The Network organised the Copernicus4Regions webinar on 6th October 2020 with invited speakers Alessandra Tassa (ESA) and Julien Turpin (European Commission) to discuss:
- their successful collaboration with the NEREUS member regions and lessons learned;
- the value of interregional cooperation;
- the crucial role of regions in using Copernicus now and in the long term but also for advancing the system to better respond to the challenges of today;
- Copernicus as an opportunity to develop technical skills and mobilize the future workforce at a regional and local level.
Copernicus4regions could be realized thanks to the commitment and volunteering of many regional representatives, experts, and external reviewers. In the frame of the Copernicus4regions webinar, they were invited to share their experience when supporting the development of this publication and its impact at a local and regional level.
Finally, a diverse audience of 30 participants had the chance to join the discussion and learn how to find the new and upcoming material produced around the publication (videos, search engine, other translated material, etc) in native languages at the NEREUS website: https://www.nereus-regions.eu/copernicus4regions/
Copernicus4Regions is a joint initiative between NEREUS, the European Space Agency, and the European Commission.
You can watch the webinar here:
Download the presentations:
Introduction of the initiative by Ms Roya Ayazi, NEREUS Secretary-General (link);
Testimonies from Mr Silvano De Zorzi, Veneto Region (link).
Read abstracts of the interview from Ms Branca Cuca, Assistant Professor in Politecnico di Milano:
What motivated you to present your candidacy as publication manager to the Copernicus4regions initiative?
An opportunity to work with EC, ESA and NEREUS on a topic so important such as Copernicus Programme is already a great motivation itself. However, our main motivation as Politecnico di Milano remains a constant surge for innovative topics and research challenges with impact on lives of citizens. As a staff of one of the top technical universities, we are called to perform high-level research on international level, but we also have a very strong relationship with our territorial players; we need to feel that pulse of the local and regional entities in order to learn their needs and to be able to propose effective solutions. Cop4Regs initiative was targeting just that – the reach out to the end-users and that is the field where we felt we could make a difference. The experience of PM to the Cop4Regs initiative was for me a unique occasion for personal growth and for improving my understanding of the Copernicus Programme and a vast impact it can have on people, on our habits, on our businesses, on our welfare.
How did you experience the cooperation within the Copernicus4regions initiative?
The cooperation was on extremely high-level from the very beginning. Probably, the experience of 25 Use Cases that was conducted several years ago, has set a solid ground for us to build upon. Members were already aware and prepared to respond with their use-cases. As PM we were in daily contact with Nereus team for updates on all issues be it authors’ needs, reviewers’ doubts or missing reviews, additional information to be delivered or statistics to perform on incoming articles etc. This gave me the sense of a constant flow, a very organic project that we were shaping together. We were also aware that Nereus is always cross-checking all information and decisions with ESA and EC, of course – so in this sense we felt fully indipendent in our part of the task but again fully guided and supported for any questions that might arise. In my opinion this was crucial for such a complex project in which you do not have a certain starting point but you do have a clear vision on a final outcome and on the impact that you want to produce.
What was different compared to other initiatives you are involved in?
Most of the projects and initiatives I participated in were of a high-research quality and exchange on innovative topics. One thing that in my opinion made Cop4Regions different was a sense of community, that here was almost tangible. In my opinion this happened for two reasons – the first one is for the fact that importance of Copernicus programme and Sentinel data/contributing missions data has been acknowledged by the scientific community and it is being transferred to the regional and local players; the second reason is the sense of community promoted by NEREUS network – all our interlocutors (both authors and reviewers), either already Nereus members or newly contacted, have transferred to me this perception of “being part of a team”. Of course, EC and ESA are involved, excellent results are guaranteed. However, I might be bias here cos Polimi is an associated member of NEREUS and I am following their activities since 2009, to me it seemed that it was NEREUS secretary team that had made a real difference in this experience: the network has worked hard and was able to really stimulate reactions from the territorial users, in some cases single citizens such as company owners or farmers. In the recent years, an amazing work has been done on the communication segment of the Network and in this case it really proved a winning strategy.
What do you value about the material that has been produced in the frame of Copernicus4regions?
My background is rather specific in this domain – I am not a remote sensing scientist of space-craft engineer, for example. I am architect with a degree in geomatics, I am interested in applications on built environment, cities, cultural heritage and landscapes. However, I am also a teacher – I was extremely eager to learn on possible social outcomes of the best practices that we have collected, on how we should pass this knew knowledge to the future generations. In my opinion, the greatest value of the Publication is that – put together, the applications helped us to widen our perception of Space and Earth Observation technologies and what those can do for us, as single citizens, today; of how EO is already shaping and improving our professional activities and our lives. I believe that future of such applications is not necessarily within the space and earth observation sector only – the applications have demonstrated that it would be of great importance to introduce these topics in the curricula not only in traditional domains of application such as Biodiversity or Climate change but also Territorial management, Urban planning, even Public health.
What could have been done better?
One regret I have is that we did not get the full geographical coverage we have envisaged. Although I am certain there were/are many valid applications already, somehow we did not manage do attract or to convince the developers from all Copernicus contributing countries to participate. The beauty and the added value of Copernicus in my opinion lays within the use of its Full, Open and Freely available data. And this that mean any country, any region can make use of them tailoring the applications to the proper needs. I believe that with the success of this publication, it might be possible to attract more attention and to potentially stimulate even more best practices to come forward and share their experiences.