Newsletter March 2012


  • R. Ayazi
    Secretary General

Dear NEREUS-community

GMES is again in the centre of numerous articles…

As advocate of European regions for matters of space uses it is among our main concerns to have GMES timely and efficiently implemented across Europe. Representing regional stakeholder we strive for stable EU-funding mechanisms securing a broad data access. Our joint collaborative effort with ESA to grow the regional GMES-collection to “50-GMES-uses” is one core element on that way. All members are kindly invited to contribute illustrative best practices from their region. But with this edition we are going to up-date you on the state-of-play of the political situation regarding the financing of GMES-post 2014 and present you concrete project examples around these space systems mobilized by our partners. Further to this, we wish to share lots of NEREUS-news and planned events with you.

Have a pleasant read.


Focus on: Call for articles open! - “50 uses of GMES across European regions”. A joint NEREUS-ESA publication.

NEREUS and ESA are currently engaging in a collaborative initiative entitled “50 uses of GMES across European regions”.
Sharing the same vision about the significance of the GMES programme for Europe’s regions and their citizens, both partners are determined to make every effort to ensure its successful implementation. The idea is to compile a rich collection of 50 best practices examples of GMES applications at regional level across Europe.


Call for articles is now open! We invite all NEREUS regions and Associate Members to participate by sending their contributions using the given template. Deadline 30 April 2012.
Together with the template, we kindly ask the applicants to send the copyright form duly filled-in. Read more



The NEREUS Space exhibition is growing!

Following the success of the 2011 Space Exhibition, NEREUS is currently expanding its exposition with more elements and with the contribution of all its members. Be ready to be part of the 2012 NEREUS Space Exhibition!



The future of GMES

The Council and the European Parliament (EP), the two European institutions that share the legislative power, debate currently the proposal by the EC to fund GMES outside the EU-budget. During its last plenary session in Strasburg on 16 February 2012 the EP discussed the future of the GMES program and gave a strong signal in favour of re-integrating it into the next MFF post 2014. More than 15 Members of European Parliament (MEP) across political groups intervened and almost unanimously criticised the EC proposal. Read more

Current State of Affairs of the NEREUS WG

Next meetings and current activities of the NEREUS WGs
Telecommunication WG
Technologies from Space Exploration WG
Communication, Education and Training (CET) WG

Events and News


NEREUS General Assembly - SAVE the DATE!
30 October 2012 at the Committee of the Regions, in Brussels. Read more


Satellite Telecommunications workshop
On 20 March 2012 NEREUS President, Mr Alain Bénéteau, is going to be among the invited keynote speakers at the Satellite Telecommunications – An Innovative Tool Serving Regional Development Conference in the “National and regional programmes: “100% broadband coverage” session. The conference will take place at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels. Read more


NEREUS Workshop on “EGNOS AND GALILEO FOR MARINE AND MARITIME APPLICATIONS: Opportunities and Challenges for European Regions” 16-17 April 2012, Venice. Read more


Toulouse Space Show, 25-28 June 2012 in Toulouse. NEREUS will participate also this year at the Toulouse Space Show presenting its Space Exhibition implemented with new and interactive exhibits. Additionally, a roundtable debate on Regional Policy will be also organized during the 5-day event. Read more


ESTEL Conference, 2-5 October 2012, Rome. ESTEL Conferernce is the first International Conference on Space and Satellite Telecommunications in Europe promoted by IEEE, the world’s largest professional association dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity. The conference is organized in association with AESS, (Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society) and ESOA (European Satellite Operator’s association) and supported by ESARead more


OPEN DAYS 2012 – Workshop on "Innovative regional projects in water resource management: how satellite applications have helped" submitted proposal. 9 October 2012, Brussels. Read more


Be updated on NEREUS events and activities! Check the NEREUS event calendar



The report “Territorial satellite technologies. The experiences of the NEREUS' Italian members”.
Under the coordination of Lombardy region, the 7 NEREUS Italian regions with the collaboration of 10 NEREUS associate members produced a report entitled “Territorial satellite technologies. The experiences of the NEREUS' Italian members”. The study gives a comprehensive overview of the experiences relating to the supply and demand for space technologies in the Italian member regions and reflects the different regional realities. Read more


