Europe, 17 Jun 2021

Game changer in earth observation applications for climate change adaptation and mitigation

EIFFEL (Revealing the role of GEOSS as the default digital portal for building climate change adaptation & mitigation applications) is a new project coordinated by the Institute of Communications and Computer Systems and funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme will be officially launched on 22 June 2021.

EIFFEL is a game changer in the domain of climate change adaptation and mitigation by harvesting the benefits of the GEOSS data. The project will offer to the Earth Observation community the ground-breaking capacity of exploiting existing GEOSS datasets and will also build upon prior knowledge, with minimal new data collection activities. Added-value services interoperable with GEOSS will be designed, using cognitive search and metadata augmentation tools based on Artificial Intelligence, including Natural Language Processing. These tools will leverage advanced cognitive features to extract meaningful information from and enrich GEOSS metadata.

The project will promote the development and uptake of 5 pilot applications from different geographic areas and climate regions, addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals, The Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and aligned with GEO Societal Benefit Areas: i) Water and Land Use Management, ii) Sustainable Agriculture, iii) Transport Management, iv) Sustainable Urban Development and v) Disaster Resilience. The project targets urban, regional, national and cross-border scales with a view to upscale their scope and results to larger areas and to a pan-European scale.

The main objectives of the EIFFEL project are to:

  • Exploit the untapped potential of available GEOSS datasets, i.e. satellite, in-situ, modelling, crowd-sourced, by creating AI-based cognitive search tools;
  • Leverage techniques of Explainable AI to develop tangible indicators for Climate Change impacts;
  • Contribute to GEO’s new infrastructural feature, the GEO Knowledge Hub, a digital repository providing access to knowledge needed to build GEOSS-driven applications;
  • Foster the co-design of Climate Change adaptation and mitigation applications by bringing onboard the decision makers who are working towards the Paris Agreement goals at local, regional and national scales;
  • Develop, using co-creation, a set of Climate Change adaptation and mitigation applications in different and quite diverse GEO Societal Benefit Areas, in order to demonstrate the project innovations.

To achieve these objectives, EIFFEL brings together a strong consortium consisting of 19 partners from 8 European countries.

Pilot in drought-prone area

IHE Delft will primarily contribute to EIFFEL project in designing, developing and testing modelling and decision support applications for water and land management, with specific focus on a drought-prone area downstream of the Aa or Weerijs catchments in the Netherlands. This pilot will be developed in partnership with two other Dutch partners (Open University - OU and the Province of North Brabant - PNB), with the primary aim of testing and demonstrating the value of using GEOSS data (in combination with locally available data) for modelling and implementation of climate adaptation measures based on natural solutions.

Additionally, IHE Delft will participate to the development of components for improved access and usage of GEOSS data, based on AI techniques and models, as well as to tasks related to upscaling / downscaling of water-related GEOSS data. Finally, given its experience in education and training IHE Delft, will be involved in dissemination, training and impact demonstration of the EIFFEL project.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 101003518.

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