SC5-15-2015 - Strengthening the European Research Area in the domain of Earth Observation
Specific challenge: Decision makers require access to the information they need, when they need it, and in a format they can use. Bringing together and strengthening European national and regional research and innovation programmes in the domain of Earth Observation can contribute to this.
Many European countries and pan-European organisations are conducting research and innovation programmes on Earth Observation but these activities remain quite fragmented. They need to be better integrated at institutional level to reach the critical mass that would enable the EU to be better positioned with regard to its main competitors.
Scope: Proposals should pool the necessary resources from national (or regional) research programmes with a view to implementing a joint transnational call for proposals with EU co-funding on observing and monitoring changes affecting the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, cryosphere and landscapes, with human activities being a major driver of these changes in the domain of climate, environment and resource efficiency.
The joint call should address the issue of the coherence of European participation within the Group on Global Earth Observation (GEO) and should also provide a research and innovation component to the Copernicus programme. International European interest organisations conducting research activities in the domain of Earth Observation, such as the European Space Agency, may participate in this ERA-NET.
The action is targeted at publically-funded research performing and business innovation support organisations. Their participation must be mandated by the national/regional authorities in charge (normally the responsible Ministry). The co-funded call for proposals must be based on in-kind contributions from their institutional funding and the beneficiaries will carry out the transnational projects resulting from their call for proposals fully or partially themselves. Exceptional cash contribution could be provided through this ERA-NET by international European interest organisations, resulting in grants to third parties and allowing a broader participation of researchers.
Expected Impact: In the short-term, reinforced European leadership within GEO post-2015. In the medium-term, effective coordination mechanism and integration of major European research and innovation Earth Observation programme as a contribution to Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) and Copernicus. In the medium-term, significant improvement of shared Earth Observation architectural components and related information infrastructure, improved, open and unrestricted data sharing across borders and disciplines, and interoperability amongst observational, modelling, data assimilation and prediction systems to maximise value and benefits of Earth observation investments. Significant use of the GEO resources in decision making in the domains of climate, environment, resource efficiency and natural hazards.
Type of action: ERA-NET Cofund
 as defined in Article 2 of the Horizon 2020 rules for participation and dissemination (Regulation 1290/2013 of 11 December 2013)