Earth observation

Earth observation

468 environment and resources project proposals seek Horizon 2020 funding

All in all, a budget of about € 335 million is available in 2018 for the Societal Challenge "Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials" of Horizon 2020.

Next steps

In March and April, independent expert panels will evaluate the proposals selecting the best ones for funding. The Commission will then inform all applicants – within five months of the call deadline – whether or not their proposal has been successful.

The European Commission has received 468 proposals for projects in the areas of climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials by the call deadline on 27 February 2018.

The new frontiers of Earth Observation

Monika Hohlmeier and Kurt Vandhenberge, Director at the European Commission, gave inspiring opening speeches, where they insisted on the crucial importance of protected areas such as national and regional parks. These are a mainstay of biodiversity conservation, while also contributing to people’s livelihoods, particularly at the local level. Furthermore, they contribute to mitigate the impact of climate change: it has been estimated that the global network of protected areas stores at least 15% of terrestrial carbon.

This week the Horizon 2020 ECOPOTENTIAL project launched an interesting photo exhibition in the premises of the European Parliament.

The event was hosted by MEP Monika Hohlmeier who is the Vice-Chair of the Budget Committee, and Chair of the “Sky and Space” Intergroup at the European Parliament.

Supporting farmers in Africa with European Earth Observation technology

AfriCultuReS (AFRIcan AgriCULTUral Systems with the Support of REmote Sensing) is the Horizon 2020 project that won a call on using Earth Observation assets for improving food security in Africa. The project has 17 partners, 7 of which are located in African countries (Tunisia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, Mozambique, South Africa) and receives about €8.5 million of EU funding.

Better prediction and management of production and supply of food in Africa is the aim of the Horizon 2020 project AfriCultuReS that was launched in Addis Ababa. 

€ 123 million of Horizon 2020 funding for 27 environment & resources projects

These projects were selected among 133 proposals which were submitted by the 7th of March 2017 for the one-stage 2017 calls. They will be launched between November and February 2017.

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The European Commission has selected 27 projects that will receive around €123 million under Horizon 2020's Societal Challenge "Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials".

The value of Earth Observation in a changing world

On October 23-27 2017, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) community will come together in Washington, D.C. for the GEO Week 2017. GEO Week 2017, consisting of GEO-XIV Plenary, side events and exhibition, will highlight and promote the role, applications and opportunities to use Earth observations in delivering 'Insight for a changing world'. With a focus on delivery and impact, GEO Week 2017 will explore the use and applications of Earth Observation in both the public and private sectors for the benefit of humankind.

Several EU-funded Earth observation projects will join discussions on global Earth Observation initiatives at the GEO-XIV week in October 2017 in Washington DC. 

27 new Horizon 2020 projects in the pipeline

The new projects will receive an EU contribution of about EUR 123 million. They were chosen from among 133 proposals which had been submitted by 7 March 2017 in reply to Horizon 2020 call for proposals. Most projects selected for funding are in the field of climate services and decarbonisation (10) and raw materials (8). 

Grant agreements are now being prepared for signature so that the new projects are ready to be launched as of December 2017.

Successful applicants to two-stage calls for proposals were invited to submit full proposal by 5 September 2017.

The European Commission has selected 27 proposals for funding under Horizon 2020's Societal Challenge "Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials".

Have you heard about the concept of Citizens' Observatories?


Citizens' Observatories are community-based environmental monitoring and information systems. They build on innovative and novel Earth observation applications embedded in portable or mobile personal devices.  This means that citizens can help and be engaged in observing our environment. 

Some recently kicked-off EU-funded projects are helping to show the huge potential of an active citizen observatory and validate this concept under real life conditions. The focus of these innovative activities is on enhancing the management of our natural resources, especially land cover and land use issues, through more collaborative approaches.    

How to address the new global challenges on Earth observation?

Several EU-funded Earth observation projects will join discussions on global Earth observation initiatives at the GEO-XIII plenary on 7-10 November in St. Petersburg.

Earth observations now face global challenges: timely Earth observation data, information for informed decision-making, sustainable development and a lot more. These themes will be discussed during the Thirteenth Plenary Session of the Group on Earth Observations - GEO (GEO-XIII). The event, organised by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), will take place on 7-10 November in St. Petersburg (Russian Federation).


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