WP11: Empowering economic development Black Sea region

The Black Sea region (especially the eastern part of it) and the South Caucasus region have a huge potential for the uptake of Earth observation data and tools to tackle numerous environmental issues. Building on the extensive network of the enviroGRIDS project and the outputs of the project, the objective of this WP is to promote and enhance the visibility of several key tools linked to water assessment, hydrological modelling, and general data sharing principles. On the demand side, there are potential end-users that are not familiar yet with the availability of data, and of new Earth observation tools and that have not yet been reached. The following objectives will be pursued:

  • Promotion and uptake of enviroGRIDS tools in the wider Black Sea region, including South Caucasus region (Georgia, Armenia), with emphasis on hydrological modelling tools
  • Development of a platform with country- and region-specific freely available base datasets to facilitate the rapid packaging of information for any geographic extent (e.g., administrative unit, river catchment)
  • Identification and promotion of success stories related to the adoption and use of international standards (OGC) to expose and share spatial data sets.

Task T11.1- Promotion of increased use of enviroGRIDS tools and services
Various tools and online services have been developed within the enviroGRIDS projects. One can mention notably: (1) the gSWAT online application, allowing hydrologist to run their hydrological model on a grid infrastructure, avoiding to rely on local computational resources, (2) The Greenland application, allowing the generation and execution of workflows based on satellite images, and (3) the eGLE platform, a eLearning environment supporting the development, execution and management of teaching materials linked to the execution of models and analysis using a grid computing architecture.
There exist a strong potential for the adoption of these tools by a larger community of users. There is also a need to increase awareness of these tools in Black Sea countries in which no enviroGRIDS partners are present (e.g., Moldavia, south and west Balkan countries, etc.) Moreover, potential exist to transfer these tools and services to user communities outside the Black Sea area, notably in Africa where transnational modelling of water resources is high on the agenda. This task will be dedicated to the promotion of the enviroGRIDS tools, and to the analysis of the requirements needed for developing countries to adopt and use those tools.

Task T11.2- Online platform for the dissemination of country/region specific environmental base data sets
The enviroGRIDS project has been successful in generating numerous output data sets (various water quantity and quality indicator maps, scenarios of future change for population, land cover, climate, etc.) for the full extent of the Black Sea hydrological catchment (2mio, km2), and disseminating this data through GEOSS. The project succeeded in generating and running the largest ever-built SWAT model (12'000 sub-basins). Great opportunities lie in the re-use of this model and its results at smaller scale (national, regional, local catchments). However, for facilitating and speeding this re-use, it would be extremely useful to develop a dedicated platform from which part or all of the data could be downloaded for a given area (administrative boundaries, catchment, etc.). This platform would comply with the OGC, ISO and INSPIRE standards, and would deliver mostly through web services. This task is dedicated to the development and the maintenance of this platform, and the capacity building components related to it.

Task T11.3- Identification and packaging of success stories in the region
Many success stories exist in the Black Sea catchment in relation with data sharing and adoption of GEOSS standards, several of which were realized in the enviroGRIDS project. Although these success stories have been communicated in various international conferences, there remains a huge potential to make those much more visible and packaged in a way that would better target various stakeholder groups. An online mapping of the Black Sea institutions sharing their data and services according to OGC and ISO standards would also be innovative and useful to initiate new economic opportunities in the region. This task is dedicated to the identification of key success stories in the region and to their optimal packaging for enhancing research collaboration and new market opportunities.


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