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European data hub of the GEOSS information system
Date de clôture : 8 mars 2016  

 Entrepreneuriat et PME
 Développement durable
 Économie numérique
 Horizon Europe
 Sciences du climat

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

As part of its 2015 strategic targets GEO has agreed to achieve sustained operation, continuity and interoperability of the GEOSS information system that facilitates access to, and use of Earth observation resources made available by the global GEO community. However the evolution of the current GEOSS information system[[]] indicates that in parallel to this overarching goal there is a need also to strengthen the access to Earth Observation at regional level so that it becomes easier to harvest, consolidate and exploit those data at global level. The specific challenge under this topic is therefore to overcome the fragmentation of the European landscape of existing public and private Earth observation data infrastructures and to maximise their combined exploitation in the light of the evolving demand and supply of Earth observations in Europe. In order to meet this challenge a European data hub of the GEOSS information system should be developed taking into account the global trend towards more open data policies, the availability of new big data technologies and the requirements for the development of the European digital economy. The main function for such a hub would consist in harvesting available resources from relevant GEOSS data infrastructures in Europe and in particular from the distributed Copernicus data infrastructures. Developing such a hub would allow maximising and leveraging on past Community investments to support the GEOSS Common Infrastructure, in particular the broker technology, developed in the framework of several FP7 research projects[[]]. This would also help retain ownership in the evolution of this IT technology, which is at the cornerstone of the GEOSS.


This action will develop a GEOSS European hub consisting of an innovative web-based IT platform to provide users with a unique access point (gateway) to the diverse European range of Earth observation data (space-based and in situ data, from research and operational data infrastructures, across disciplines and communities) and services, as well as other relevant data sources such as socio-economic related ones. This platform should cope in particular with requests from European users willing to discover, access, combine and process multiple Earth observation data and information streams. Full interoperability with the GEOSS Discovery and Access Broker, with GEOSS data hubs developed in other regions of the world, and with environmental infrastructures associated with major EU programmes, legislations and initiatives shall be ensured. This applies especially to the Copernicus programme[[]], the EU Directives related to INSPIRE[[]] and the reuse of public sector information[[]], as well as to research infrastructures such as GEANT and the EU High Performance Computing facilities. The GEOSS European data hub should be built in close cooperation with other national and European initiatives, in particular with Copernicus. Special attention shall be given to user-friendliness for multiple user profiles while ensuring system adaptability, scalability and robustness. At international level, this action should also contribute to the Community Strategy and Implementation plan of the Belmont Forum e-Infrastructures and Data Management Collaborative Research Action[[]].

The European hub shall be open to academia, the public sector and to the European private sector. Its core concepts of data federation and user customisation shall support an open ecosystem of services and business opportunities and build on past EU research investments in support of the GEOSS information system. Proposals should address the sustainability issue of this platform beyond the project lifetime and a governance model driven by the public sector with possible contributions from private entities.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 9 million and EUR 10 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • improved user-friendly discovery, access and exploitation of Earth observation data and information in Europe;
  • strengthened European regional approach to GEOSS;
  • broader uptake of GEOSS and Copernicus data, information and services;
  • increased Earth observation-driven innovation and business opportunities for European SMEs and companies;
  • wider commercial exploitation of Earth observation data and products beyond sectors that are not traditionally engaged in Earth observation;
  • increased European capacity to address GEOSS societal challenges of prime importance to the EU such as achieving the post-2015 sustainable development goals or implementing adaptation and mitigation strategies to climate change.

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