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The Mediterranean Regional Information Network (MedRIN) held its Kick-off Meeting on 13 & 14 at Chania, in Greece organized by NASA Internships.

MedRIN aims to serve as a liaising network of remote sensing scientists. Cyprus joins the network!

The aim of these networks is the cooperation of institutions from the  participating countries in order to optimally exploit the latest technological developments in the field of Earth Observation, with satellite data from the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA. The network includes researchers from Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Turkey and Israel, and is expected to expand with institutions from Lebanon, Egypt and other North African and Middle Eastern countries.

The Department of Meteorology (DoM) in Cyprus organized a workshop for presenting the meteorological radar service network which is now available to the DoM on 17 November 2017 at Athalassa. During the workshop Dr. K. Nikolaides the Director of DoM presented the advantages of running a system like this especially for measuring rainfall, since the measurements are automatically recorded and processes by sophisticated algorithms. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Kougiali, noticed that this knowledge is not only about the satisfaction of academic research topics but also for the satisfaction of a series of needs such as flight and ship security, the investigations conducted in the exclusive zone of Cyprus as well as the timely updating of the weather for the appearance of extreme weather phenomena. Dr. R. Mamouri and Dr. A. Nisantzi had the opportunity to discuss with the Dr. K. Nikolaides the forthcoming collaboration through EXCELSIOR project by preparing a letter of commitment.

Professor D. Hadjimitsis, the EXCELSIOR PC and Vice-Rector of Academic Affairs of the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) visited, following a formal invitation, the Ben-Gurion University in Israel between 23 and 25 April 2018.

Prof. D. Hadjimitsis met Efrat Borenshtain, who was responsible for the tour in the Marcus Family Campus, Ben-Gurion University (BGU) of the Negev Beer-Sheva. The Ben-Gurion University was founded in 1969 and is Israel’s fastest-growing and most dynamic university. Prof. Hadjimitsis first met Prof. Yuval Goren of the Department of Bible, Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies and discussed the potential collaboration of the Geological Survey Department of Cyprus, the ECoE and the BGU for the use of geospatial and geodetic technologies.  

Following, Prof. Hadjimitsis met Prof. Emeritus Nachum Finger of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management which is one of the largest engineering departments in BGU with 30 faculty members and more than 800 undergraduate students, 120 MSc students and 40 doctoral students, (http://in.bgu.ac.il/en/engn/iem/Pages/default.aspx). Professor Emeritus Nachum Finger is responsible for the evaluation of projects in Israel and suggested collaboration with the EXCELSIOR team on quality programs with new ideas and new standards. As Prof. Finger was the former Rector of Ben-Gurion, he would be able to provide knowhow on how a Centre of Excellence could operate. Prof. Finger gave Prof. Hadjimitsis a tour of the Robotic Laboratory and explained the application of UAVs in the agricultural sectors.

In order to establish string synergies between the proposed ECoE and the Israeli Space Agency (ISA),  during their visit to Israel, Dr. Christiana Papoutsa and Mr. Andreas Christofe met the Director of Department of External Relations & International Collaborations of the Israeli Space Agency (ISA) from the Ministry of Science, Technology & Space, the diplomat Leo Vinovezky.  Mr. Vinovezky presented the activities of the ISA and the VENS Earth Observation Satellite which is an Israeli-French Satellite that monitors vegetation on Earth using innovative propulsion and EO systems. Mr. Vinovezky expressed his interest to proceed with MOU between the current ERATOSTHENES research centre and ISA. Mr. Vinovezky highlighted that the collaboration of ISA with the ECoE (MOU) is important since it can act as a link in order to promote the collaboration between ISA and the Department of Electronic Communications, responsible for space activities in Cyprus. This liaison will be of benefit of both countries which have started creating links for future collaborations in several sectors including the space sector and will further support the positioning of ERATOSTHENES as a key player of Space based activities in the region.

