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The Horizon Prize for collaborative spectrum sharing

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Events earlier this year

You are here: Events > 2014 > Environment - Earth observation
Last update: 25 November 2015


4 December 2014, Brussels, Belgium

The conference's main objective was to raise awareness about the Citizens’ Observatories concept and present the first outcomes of the five Citizens Observatories projects after two years of work.
The conference aimed at setting the scene and providing a forum for discussion about the role and opportunities for active citizen participation in environmental monitoring and policy making. The event provided opportunities to engage with experts and practitioners working across a range of European citizen science initiatives and policy making bodies, with two round tables addressing  the concept of Citizens’ Observatories from a strategic as well as from a technical point of view.

The discussions held at the conference shown that Citizens' Observatories have a great potential to complement in-situ observation networks with novel Earth observations and ICT techniques, involving citizens in environmental monitoring using their own portable devices or do-it-yourself sensors. Thanks to the vast array of ubiquitous information and data they can provide, Citizens’ Observatories can allow authorities to obtain evidence and inform policy making, while providing citizens with opportunities to address environmental issues affecting them at different scales and to influence decision making.

Agenda, summary and presentations of the conference are available below.

Workshop on Citizens Observatories Projects

3 December 2014, Brussels, Belgium

The European Commission's Directorate-General for Research & Innovation and the European Union-funded Citizens’ Observatories projects organised the Second Citizens’ Observatories Technical Workshop.

The Citizens' Observatories projects aim at developing novel technologies and applications in the domain of Earth observation, trying to exploit the capabilities offered by portable devices (smartphones, tablets) and the collective intelligence available through social media streams (such as Facebook or Twitter), to enable an effective participation by citizens in environmental stewardship based on broad stakeholder and user involvement in support of both community and policy priorities.
Five Citizens Observatories projects have been funded under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration (FP7), as a response to the topic  "Developing community-based environmental monitoring and information systems using innovative and novel Earth observation applications".

While each project has its own objectives and work plan, they are collaborating together through a coordinating mechanism, sharing information and best practices. A common website for the cluster of projects has been setup on, which contains links to each project's websites as well as common presentations, brochures and news from the projects.

The main goal of this workshop was to share and discuss the progress made by each project in the first two years of work. Two parallel sessions were organised to analyse the differences and commonalities in the approaches followed by the projects in the domains of data management (including data curation, data privacy and GEOSS interoperability) and citizens' engagement strategies (especially in the pilot areas covered by the projects). A final round table explored anumber of aspects for cross-project collaboration such as standardisation, best practices, sustainability strategies or business models of the Citizens Observatories.

Horizon 2020 national launch events and thematic events

1 January - 17 March 2014, Various locations in Europe

UPDATED: Bulgarian and Croatian web sites added (10/2/2014)

This is a handy, one-page overview of all the national launch events and thematic events related to Horizon 2020. The "summary of events" page linked to below will be updated as more information becomes available.

The table includes past events as well as those that have not yet taken place.

Further information

Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

13-17 February 2014, Chicago

The AAAS annual meeting is among the world's largest and most prestigious general scientific event, gathering thousands of international scientists, policy makers and science journalists. The programme typically includes keynote speeches, scientific symposia, an exhibition, and press briefings on recent scientific discoveries.

This year's event focuses on "Meeting Global Challenges: Discovery and Innovation", and the European Commission is organising a number of scientific symposia each highlighting different aspects of impact of EU-funded research and innovation.

The Commission's Deputy Director-General for Research & Innovation, Rudolf Strohmeier, will hold a press briefing on 'Destination Europe: research funding opportunities across the Atlantic', and will participate in three scientific symposia. The Commission will also have a booth at the exhibition where conference participants can find out about career and funding opportunities in the EU.