Being part of the Network opens new opportunities for IEST (Istituto Europeo per lo Sviluppo Tecnologico European Institute for Technological Development), an Italian research organisation based in the Veneto region (Full NEREUS member).
Ms Stefania De Zorzi, IEST Presidente shares with us more insights about IEST’s role in the space sector and why the organization joined NEREUS in the following short interview!
Q: Veneto is a member region of NEREUS that hosts a rich ecosystem of SMEs, universities, research centers, technology parks focused on the field of environmental monitoring and planning using satellite data. Can you share with us a few words about your organization and its role in Veneto? Why is it interesting for your organization to use spatial data and in what sense?
Nereus, with its proximity to the European institutions, can facilitate relations between the EU institutions and the territory and offers to our Institute a network of high-profile and international collaborations, which allow us to work and collaborate with other European countries.
Satellite data are a tool for us, which allows us to act in various sectors, from reading the territory to supporting the planning of technical interventions, to understanding environmental, social and economic phenomena. Just as they are a study tool in the application of policies and in the dynamics of the territory.
Q: Why did you decide to join our Network? Have you had any previous experience with NEREUS in your region?
With the Veneto Region, we have collaborated in the realization of various communication and dissemination events, which have received applause both nationally and internationally, still visible today, and the collaboration with Nereus has been decisive and very fruitful.
It is our intention to continue and intensify these actions and further increase collaboration, dissemination and involvement of civil society.
Q: One of your goals is to promote education / training in the space sector. How do you think the use of spatial data can change the cards in education / training in Veneto? Where do you see an added value of our network in this sense?
Considering that we are all on one spaceship, called Earth, and that “we all breathe the same air, and drink the same water, that because there is no Planet B”. It is often easier to explain, a difficult to understand the scientific concept, with just one image, and Space is an incredible tool. With regard to Earth Observation and the production of space data, as already indicated, these are not only an objective tool for verifying scientific theories, but this is useful for evaluating and developing the application of policies.
An example for all is the following: the importance of a decision is not fully understood until the effects and impacts on the resilience of the territories are seen. In Veneto, an example among all is the deforestation created by the Vaja storm or the assessment of sediments transported to the sea by flood events.
But many, for us, are the sectors where information with the spatial origin is used. The image of Venice with and without water traffic has certainly gone viral due to the shutdown of activities related to Covid. Training the next generations, about the use of these tools, which will become more and more detailed, is fundamental to manage the challenges that we, and the next generations, will have to face.
Both in terms of “GSDI”: therefore saving resources and natural capital, as well as in terms of “resilience”, that is the capacity of human and natural systems, to resist the coming changes.
Q: One of the key activities of the network is to promote cooperation between and within the regions. How do you see the added value of interregional collaborations and partnerships for your activities and for the realization of your projects?
The growth of a territory accelerates if this territory has the ability to attract: talent, innovation and the “future”. The Space sector, in these terms, offers possibilities that no other sector offers, and collaboration between European regions accelerates this process. Therefore, the collaboration that Nereus proposes accelerates regional innovation processes, even at the political level. For our structure, which very often, if not always, works to imagine the future, it helps to connect with the European regions and to work with them.
Q: How would you like to use the NEREUS platform? Are there any activities / projects of great importance to your organization that you wish to share with us?
Working to bring to Italy, and to Veneto, actions and concepts that are developed in the EU and in other European countries is part of our work. We have already collaborated in several initiatives, which we have proposed and which have been conveyed to us through Nereus, and we really like this way of collaborating. We are therefore available to work “to imagine the future”, in the various ways that will become available. To imagine that our spaceship “Earth”, our “blue spaceship” is available like this – beautiful and fascinating – also for the next generations.