ISTIMES – Integrated System for Transport Infrastructure surveillance and Monitoring by Electromagnetic Sensing - An European project to respond to the transport sector security and safety threats. Read more 



Focus on: Call for articles open! - “50 uses of GMES across European regions”. A joint NEREUS-ESA publication

Following the success of the “25 uses of GMES in the NEREUS regions”, this new collection will document the widespread growth in number and quality of GMES-applications in European regions. To quote some examples, current GMES technologies are applied at regional level for the management of the territories, implementing environmental legislation and responding to challenges of civil emergencies. By demonstrating its dimension for public policies across different domains the 50-uses of GMES-collection wishes to raise awareness for the societal and socio-economic benefits. While showcasing the added value of GMES the joint initiative is one step to underline the importance that GMES is not only realized as a European program but as a community program addressing regions of all 27 Member States equally.


The NEREUS video “The voice of the regions for Space”, shows clearly: Europe’s regions are successfully using GMES for mapping coastlines, regional areas and urban conurbations, for managing water resources and agricultural land use. Open to all European regions, this publication will have a special focus on the NEREUS members (full and associate members) who are encouraged to contribute short, illustrative and high quality articles of the diverse GMES domains and other user-oriented domains. The publication is explicitly dedicated to a non-specialist audience such as common citizens, (potential) end-user, policy maker at European and local level as well as chief executive of industries. Particular attention will be given to the selection of examples, showcasing operational and pre-operational uses of GMES across Europe.


A special event for the launch of the publication will be organized in Brussels in the European Parliament in October 2012.



The NEREUS Space exhibition is growing!

At the moment the exhibition comprises poster presentations from member regions and a very impact video showcasing concrete regional examples of space based services (EO/GMES, GNSS, Telecommunication, etc.). Additionally, during the opening of the exhibition at the Committee of the Regions last November, CNES and Thales Alenia Space had offered several exemplars of mock-up making the entire exposition much more vivid.


The NEREUS Space Exhibition is conceived with multiple objectives: to advocate the impact of space technologies and to demonstrate with illustrative examples the added value of space based services. The regional space uses at display show how space applications help to save costs, time and make procedures more environmental friendly and efficient. While raising awareness at political level for the significance of space for European citizen, the exhibition serves also to highlight the role of regions as important stakeholders with regard to spreading and implementing space uses. Regions are a major market and end-user of space based services. Additionally, the exhibition links the wealth of regional diversity that distinguishes the NEREUS-network with the context of space uses.


To respond to these objectives, NEREUS invites all its regions and associate members to contribute proposals for new exhibits and interactive material. The idea is to realize a mobile and illustrative exhibition that can be easily moved between the member regions and presented in the context of events and exposition organized in their territory (e.g. Toulouse Space Show 2012). The new exhibits should showcase concrete examples of the potential and vital importance of space technologies to our society’s growth and development and have a direct impact on citizens’ daily lives. Special emphasis should be put on the added value of the presented space uses and bring it into a societal context. For this reason, concrete facts and figures, mock-ups and interactive installations are very welcomed to help to increase the expressiveness of the example.


All regions and associate members are strongly encouraged to conceive and create new exhibit material. Your contribution is essential to make the 2012 Space Exhibition a real success!Please contact the Secretariat for more information.



The future of GMES

During the last plenary session of the EP on 16/02/2012 in Strasbourg the EP approved a motion for a resolution on “The future of GMES” (rapporteur N. Glante (S&D, DE)). The debate about this motion mobilized a considerable number of MEP, among which MEP Glante, Dati, Foster, Remek, Prodi, Abad, Sartori, to express their support of financing GMES within the MFF 2014-2020 and opposed the EC-proposal of an intergovernmental agreement aiming at financing GMES outside the communitarian framework and thus outside the democratic control of the EP.


While highlighting the benefits of GMES (as regards climate change, pollution, civil protection, emergencies…) the debate also addressed some of the consequences of funding the program outside the scope of the MFF. Given the fragile economic situation of several Member States, imposing an additional burden on them might endanger their participation in the program thereof. Committing Member States on a voluntary basis to cover the expenses of the GMES program through an intergovernmental agreement (based on countries GNI) might create disparities amongst MS and breach the principle of open access. Those MS contributing to the sustainability of the GMES program will be privileged when using GMES.


