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H2020

CENTRIC Report Summary

Project ID: 664573
Funded under: H2020-EU.4.a.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CENTRIC (Centre for ExcelleNce in TerRItorial management and Cadastre)

Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2016-05-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Romania is among the best endowed European countries in terms of land, water, and people. However, a quarter century after the socialist system collapse and return to the market economy, these advantages still have to generate the growth potential in production and development in rural and urban areas. In Romania only 22,36 % of real estate properties are registered. Such a deficiency represents a critical element for the economy of the country, since it makes legal contracts, such as land purchasing, very difficult to be implemented. Although Romania has a lot of high quality spatial data which are made more accessible and are better shared among stakeholders due to the INSPIRE Directive, their uptake and use for territorial management remains relatively weak.
CENTRIC will deal with the management and control of the territory as an essential pre-condition for a very wide range of economic and social challenges. This will be done by promoting scientific excellence in domains such as: airborne and satellite imagery processing, 3D/4D geospatial big data analysis and analytics, linked geospatial data, photogrammetry, surveying, simulation, feature extraction, land classification, change detection, the set-up of location enabled e-Government services, and the territorial monitoring from remotely sensed data.
The whole project has been based on the creation of a long-lasting joint venture between partners – in the form of a Centre of Excellence, from both advanced and low performing countries, including institutional cooperation among the Romanian Cadastre Agency and the counterpart in Trentino Italy, considered as a best practice at the EU level.
The project aims the creation of a new cluster, a research and innovation ecosystem built around the CENTRIC - Centre for ExcelleNce in TerRItorial management and Cadastre, where the various players (research centres, public administration, and industry) can benefit from significant “know-how” transfer from other EU countries.
Phase 1 of the project aimed to produce a very detailed business plan leading, during phase 2, to the establishment of the Centre including: a long-term vision and the mission of the Centre, a detailed SWOT analysis of the domain of territorial management and cadastre in Romania, a long-term scientific and innovation strategy, a training and mobility plan, a market analysis, the Business Concept of the Centre, the analysis of possible cooperation, strategic alliances and long-term partnerships, the operational and financial plan of the Centre, to define a strategic growth roadmap. Furthermore the project also created a suitable ecosystem at the national Romanian and EU level, through a number of capacity building and dissemination activities. Different stakeholders were invited to join the CENTRIC community for the development of joint activities on research and development, education, cross-border mobility, development of new projects in partnership and more. Capacity building of CENTRIC was developed by gathering a community of local Romanian stakeholders from both public and private sectors around the initiative, to raise awareness and increase participations and by involving international stakeholders in order to support the set-up of the CENTRIC Centre and bring it in line with major innovative developments in the geospatial sector.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The long-term goal of the CENTRIC project is the creation of a new Centre of Excellence on Territorial Management and Cadastre in Romania, as well as the creation of a suitable ecosystem at the national Romanian and EU level.
Phase 1 of the project prepared a very detailed business plan leading to the establishment of the Centre of Excellence.
The centre will be the cross point of applied research, development and practice, filling the gap by providing knowledge transfer, education and innovation management services and supporting the social-economic development in Romania. In order to achieve this goal, the project team defined the objectives, the scientific and innovation strategies of the future Centre of Excellence, including its position within the European area based on the analysis of technical and regulatory best practices (particularly in the cadastre and land registration, and territorial management domains) and of the current state-of-the-art (applied) research in the field.
The operational and organizational aspects of the future Centre of Excellence, including the definition of its IPR policies, the Education and Training plan and the Mobility programme were defined in order to create a centre that will be unique of its kind in the region, providing services, but acting at the same time as a bridge between the different actors, public and private from the sector.
A detailed market analysis provided the necessary information to detail the strategic and operational plans. From a business perspective, the strategy of CENTRIC was drawn straightforward: maximizing all opportunities to generate revenue by utilizing the access to internal and external expertise and intellectual property while minimizing costs in order to be self-sufficient. This would be done by developing a rich portfolio of potential research & development projects with Romanian and international partners in the fields of cadastre, mapping and territorial management.
All necessary analysis required to validate the assumptions of the business model (Analysis of cooperation and long-term partnerships, SWOT analysis, contingency plan, resource analysis, legal framework analysis) were provided in order to create an innovative ecosystem around the CENTRIC initiative. These analyses were conducted to identify the relevant input, which helped to define and fine-tune the vision, the mission, and the goals of CENTRIC as well as its final business modelling.
Centric partners ensured maximum awareness of the projects activities and achievements through publications, communication actions, the organizing of events, creation of liaisons with other initiatives and creation of a database of interested stakeholders.
The website is the main source of information towards external institutions and the public in general. The project was promoted in different communities (LinkedIn group, Facebook page, Google+ & Gmail account, YouTube channel) and it has been continuously updated in order to ensure wider involvement of further stakeholders. The newsletters sent out to stakeholders included project achievements and activities as well as information of interest for the community of stakeholders.
Capacity building of CENTRIC was developed by gathering a community of Romanian stakeholders from both public and private sectors around the initiative. The entire consortium organised joint activities (e.g. presentations, joint events etc.) and also took bilateral actions for further development of the CENTRIC national and international community. Such actions will continue for the creation of the Centre of Excellence and beyond.
For the project's development, both from the financial and technical point of view, were identified the procedures related to project’s implementation, the distribution of tasks and responsibilities among the partners, as well as the administrative and communication routines to be followed. It was ensured the continuous monitoring of the project from a technical, financial and administrative point of view, the proper communication flow between the project (via the coordinator) and the European Commission and that the use of resources, were in line with the project plan.
The Data Management plan shows how the data will be handled during the CENTRIC project, considering many aspects of data management, metadata generation, data preservation, and analysis, in order that data is well managed in the present, and prepared for preservation in the future.
For all deliverables and work developed during the first phase of the CENTRIC project, a horizontal approach of the ethics standards of Horizon 2020 was considered as central line of all work performed. An external Ethics Advisor was appointed to supervise external research ethics and to ensure that European standards were observed in the development of the project’s activities and analysis.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Starting from the premise that many problems in innovation are caused by traditional obstacles between academia and market, CENTRIC will work as an interface between R&D, cadastre and territorial data management, as a crucial element fostering innovative business.
CENTRIC will help solving societal problems by providing high quality and innovative geospatial solutions in the field of cadaster, mapping and territorial management. Current major challenges in different sectors such as transport and mobility, environment and climate change, spatial and urban planning, water management, security and disaster management, tourism … all require solutions based on geospatial technologies. CENTRIC will provide the necessary platform and support, the network of experts and know-how to address these challenges and to find solutions through added value R&D activities, education and training, and delivery of innovative services. —— CENTRIC radically redefined how value is delivered to clients, customers, and citizens. Models for successful innovation have changed: innovation is happening faster, increasingly multidisciplinary, and demand driven. However, even the best organizations are struggling to innovate, because transformative innovation is hard and often disruptive.
This objective will be accomplished because CENTRIC will be positioned in the value-generation chain from idea to market as an organization that fosters applied R&D. It will be organised to provide services aiming to close the gap between the market and R&D:
• by providing also incubation and acceleration services,
• by clustering services in the area of territorial and cadastre management and GIS.
While territorial management needs to provide the ultimate driver for research, CENTRIC’s principal aim will be to generate new insight and knowledge about land management, mapping and cadastre. The emphasis will be on integrative, systems-led approaches to unravel the interacting networks of actors underpinning the main land management processes. The scientific focus of CENTRIC will be on the following interlinked emerging topics:
• 2D-3D geo-information modelling and management. This area is concerned with the management of 2D as well as 3D geospatial data and services, including the research issues dealing geospatial data modelling, quality control, updating, data mining, cloud computing, etc. Nevertheless the potential of managing 3D data in the domain of territorial planning and cadastre is still considerably underexploited.
• Smart cities. Geospatial data and associated managing tools are key enablers of the concept of “smart” cities. This focus group includes research topics such as the development of Location-Based Services, crowd-sourcing, citizen as sensors, BIM, 3D Cadastre, etc.
• Interoperability. The emerging role of mobile geospatial technologies and sensors at territorial level, is calling for more advanced standards that can ensure high-performance on top of interoperability. This focus group includes research topics such as (inter)national standards, harmonization and Linked Data.

