European local and regional authorities (LRAs) are responsible for territorial management and environmental policy implementation. Information gained by COPERNICUS Sentinel satellites can provide an effective support in this respect. However, this opportunity is not always fully known or readily exploited.
NEREUS and its Member Regions, together with the European Space Agency (ESA), launched a series of thematic workshops aiming at familiarizing LRAs with Sentinel-based potential applications. The debate focuses on relevant space solutions for specific regional needs. Three hosting regions, each in collaboration with partner regions of the NEREUS network, give LRAs the floor to address a broad range of regional needs, applications and roadblocks.
The commitment and professionality of the organizers has been crucial for the success of each workshop: using different means and engagement strategies, each reference within the interested regional administration managed to convey the interest of the project to a diverse audience of participants. This lead to another outcome which loomed in the process, even more valuable than it was unexpected: a Copernicus stakeholder community has emerged during the process, ranging from scientists working in close contact with public administrations, to less aware administrators who only just heard about the potential of Copernicus data for their daily work. This community of interested stakeholders is the social capital on which Copernicus uptake can leverage, and shows that the series of thematic workshops organized across Europe have not only been outreach events, but catalyzers for activism and motivation, enabling networking and inter-regional collaboration.
The results of these dialogues are being collected in workshop reports and will serve the final analysis developed by Nina Schumacher, the expert who has been following the process from the initial online consultation to select the workshop themes, to the project conclusions. The community will be asked the contribute and react to the main findings in order to elaborate recommendations on improving Copernicus uptake among local and regional authorities. The aim is to build on common interests and challenges to come up with a series of recommendations to be shared at a public event to be held at the European Parliament in Spring 2016.
FINAL EVENT |Brussels (BE) – 28.06.2016
The outcomes of the workshops were presented during a final public event held at the European Parliament, under the auspices of MEP Patrizia Toia (Lombardy Region), on the 28th of June 2016.