be located in Rome (Italy), EPOS will provide an opportunity for Europe to maintain world-leading European Earth sciences and will represent a model for pan-European federated infrastructure.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRAIA-01-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 10.01M | Year: 2017

Europe has become a global leader in optical-near infrared astronomy through excellence in space and ground-based experimental and theoretical research. While the major infrastructures are delivered through major national and multi-national agencies (ESO, ESA) their continuing scientific competitiveness requires a strong community of scientists and technologists distributed across Europes nations. OPTICON has a proven record supporting European astrophysical excellence through development of new technologies, through training of new people, through delivering open access to the best infrastructures, and through strategic planning for future requirements in technology, innovative research methodologies, and trans-national coordination. Europes scientific excellence depends on continuing effort developing and supporting the distributed expertise across Europe - this is essential to develop and implement new technologies and ensure instrumentation and infrastructures remain cutting edge. Excellence depends on continuing effort to strengthen and broaden the community, through networking initiatives to include and then consolidate European communities with more limited science expertise. Excellence builds on training actions to qualify scientists from European communities which lack national access to state of the art research infrastructures to compete successfully for use of the best available facilities. Excellence depends on access programmes which enable all European scientists to access the best infrastructures needs-blind, purely on competitive merit. Global competitiveness and the future of the community require early planning of long-term sustainability, awareness of potentially disruptive technologies, and new approaches to the use of national-scale infrastructures under remote or robotic control. OPTICON will continue to promote this excellence, global competitiveness and long-term strategic planning.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRADEV-02-2016 | Award Amount: 9.05M | Year: 2017

The European Solar Telescope (EST) will be a revolutionary Research Infrastructure that will play a major role in answering key questions in modern Solar Physics. This 4-meter class solar telescope, to be located in the Canary Islands, will provide solar physicists with the most advanced state-of-the-art observing tools to transform our understanding of the complex phenomena that drive the solar magnetic activity. The principal objective of the present Preparatory Phase is to provide both the EST international consortium and the funding agencies with a detailed plan regarding the implementation of EST. The specific objectives of the proposed preparatory phase are: (1) to explore possible legal frameworks and related governance schemes that can be used by agencies to jointly establish, construct and operate EST as a new research infrastructure, with the implementation of an intermediate temporary organisational structure, as a previous step for future phases of the project; (2) to explore funding schemes and funding sources for EST, including a proposal of financial models to make possible the combination of direct financial and in-kind contributions towards the construction and operation of EST; (3) to compare the two possible sites for EST in the Canary Islands Astronomical Observatories and prepare final site agreements; (4) to engage funding agencies and policy makers for a long-term commitment which guarantees the construction and operation phases of the Telescope; (5) to involve industry in the design of EST key elements to the required level of definition and validation for their final production; (6) to enhance and intensify outreach activities and strategic links with national agencies and the user communities of EST. To accomplish the aforementioned goals, this 4-year project, promoted by the European Association for Solar Telescopes (EAST) and the PRE-EST consortium, encompassing 23 research institutions from 16 countries, will set up the Project Office


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: EE-05-2016 | Award Amount: 3.00M | Year: 2016

Public bodies face the lack of appropriate easy-to-use tools to support them in the definition, simulation and evaluation of suitable strategies for sustainable heating and cooling tailored to local conditions for achieving the ambitious targets set-up in their local plans. In light of this, PLANHEAT main objective is to develop and demonstrate an integrated and easy-to-use tool which will support local authorities (cities and regions) in selecting, simulating and comparing alternative low carbon and economically sustainable scenarios for heating and cooling that will include the integration of alternative supply solutions (from a panel of advanced key technologies for the new heating and cooling supply) that could balance the forecasted demand. The PLANHEAT integrated tool will be designed to support local authorities in 1) mapping the potential of locally available low carbon energy sources (with specific reference to available RES and waste energy recoverable at urban and industrial level) 2) mapping the forecasted demand for heating and cooling 3) define and simulate alternative environmentally friendly scenarios based on district heating and cooling as well as highly efficient cogeneration systems matching the forecasted demand, levering on the use of RES and waste energy sources and with proven economic viability 4) understanding the interactions of these new scenarios with the existing infrastructures and networks (among which district heating and cooling gas, electricity, sewage, transportation) and identify potential for further extension and upgrade of district heating and cooling networks 5) evaluate the benefits (in terms of energetic, economic and environmental KPIs) that the adoption of the new scenarios will generate against the current situation (i.e., baseline). Moreover sound training and replication strategies involving a number of other public authorities have been set-up towards the empowerment of the expected project impacts.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: PCP | Phase: EO-2-2016 | Award Amount: 4.87M | Year: 2017