Technical and Regulatory Best Practices reports the state-of-the-art in Romania and Europe in cartography, mapping and spatial planning. It describes the best practices, guidelines and policy implementations related to important (and emerging) technologies (also in terms of regulations). Particular attention has been paid to how technological aspects are intertwined within regulatory issues, both at Romanian and international level. Solutions, potential barriers and opportunities, as well as the definition of suitable technical and regulatory integration and, more important, key recommendations were identified.
Such a comprehensive analysis has represented a fundamental input for the successive Tasks, envisaging the Cadastre as a veritable cornerstone: not only does the proposed cadastral 3-legged model (Territory-Cadastre-Land Register, with relevant consistency and assessment model) clearly manage to integrate the technical sectors, but also provides an organic base for the diverse actors involved in the territorial governance.
In other terms, “merging” territorial management, mapping and cadastre into one, organic and robust, cutting-edge territorial-knowledge-oriented structure, the Cadastre has clearly emerged as the key player, responding to both future expectations and current requirements of present-day society (“Spatially Enabled Society”).
CENTRIC will improve the instruments of territorial development and urban planning activities beyond the state-of-the-art in the field by integrating new emerging technologies such as photogrammetry, 3D mapping, surveying activities, etc. in the value-generation chain as an applied R&D organisation. The cutting-edge expertise provided by CENTRIC partners will be implemented in the Romanian context and further enhanced by the above mentioned new technologies.
By analysing the European innovation landscape related with the Romanian context as it results from national and regional strategies focusing not only on smart specialization but on research, development and innovation as well, a list of priorities was identified (Section 6), helping to determine the R&D issues of interest for CENTRIC and enhancing the scientific and innovation profile of the Centre (e-Government and social media, cloud computing, open data, big data, interoperability and cyber security, ICT in education, societal challenges, ICT in health, culture, e-Inclusion, research-development-innovation in ICT, broadband, digital services infrastructure e-Commerce).
By comparing these priorities with other innovation techniques used at international and national scale, a list of topics and R & D issues specific for activities of cadastre and territorial planning was obtained. Compared with the objectives of CENTRIC activities, the prioritization of these issues shows that some of them have a high priority within CENTRIC, especially those with a strong innovative aspect and which are not yet frequently used in Romanian innovation landscape. They will help CENTRIC to reach its main objectives: to improve 3D geo-information research in territorial planning, to develop 3D city and landscape models, to improve the quality and availability of cartographic products and geo-data by obtaining the 3D data version, to ensure interoperability, to promote smart city approaches together with strategic scenarios and applications of 3D city models, to promote new generation of LBS services, to contribute to the extension of current standards.
In this way, the centre will transfer in Romania not only the latest technologies, strategies and procedures in the field but, more than that, will develop itself into a crucial element into the value-generation chain, by integrating at a superior level R&D, innovative technologies, and the societal needs.

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