The EC, represented by Commissioner Barnier – DG MARKT (replacing Tanjani) insisted that the EC is fully aware of the importance of GMES and it’s strategic nature, however, due to budgetary restrictions the institution is forced to suggest financing GMES outside the MFF. He explained that there is a fundamental difference between Galileo and GMES in terms of ownership: Since Galileo (and EGNOS) are the property of the EU, it would be only logic to finance them within the EU-budget. In contrast to that the EC does not own the GMES infrastructure.


The discussion in the Council set a similar positive signal for GMES within the MFF. The last Competitiveness Council meeting took place in Brussels on 20-21 February 2012. The debate addressed the future perspectives and most possible suitable models of governance and long-term funding of the GMES programme. The majority of Member States declared themselves in favour of reintegrating GMES into the MFF and asked the EC for a timely presentation of a legislative proposal for GMES-post 2014. Only Poland and Lithuania stated that they would support the EC-proposal of an intergovernmental agreement. Vice-president Tajani who represented the EC on this occasion agreed to transmit the explicit criticism voiced in the Council to Barroso to proceed with content/governance related aspects of the program.

Current State of Affairs of the NEREUS WG


Call for articles is now open! We invite all NEREUS regions and Associate Members to participate by sending their contributions using the given template. Deadline 30 April 2012.
Together with the template, please send us also the copyright form duly filled-in.
Following the "25 uses of GMES in the NEREUS regions" publication, the WG members are currently involved in an ambitious project: The NEREUS/ESA joint publication "50 uses of GMES across European Regions". The idea is to grow the former collection. NEREUS wishes to produce in cooperation with ESA a high quality, illustrative publication showcasing pre-operational and operational best practices example of GMES applications across Europe. While sharing the same vision regarding the importance to exploit GMES technologies for the benefits of European citizens both partners engaged in a collaborative effort and aim at identifying a rich collection of GMES-uses at regional level. More information on the NEREUS/ESA project here.


The NEREUS GNSS WG, in collaboration with Veneto Region and CORILA, is organizing a workshop on “EGNOS and Galileo for marine and maritime applications: opportunities and challenges for European regions” on 16th and 17th April 2012. The workshop, which will take place in the suggestive location of the Veneto Region, aims to raise awareness of the potential opportunities to exploit EGNOS and GALILEO technologies for applications in the marine and maritime sector.
The WS is one first step to implement the work program 2012 and to start the reflection how the NEREUS-GNSS-community could increasingly engage in cooperating to develop innovative applications. A meeting of the NEREUS GNSS WG will be held on the second day of the workshop, on 17 April 2012 at 11.00. The meeting will focus on approving the proposed GNSS WG 2012 work program. Further to this, the GNSS community will have the opportunity to discuss and develop concrete actions with regard to the objectives suggested for the year 2012.
For more information on the WG activities and on the last meeting, please visit the password protected area.


The NEREUS Telecommunication WG re-launched its activities on the occasion of a meeting chaired by Mr Bernard Pouliquen, Vice-President of Brittany region and co-chaired by Mr Nicolas Chuberre, Thales Alenia Space.
The meeting was hosted at the Midi-Pyrénées Regional Council, in Toulouse by NEREUS-president Alain Bénéteau, on 19 January 2012. The first kick-off meeting brought together numerous representatives of relevant industries and research centres as well as networks who engaged in a vivid discussion on the future perspectives and objectives and of the re-launched Telecommunication WG.
Among others the WG is currently working on collecting end user needs at regional level in terms of Telecommunication services and to identify the barriers for service deployment. The idea is to gather the necessary information to access the situation in NEREUS-member regions. Based on the findings and the internal discussion process the member of the WG intent to produce a NEREUS Telecommunication position paper. For more information on the WG activities and on the last meeting, please visit the password protected area.
The WG wishes to invite interested NEREUS members within all member regions across Europe to join the WG. If you wish to join the Telecommunication WG, please contact the Secretariat.