Maritime Awareness is currently a top priority for Europe. Awareness sought either in regards of maritime security, border control against irregular immigration and safety of navigation while at the same time awareness sought in regards of the marine environment and climate change. Awareness is sought both for sea-basins of traditional interest like the Mediterranean and the Atlantic as well as for basins currently trending like the Arctic. MARINE-EO teams up a group of 5 maritime authorities (the buyers group) and a group of 4 prestigious scientific and technical organizations with significant experience in EO and maritime matters (the technical advisors) to achieve the following objectives: (1) Develop, test and validate two set of demand-driven EO-based services which cover Marine Monitoring and Security Copernicus thematic areas, adopted on open standards, bringing incremental or radical innovations in the field of maritime awareness and leveraging on the existing Copernicus Services and other products from the Copernicus portfolio, (2) Propose a set of support / envelop services which will better integrate the above mentioned EO and Copernicus-enabled services to the operational logic and code of conduct. Such services shall also bring closer the demand side (Public Authorities - PAs) with the EO data providers (Copernicus - contributing missions) and EO data experts and analysts (Service providers/ industry and SMEs) creating a dynamic environment for a single digital market to grow, (3) Strengthen transnational collaboration in maritime awareness sector by facilitating knowledge transfer and optimization of resources for the public authorities which, participate in the buyers group. Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) is a powerful tool to tackle these three points under one single joint initiative, and this is why MARINE-EO is in an excellent position to reinforce future capabilities.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRAIA-1-2014-2015 | Award Amount: 10.13M | Year: 2015

ACTRIS-2 addresses the scope of integrating state-of-the-art European ground-based stations for long term observations of aerosols, clouds and short lived gases capitalizing work of FP7-ACTRIS. ACTRIS-2 aims to achieve the construction of a user-oriented RI, unique in the EU-RI landscape. ACTRIS-2 provides 4-D integrated high-quality data from near-surface to high altitude (vertical profiles and total-column), relevant to climate and air-quality research. ACTRIS-2 develops and implements, in a large network of stations in Europe and beyond, observational protocols that permit harmonization of collected data and their dissemination. ACTRIS-2 offers networking expertise, upgraded calibration services, training of users, trans-national access to observatories and calibration facilities, virtual access to high-quality data products. Through joint research activities, ACTRIS-2 develops new integration tools that will produce scientific or technical progresses reusable in infrastructures, thus shaping future observation strategies. Innovation in instrumentation is one of the fundamental building blocks of ACTRIS-2. Associated partnership with SMEs stimulates development of joint-ventures addressing new technologies for use in atmospheric observations. Target user-groups in ACTRIS-2 comprise a wide range of communities worldwide. End-users are institutions involved in climate and air quality research, space agencies, industries, air quality agencies. ACTRIS-2 will improve systematic and timely collection, processing and distribution of data and results for use in modelling, in particular towards implementation of atmospheric and climate services. ACTRIS-2 invests substantial efforts to ensure long-term sustainability beyond the term of the project by positioning the project in both the GEO and the on-going ESFRI contexts, and by developing synergies with national initiatives.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: INSO-1-2015 | Award Amount: 2.67M | Year: 2016

Public administrations responsible for the implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) need to monitor farmers compliance to standards. Monitoring is performed by in-field visits and through remote sensing. Due to the high complexity and diversity of the obligations that need to be monitored, both methods have limitations, and entail a high cost for public administrations. RECAP proposes a methodology for improving the efficiency and transparency of the compliance monitoring procedure through a cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) platform which will make use of large volumes of publicly available data provided by satellite remote sensing, and user-generated data provided by farmers through mobile devices (geo-referenced and time-stamped photos). The RECAP platform will extract useful features from Earth Observation open data, correlate them with user-generated and geo-information data available to public organisations, and model this information for enabling the identification of potential breaches of compliance by public authorities and inspectors. RECAP will offer farmers a tool supporting them to comply with regulations imposed by the CAP, providing personalised information for simplifying the interpretation of complex regulations, and early alerts on potential breaches. RECAP will allow agricultural consultants and developers to create add-ons to the main application that extend its functionality and exploit the data collected through an Application Programming Interface (API), and a Software Development Kit (SDK). Consultants will be able to access data available in the platform, subject to security and privacy policies, and to develop their own services within the platform using design tools, libraries, and communication with the database under an open approach. The RECAP services will be tested and validated in an operational environment in 5 countries with the participation of public authorities, farmers, and agricultural consultants.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC5-20-2016 | Award Amount: 10.24M | Year: 2016

The NextGEOSS project will implement a federated data hub for access and exploitation of Earth Observation data, including user-friendly tools for data mining, discovery, access and exploitation. This data hub will be supported by a strong commitment to the engagement of Earth Observation and related communities, with the view of supporting the creation of innovative and business oriented applications. The main general objectives for NextGEOSS are to 1) Deliver the next generation data hub and Earth Observation exploitation for innovation and business; 2) Engage communities, promoting innovative GEOSS powered applications from Europe; and 3) Advocate GEOSS as a sustainable European approach for Earth Observation data distribution and exploitation. NextGEOSS engages main providers of Earth Observation data, including Copernicus Collaborative Ground Segments and Core Services. While continuing to support the GEO-DAB and OpenSearch as the middleware components in charge of interconnecting the heterogeneous and distributed capacities contributing to GEOSS, NextGEOSS focuses on a fundamental change to facilitate the connectivity to the European and global data centres with new discovery and processing methods. It will leverage Web and Cloud technologies, offering seamless and user-friendly access to all the relevant data repositories, as well as providing efficient operations for search, retrieval, processing/re-processing, visualization, analysis and combination of products from federated sources. NextGEOSS includes a set of demonstrative pilot activities, which will showcase the systems capabilities, and a number of initiatives devoted to engagement of GEO and other EO-related communities.

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