FabSpace 2.0 becomes an official main partner of ActInSpace® 2018, an international innovation contest invented by the French Space Agency (CNES) and supported since the 2nd edition by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the ESA Business Incubation Network

 

This month, FabSpace 2.0 officially announced the new partnership activities for the third edition of ActInSpace® 2018 to be held on the 25th – 26th of May 2018 all over the world. ActInSpace® is an international innovation contest inspiring young women and men worldwide to meet challenges based on space technologies, data, patents and infrastructures to launch start-ups into all areas of our daily lives. Designed for students but open to everyone, the objective of the contest is to foster entrepreneurship, encourage start-up creation and promote the use of space technologies and space acquired data to change citizen’s lives, to boost employment and to protect our planet.

The contest also aimed to stimulate the uptake and reuse of space technology and data and identify future applicants for ESA BICs and partner incubators. Since its inception in 2014, 13 start-ups have been created thanks to ActInSpace®. Some of the successful start-ups are including Kermap (www.kermap.com), Upalgo (http://ezako.com/en), Skyai, and Hypermiles (https://hypermiles.tech).

This year contest will be fulfilling an international ambition which are transforming an essentially European edition into an international edition; bringing together 70 cities from all continents; attracting 3000+ participants to work on 60+ different challenges; and creating between 20 and 30 new start-ups.

As partner, FabSpace 2.0 will provide some challenges based on Earth Observation Data (links: (https://bit.ly/2qLXVMv and https://bit.ly/2vuiOAy) and a dedicated prize. Philippe Lattes, Deputy Director for Space from Aerospace Valley, the initiator of FabSpace 2.0 project said: “The Fabspace project is an educational innovation enabling students to discover the Copernicus programme, the potential of Earth Observation data and the world of entrepreneurship. Be part of ActInSpace is an amazing opportunity to highlight FabSpace activities”.

The international opening of the FabSpace project is underway, and a large part of the new launched FabSpaces are already integrated into the actions carried out. There are 11 FabSpaces who are involved as organizer or partner of ActInSpace® 2018 including:

  • FabSpace France: Toulouse, Bordeaux, Nice, Brest
  • FabSpace Poland: Warsaw
  • FabSpace Germany: Darmstadt
  • FabSpace Greece: Athens
  • FabSpace Cameroon: Yaundé
  • FabSpace Cyprus: Limassu
  • FabSpace Czech Republic: Prague
  • FabSpace The Netherlands: Noordwijk

Just after the contest, each team will be able to apply to the FabSpace 2.0 prize. The most promising project using Earth Observation Data will get a free trip to Toulouse to attend the ActInSpace® 2018 international final; receive a mentoring program by experts in selected area; and a meeting with Airbus representative in Toulouse. The registration is currently open. Students, citizen, and entrepreneurs are encouraged to register. To find out more about ActInSpace® 2018, the FabSpace 2.0 challenges and to register, please visit: https://actinspace.org/

POSTER WITH INFORMATION 

About FabSpace:
FabSpace 2.0 is the open-innovation network for geodata-driven innovation – by leveraging Space data in particular, in Universities 2.0.
Its Work programme topic addressed INSO-4-2015: Innovative schemes for open innovation and science 2.0 b) Academia- Business/Public/CSO knowledge co-creation Coordination and support action. The FabSpace 2.0 project aims at making universities open innovation centres for their region and improving their contribution to the socio-economic and environmental performance of societies.
To achieve these general objectives, the FabSpace 2.0 project offers to concentrate on one research area with high expected socio-economic impact: data-driven innovation, with a particular attention to Earth observation data.
In the six European regions covered by the consortium, partner universities work together with co-located Business Incubation Centres of the European Space Agency (ESA BICs). ESA BICs aim at inspiring entrepreneurs to turn space-connected business ideas into commercial companies, and provide technical expertise and business-development support.
This consortium, completed by TerraNIS – the French company that operates the European Group of Enterprises for a Network of Information Using Space (EUGENIUS) – and IDGEO – provisioning continuous trainings in Geomatics – and the European Business Network (EBN), will be a key success factor for the project.
In addition, FabSpace 2.0 selected 14 new FabSpaces in December 2017 located in various countries worldwide including France, Italy, Czech Republic, Spain, Lithuania, Armenia, Cyprus, The Netherlands, and Cameroon. These new FabSpaces expanded the FabSpace 2.0 network from its first founder FabSpaces in France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Greece, and Poland. The international opening of the FabSpace 2.0 network is underway and will be extended worldwide.    
This project began on March 1st 2016 and will last 3 years. It is under the lead of Univ. Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier (UPS). For more information, visit https://www.fabspace.eu.