The WG “Technologies from Space Exploration” produced a position paper “A large scale awareness raising campaign for promoting space exploration at citizen level” together with an action plan proposing intensive efforts at different levels to promote space exploration towards the broad public and different societal and economic groups. The paper should be a base to reflect with ESA on new communication approaches but also on a better involvement of citizen in space exploration.
Further to this, the WG continues to develop its project idea “European Network of Exploratoria” . Following the seminar in Turin on 17/18 October 2012 the organizers had produced an executive report showcasing concrete examples of spin-offs/spin-ins presented during the event. The approved work program 2012 is available on the pass-word-protected section.
The next WG-meeting will be on 30 March 2012 in Bremen. A draft agenda is available in the pass-word protected area. The group welcomes all interested NEREUS-members.


The 2011 was a very productive year for the CET WG and we hope that 2012 will follow the same pattern. On April 2011, as a result of a fruitful collaboration among the members, the WG published the leaflet “Space Education and Training: examples from NEREUS Regions”, a collection of interesting education opportunities in our member regions. The publication was also the perfect opportunity to promote the NEREUS e-catalogue, the database on space related study and training courses currently available in our website.
Finally, it is important to mention that this year during the 2012 Toulouse Space Show and as a part of the Space Applications Conference, an especial session on « Education & Training » will take place. Prof. Michel Bousquet co-chair of the CET WG will be the chairman of this event. The session will be focused on presenting the training programmes already available in the different areas of space applications and identifying the current needs.

The next meeting of the CET WG is scheduled on 29 June at 10.00.


Events and News


NEREUS General Assembly 2012 - SAVE THE DATE!

Demonstrating once again its continuous support, the Committee of the Regions invited NEREUS to hold the 2012 General Assembly at its premises on 30 October 2012.

This year’s General Assembly will not only be an occasion to present network activities and projects mobilized on the NEREUS platform in 2011/12 but also to debate jointly the outcomes of the NEREUS regional strategy initiative. Apart from that, the NEREUS members will have to elect/reconfirm the members of the Management Board, the political representatives as well as the treasurer. Please note that candidacies to the Management Board have to be received by the secretariat not later than 6 weeks prior to the date of the General Assembly. For more information on the election procedure, please refer to art. 16 of the NEREUS-statutes

Satellite Telecommunications workshop

Nowadays, Satellite Communications - including internet access, telephone communications and television services – represent an increasing part of the citizens’ daily lives providing them with cost-effective, high-speed services and being able to reach rural and remote areas usually excluded. However, many European regions still have a very limited access to these services.

The objective of the high level conference, organized by the Committeee of the Regions together with Business Bridge Europe, is to better inform regional and local, officials as well as operational bodies particularly involved on Satellite Telecommunication issues of the wide range of opportunities offered by existing EU-financial instruments - such as the current and future structural and cohesion policy with its rural development policy, the EU Digital Agenda, and the proposed “Connecting Europe” strategy - in order to assist authorities in finding the best solutions for the development of their telecommunication infrastructures. 

Mr Bénéteau will give a presentation of the currrent situation on Broadband Telecommunications in the NEREUS regions highlighting the regional concerns and future needs. 

Registration.  Draft version of the conference programme.

“EGNOS AND GALILEO for Marine and Maritime applications: opportunities and challenges for European regions”

On 16 and 17 April 2012, NEREUS in cooperation with Veneto Region and CORILA will host a workshop on “EGNOS AND GALILEO for Marine and Maritime applications: opportunities and challenges for European regions”.

The objective of the event is to discuss how space systems such as EGNOS and Galileo can be exploited to stimulate innovations in the marine and maritime sector at both, regional and local level. The workshop will be divided in 4 different sessions including a political discussion with representatives from relevant European, national and regional institutions.

The draft program is available here. Please register here.

The Toulouse Space Show 2012

The Toulouse Space Show, the internationl week on space applications, reaches this year its third edition. The objective of the event is to enable developers of solutions and Space applications to discuss ideas with users and imagine with them the solutions and services of the future. Program

NEREUS will be present at this important international event displaying its Space Exhibition: an audio-visual exposition of the widespread and growing space applications in the NEREUS regions. Thanks to the support of all NEREUS members, this year exhibition will be implemented with more interactive material and will be displayed for the entire period of the event.

Further to this, NEREUS will also organize a roundtable debate on Regional Policy with representatives of the NEREUS member regions on Tuesday, 26 June 2012.

ESTEL Conference

Scientific panels on Space Communications, Navigation Technologies, Integrated Satellite systems and Emerging Technologies will be organized during the 4-day conference. Additionally, special panels will be organized on the added value services and applications for improving the quality of life (security, health, energy) and on Space Missions, Systems and Architectures and Launchers. Representatives of companies and university scientists but also representatives of European, regional and local institutions will be among the participants.

