The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) yesterday released a list of 21 projects being facilitated by 17 developing countries that will be awarded $1.5 million worth of cloud services, grants and technical support through the Earth Observation Cloud Credits Programme. Eight African institutions from seven countries made the list.
Earth Observation Cloud Credits Programme is a joint project involving GEO and Amazon Web Services (AWS), aimed at offering GEO members and research institutions access to AWS cloud services. Implemented under the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative (ASDI), the programme will empower developing nations to leverage Earth observation technologies for sustainable development.
GEO called for submissions from interested development agencies and research organisations from December 2018 through to April 2019, allowing non-for-profit projects to pitch to them for a chance to win up to $60,000 worth of AWS Promotional Credits for projects focused on a single country, or up to $100,000 for multinational projects, over a three-year period. Space in Africa published the call for applications in December 2018.
“Selection criteria considered opportunities for co-design, co-production, and joint implementation with local stakeholders. Projects will demonstrate an intention to transition from research to practical application and show the impact that is translatable to other contexts and the wider community. All data and software used and developed in the course of the selected projects, along with the good practice, will be made fully accessible to the wider GEO community, in compliance with Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) Data Sharing Principles.” GEO noted on its announcement page.
The selected projects focus on solving development challenges, ranging from environmental monitoring to improving agricultural yield and managing natural resources. “All the awarded projects are contributing to activities of the GEO Work Programme, and in particular, GEO’s three engagement priorities: the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Agreement for Climate and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.
The GEO Secretariat is working with other partners to facilitate access to analysis-ready data from Landsat and Copernicus missions for projects that may require satellite data.
Awarded projects from Africa
|Filtered Alert Hub Toolset||Cairo University, Electronics and Electrical Communications Engineering Department||Egypt|
|Computing Groundwater Potential in Arid and Semi-arid parts of Ethiopia||Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy||Ethiopia|
|Capacity Building on Monitoring of SDGs||Remote Sensing and Climate Center
Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute
|agriBORA – Geodata for actionable farm intelligence||Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization
|Operational monitoring system of ground deformation in Nigeria||Department of Geo-informatics and Surveying, University of Nigeria||Nigeria|
|Spatial Agricultural Intelligence||African Regional Institute for Geospatial Information Science and Technology (AFRIGIST)||Nigeria|
|Air Quality Forecasting for Africa||Kigali Collaborative Research Center (KCRC)||Rwanda|
|AfriCultuReS Decision Support System (ADSS) Community Version||South African National Space Agency||South Africa|
See the full list of 21 projects from 17 developing countries.
Joseph Ibeh is a Mandela Washington Fellow and Senior Analyst at Space in Africa. His experience spans industry research and market analysis with a focus on African-grown NewSpace companies, commercial space industry, national space programmes and real-life application of space science for sustainable development in Africa.