On the 3rd February 2022, NEREUS together with the European Commission and the European Space Agency organised the 5th and final Copernicus4regions webinar: “How Copernicus helps Europe’s regions to innovate public administrations and the delivery of public policies”. The objective of the webinar was to reflect upon what are the main factors that concretely support the uptake of Copernicus solutions within European LRAs.
The organisers of the Copernicus4regions initiative (Matthias Petschke (Director for Space, Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space DEFIS, European Commission), Simonetta Cheli (Director of Earth Observation Programmes, European Space Agency) and Thierry Cotelle (NEREUS President)) opened the webinar with the following statements:
Matthias Petschke mentioned that Copernicus is continuously supporting Public authorities to find solutions and critical information to common challenges such as civil protection and water management. Further, Copernicus empowers regions in their own environmental policy implementation and contributes to the development of the downstream sector.
Simonetta Cheli noted the essential role of regions for the Copernicus programme: Copernicus4regions shows us to what extent the regions have managed to understand and identify the positive model case at the regional level and the potential coming from the exploitation of data. Copernicus4regions provides crucial evidence about the benefits provided by the data which is fundamentally important to sustain the programme for the future. The European Space Agency remains fully committed to continue working with our partners on the implementation of the Copernicus Space Component and its evolution.
Speaking on behalf of regional users, Thierry Cotelle called the European Commission and the Copernicus stakeholder community to launch a Copernicus uptake regional strategy to ensure that citizens can optimally benefit from the programme regardless of which region/country they live in. Further, interregional cooperation is crucial in expanding the scope of the users’ community.
Next, Dr Branka Cuca presented the outcomes of the Copernicus4regions online survey through a video. Amongst the results, it was made evident that the awareness about the Copernicus programme and its solutions were recognised at the decision-making level.
Sharing their individual experiences and views, public users from different parts of Europe (Fabrice Phung and Marie Jagaille (Brittany/France), Francisco Wallenstein (The Azores), Anastasia Moumtzidou and Ioannis Lioumbas (Central Macedonia, Greece), Emilie Beriaux (Wallonia) presented their use cases and engaged in an intensive discussion with the audience on relevant matters such as how Copernicus innovates their public administration.
Further, the debate was enriched by key statements by regional politicians from different parts across Europe: Markku Markkula (President of the Helsinki Region, former President and current Member of the Committee of the Regions), Member of the European Parliament Tsvetelina Penkova (Member of the ITRE and REGI Committee), Regional politician Susete Amaro (the Secretary of Culture, Science and Digital Transition of the Regional Government of Azores). The politicians highlighted that Copernicus contributes to the implementation of the regional development planning and plays a vital role for the Green Deal objectives especially for regions promoting sustainable objectives such as sustainable transport. Further, Copernicus as a tool supports the strategic role of space uses in the digital transition, economic and jobs growth and innovation at regional and local levels.
The webinar was moderated by Jamie Berryhill (Innovation Specialist at the OECD’s Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI)). He mentioned that OPSI focuses on understanding how governments use data to understand global ecosystems and building a crossborder interregional collaboration. On this basis, Copernicus4regions is an example of how OPSI works with governments to diffuse across the world. Copernicus yields a tremendous amount of data that governments can leverage for innovative approaches in disaster response and urban planning.
The event was open to the public for questions. Over 100 participants followed the webinar. The leaflet is available here (link).
Click here to watch the individual use cases and the politicians’ statements (link). Watch here the full webinar: