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SLICE3D Report Summary

Project ID: 763641
Funded under: H2020-EU.4.a.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SLICE3D (Slovenian Centre of Excellence on 3D geodata)

Reporting period: 2017-09-01 to 2018-08-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

SLICE3D (Slovenian Centre of Excellence on 3D Geodata) is a one-year project, financed in the framework of the Widening Actions under the Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation part of Horizon 2020 (Grant Agreement 763641). It is dedicated to the preparation of a scientific and innovation strategy together with the business plan for the realization of the Centre of Excellence on 3D geospatial data and geo-informatics in Slovenia. The main idea of the centre is to strengthen the research and innovation capacities of Slovenia in the fields of geospatial data acquisition, 3D/4D geospatial data modelling, and applications in geo-informatics. The Centre of Excellence will promote scientific excellence in particular in the following domains and scientific disciplines: airborne and satellite imagery and point cloud processing, remote sensing and photogrammetry, 3D/4D spatial data modelling and visualization, 3D/4D geospatial big data analysis and analytics, linked geospatial data, and geographic information systems.

The project has been based on the creation of a long-lasting joint venture between partners from both advanced and low performing countries. The partnership consists of leading European scientific institutions in the geospatial field (Fondazione Bruno Kessler, KU LEUVEN and University of Twente), a geo-business SME (LLX2) and a mapping agency (swisstopo), which join and share expertise and know-how with partner institutions in Slovenia (University of Ljubljana – project coordinator, Surveying and Mapping Authority of the Republic of Slovenia, and XLAB). The main objectives of the project are:
‒ To define the vision and mission of the CoE,
‒ To establish a long-term joint venture,
‒ To perform R&I programs and market analysis to understand demand and supply aspects in the geospatial field in Slovenia,
‒ To create an R&I plan to provide excellence in the geospatial field,
‒ To involve geospatial industries, communities and governance,
‒ To define an administrative and legal structure of the future CoE,
‒ To identify a business concept and business plan for the future CoE,
‒ To raise awareness of the initiative and seek for stakeholders.

The long-term goal of SLICE3D is the realization of international excellence in the geospatial field, strengthening the research and innovation (R&I) activities in Slovenia and the region in the geospatial domain with the aim of increasing scientific capabilities and market opportunities in the global value chains.

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

One of the most important objectives of the one-year project was the creation of a long-term joint venture between the consortium partners. The cooperation among SLICE3D project consortium partners was formalized by the consortium agreement in order to provide the basis for knowledge transfer and strengthen the capacity of research and innovation of the future centre of excellence (CoE). Furthermore, the project members focused on networking and active involvement of other geospatial players. A significant number of external stakeholders have provided their commitment to contribute to the strategic planning of the project and long-term cooperation in R&I applied to the geospatial field.

During the one-year project, a detailed state of the art and market analyses in the fields of earth observation, 3D geospatial data, geo-informatics and national geospatial data infrastructure have been carried out. A comprehensive research and innovation offer and market analyses were performed to better understand the Slovenian, regional and international geospatial ecosystem, its main stakeholders, know-how and training providers, suppliers of consultancies, services and technologies. The analyses included the identification of significant market trends and factors influencing the potential customer, stakeholders. Particularly, the analysis included an assessment of opportunities to acquire financial resources through EC funds, trans-national, national and local funds, contract researched, etc. Based on the market analyses, a SWOT analysis was performed for defining the business concept and model of the CoE.

The consortium was engaged in a wide range of activities leading to the definition of a long-term vision and mission of the CoE. The vision and mission were used as a basis for defining the CoE’s strategic themes, aims, innovative projects, implementation and organization. Based on the aforementioned inputs, the strategic growth roadmap and the detailed business plan for the future CoE was prepared. This includes key orientations, vision and mission, research and innovation strategy, objectives and goals, general operations and business lines, the market and marketing strategy. The resources for the future Centre were planned under the guidance of the business partners of the consortium. In parallel, a revenue model was developed and income streams have been planned and documented in the so-called income and revenue plan. An important part of the business plan is the definition of the administrative and management structure of SLICE3D, which shall allow a service-oriented way of working, allowing the CoE to better serve the needs of different users and stakeholders. The business plan is primarily a direct implementation plan for the second phase of the project and also a multi-year development roadmap, a strategic tool and performance contract for the SLICE3D.

Within the project, various communication and dissemination activities have been performed as well. The partners disseminated the project objectives and activities in various communities, both in Slovenia and at European and wider international level, and in various forms. Activities included presentations within meetings of international organizations, participating in special sessions of scientific events and professional events, preparation and sharing of newsletter issues, dissemination via social media, etc.

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)

SLICE3D focuses on diminishing differences among EU Member States regarding research and innovation in the fields of geospatial data and geo-informatics. During the one year project, the consortium has already contributed to the scientific and economic potential of the local scientific and professional community through a number of targeted capacity building actions. The dissemination and communication activities, targeted to the R&I community, local governments and SMEs, have contributed not only to the awareness of the initiative but they also supported the creation of the SLICE3D ecosystem. Such an ecosystem will be an innovation-friendly environment that will gather local stakeholders and engage them through training activities, workshops and meetings with possible investors in the future. Furthermore, the market analyses facilitated a better understanding of the scientific and innovation situation in Slovenia and the region, which will ease the creation of innovative research lines and educational plans. Those actions do not only contribute to the creation of the essential breeding ground for the future CoE, but they also have a number of immediate impacts.

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