The continuous provision of accurate and timely information through coordinated and sustained Earth Observation (EO) activities is considered a key enabler for informed decision making in response to challenges such as adaptation to climate change, improved food security & water extremes management, better access to raw materials and energy and many more. In this context, large international initiatives such as GEO and Copernicus are promoting the integration and coordination of Earth Observation capacities at regional, national and international levels.  

Despite the important progress made over the past years in the Balkans and in North Africa, in both regions, but even more so in the Middle East, there still exist critical gaps in the uptake of Earth Observation activities. This includes a disparate level of development with regards to cooperation between the various EO stakeholders, ineffective exploitation of available resources and expertise, limited public awareness on the benefits of EO services and low involvement of the industrial sector.

GEO-CRADLE has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, and will be running from 2016 to 2018 with the aim to tackle these challenges and promote the uptake and exploitation of Earth Observation activities in North Africa, Middle East and the Balkans. To this end, the project has brought together 25 partners from 3 continents, to work in a highly-complementary team that combines a strong background in EO coordination activities with proven scientific excellence in four key thematic areas (adaptation to climate change, improved food security & water extremes management, access to raw materials, and access to energy).

The project strives to:

  • enhance the current knowledge of existing EO capacities in the region (through an ongoing survey),
  • facilitate the cooperation between EO stakeholders (through a networking platform and several events),
  • identify the gaps and the maturity level (through analysis) and boost the maturity of the different countries in the region,
  • enable the exchange of EO data (by setting up a Regional Data Hub),
  • showcase concrete ways of tackling regional challenges related to adaptation of climate change, improved food security & water extremes management, better access to raw materials and energy (through feasibility studies),
  • propose a roadmap for the implementation of GEO, GEOSS and Copernicus in the three regions.

Project Objectives:

GEO-CRADLE brings together key players from three regions (Balkans, North Africa and Middle East) representing the entire Earth Observation (EO) value chain, with the overarching objective of establishing a multi-regional coordination network that:

By doing so, GEO-CRADLE aspires to pave the ground for a new large initiative in this very particular by all means (e.g. geostrategic, climate, cultural) region.


EARSC members will have better knowledge on the RoI stakeholders through the GEO-CEADLE project. They could exchange of innovative ideas for EO data exploitation in the region and partnering

Value for Members

  • The GEOCRADLE Networking Platform provides a wealth of information on key EO stakeholders. The users can navigate through the profiles of stakeholders in the entire region.
  • The Regional Data Hub provides access to both region-related datasets, portals, and services developed by a regional network of raw data providers, intermediate users/service providers, end-users from the industry, the academic and public sector from the region of interest, and, also, datasets and services directly fed from the GEOSS-portal.
  • IAF2018 Assessing the maturity of EO capacities at national level_vf (GEO-CRADLE). A report presenting the methodology, assumptions, mappings against other indicator systems, for the current level of maturity of each country is presenting here.


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