NEREUS President, Mr. Alain Bénéteau will be among the invited speakers of the opening ceremony together with representatives of the European Commission, IEEE-AESS, ESA and ASI. Representatives of Lazio Region, the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and Italian Ministry of University and Research will also participate at the event.

More information about the conference are available here

OPEN DAYS 2012 - Workshop on "Innovative regional projects in water resource management: how satellite applications have helped" submitted proposal.

In the framework of the Open Days 2012 EURISY and NEREUS in partnership with ESOA are currently collaborating in organizing a workshop showing best practices examples of regional uses of GMES, GNSS and Telecommunication applications in support to water management. The workshop will be organized at the Committee of the Regions, in Brussels on 9 October 2012.

In order to demonstrate how satellite applications are successfully used to achieve key policy objectives at regional level, a proposal of three different case studies by regional end-users have been submitted to the Committee of the Regions. The “Comunità del Garda”, an inter-regional territorial authority in Lombardy region, has already exprressed its availability in presenting the EULAKES project as best-practice in Earth Observation to monitor in a cost-effective way the ecological status of the lakes. Apart from that, other examples on managing drinking water supplies remotely using satellite telecommunications and sustainable management of irrigation water in agriculture are also under evaluation.

More information will soon follow.


The report “Territorial satellite technologies. The experiences of the NEREUS' Italian members”.

The objective of the work was to classify the different competencies and interests of the regional space organizations and people identifying also concrete involvements in specific projects and activities. Additionally, the study aimed at looking for and understanding potential regional problems, concerns and needs to better exploit space uses for regional developments.

Several consultations were held among the responsible regional administration offices as well as among the different NEREUS associate members to recognize the actual products and services used and to identify the potentiality of space technologies not yet exploited. Further to this the supply and demand of the regions for the whole array of space technologies - EO/GMES; GNSS, Telecommunication and Space Exploration - were mapped. As a result of the mapping activity 250 different applications were identified. 

Following the accurate and targeted mapping activity, the produced report provided specific data information useful to elaborate, afterwards, a position paper on the priorities and objectives of the Italian regions as well as on the strategic and operational actions to develop a unanimous Italian position within the network.

The NEREUS Secretariat is currently exploring different opportunities to promote the report towards the European institutions as well as regional bodies and stakeholders. Additionally, the report will be also presented at regional level during future suitable occasions.

The NEREUS members interested in the full English version of the study should contact the Secretariat.

ISTIMESIntegrated System for Transport Infrastructure surveillance and Monitoring by Electromagnetic Sensing

The main purpose of the ISTIMES project is to design, assess and promote an ICT-based system, exploiting distributed and local sensors, in order to increase the security and reliability of crucial transport infrastructures. The proposed system rapidly provides with detailed information and images of the status of the infrastructure and therefore improves the decision-making process while facing emergencies and natural disasters.

The system architecture is based on web sensors and service-oriented-technologies that comply with specific end-user requirements. The system will be tested on two very challenging test beds such as the Sihlhochstrasse highway-bridge in Zurich and railway and highway infrastructures in Basilicata region (NEREUS member).  

The project was submitted to the Joint Call FP7-ICT-SEC-2007-1 and launched in July 2009 with a duration of 36 months. Coordinator of the project is the Consortium TERN-Technologies for Earth Observations and Natural Hazards (NEREUS associate member), Basilicata.

For more information on the ISTIMES project please visit the dedicated project session. 



  • Editor: F. Bordelot
    NEREUS Secretariat




NEREUS aisbl c/o Regione del Veneto Avenue de Tervuren , 67 1040-Brussels Belgium. Phone: +32 (0)2 743 70 33 Fax: +32 (0)2 743 70 19 E-mail:

RA. R. Ayazi:

Ms. F. Bordelot:



NEREUS a.i.s.b.l. (Enterprise N° 898.367.280) is a not for profit international association incorporated under Belgian law in April 2008 to promote the use of space applications and emphasize the role of regions in space programmes and policies. It is financially independent and is funded by membership fees. Currently it counts 26 Member Regions and 33 Associate Members from all over Europe.














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