EXCELSIOR was presented by member of the ERATOSTHENES Research Centre Ms Eleni Loulli, at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) within the framework of the weekly PhD seminar, organized by the Chair of Hydrology and River Basin Management of TUM. The Chair belongs to the Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering of TUM. The research activities of the Chair concentrate on the two main areas of Integrated Water Resources Modelling, and Flood Modelling and Decentralized Flood Management. The team of the Chair uses remote sensing as a tool for their research and showed interest for a future collaboration. The TUM expressed their interested in collaborating further with EXCELSIOR in projects and especially partnering with Jordan for research opportunities in the East Mediterranean Region.

15-19 April 2018 –  SPIE Defense + Security 2018, Orlando USA

Mr. Georgios Mellilos attended the SPIE Defense + Security 2018 conference, which was held on 15- 19 April, 2018, in Orlando USA. This is one of the worldwide leading conferences that deals with the topic of Defense and Security. During his presentation on “Thermal Remote Sensing Approach combined with field spectroscopy for detecting underground structures intended for defence and security purposes in Cyprus”, a methodology developed at the laboratory of ERATOSTHENES Research Centre, Mr. Mellilos had the opportunity to communicate the project objectives to the conference participants and address the potential impact of the EXCELSIOR project and the creation of the ERATOSTHENES CoE for remote sensing applications in Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean region.

During the European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly in Vienna, Austria, 8–13 April 2018, a session was organized entitled “AS5.1- Earth surveillance and space-based monitoring of the environment: Integrated approaches”. The Session, which was initiated within the framework of the activities of the EXCELSIOR project, was held under the Atmospheric Sciences Division and hosted a total of 33 papers. Six papers were presented in the Oral Session and the remaining ones were displayed in the Poster Session; both the Oral and Poster Sessions, took place on Friday 13 April 2018. Session AS5.1 was convened by Dr. Silas Michaelides and co-convened by the partners of the EXCELSIOR project, Prof. Diofantos Hadjimitsis from the Cyprus University of Technology, Dr. Gunter Schreier from the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), Dr. Harris Kontoes from the National Observatory of Athens (NOA) and Dr. Albert Ansmann from the German Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS). Several papers from the EXCELSIOR community were presented during this session, covering a wide spectrum of research activities, such as, bathymetry mapping with remote sensing, marine spatial planning, detection of fronts using the Sea Surface Temperature product of the Sentinel-3 SLSTR instrument, integrated use of space technologies, UAVs and field measurements for cultural heritage,  development and assessment of atmospheric correction algorithms for SENTINEL-2, remote-sensing-based methodologies for aerosol-cloud studies and cultural landscape risk identification. Both the Oral and Poster Sessions were considered very successful; the Oral Session was attended by more than 40 scientists from various related disciplines and the Poster Session attracted several attendees.

On behalf of the European Geosciences Union, Copernicus Publications will publish a Special Issue of the Journal Advances in Geosciences, under the same title as the AS5.1 Session. This Special Issue will host selected papers from this Session.

The Department of Electronic Communications of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, partner of the EXCELSIOR project, in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), organized the workshop “2nd ESA PECS Call Briefing 2018” on Wednesday 4 April 2018 at CLEOPATRA Hotel, Nicosia. During the event Dr. R. Mamouri, Dr. C. Papoutsa and Dr. K. Themistocleous, informed about the framework and procedures for the submission of the Second Call for Outline Proposals under the plan for European Cooperating States

(PECS) in Cyprus. At the end of the workshop the ERATOSTHENES RC members had a face to face meeting with one representative of ESA’s program.

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