In view of the 2009 call for proposals, the European Commission intends to strengthen its ongoing commitment to Group on Earth Observations (GEO) activities. The 2007 call covered all Societal Benefit Areas foreseen in the GEOSS 10-Year Implementation Plan, whereas the 2008 call was launched with the objective of contributing to the Initial Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) Common Infrastructure. The time has come to effectively integrate European activities into GEO.
This was one of the main topics discussed at the first GEO European Projects Workshop, which gathered project coordinators and representatives from important European organisations (amongst them the European Space Agency, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites and the European Environment Agency).
Having taken place in Brussels on 3–4 September, the workshop aimed to present European projects focusing on Earth observation to various stakeholder groups, so as to consolidate their contribution to a European Strategy for Earth Observation. The workshop represented a unique opportunity to establish new cooperation between Earth-observation-related activities conducted by different actors, encouraging new links for future actions.
An important task of the workshop was to discuss the latest draft of the GEO 2009–11 Work Plan. Synergies between existing and future FP7 projects and single tasks emerging from the Work Programme were identified and analysed, thereby enabling the establishment of meaningful connections between projects and tasks. Relevant ideas in this field of research were presented, and new research and implementation tasks that could be proposed for inclusion in the GEO 2009–11 Work Plan were discussed.
A lively poster session was held, presenting each of the projects in detail. All the workshop presentations and posters shown during the two-day event are now available at http://ec.europa.eu/research/environment/geo/article_meetings_gepw.htm.