ELISE webinar: Monitoring and understanding emerging geospatial technologies

In this webinar, Danny Vandenbroucke from KU Leuven and Gobe Hobona from the Open Geospatial Consortium, both geospatial experts, will walk you through following topics

  • What are the key drivers and general trends: looking at the vision and understanding of the UN-GGIM and other communities.
  • How can we monitor and assess technological trends: an overview of some isolated studies and more comprehensive approaches.
  • An overview of the major trends and how they fit together (and influence each other).
  • Interoperability challenges and efforts: evolving architectures and standards.
  • Ways to get acquainted with new technologies: experimenting using testbeds, sandboxes or living labs.

This webinar is part of a series of “Webinars” performed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre under the ELISE ISA2 Action. The aim of these studies is to quickly engage with new topics of relevance to location interoperabilitythe digital transformation of government and socio-technical developments in this arena.

The webinar will take place on the 24/09/2020 at 14:00 CEST (UTC+2).

For more information, click HERE.

If you are interested in this webinar, do not hesitate to register HERE. You will receive a confirmation email with the instructions on how to join this webinar.


The COVID 19 INSPIRE Hackathon webinar series is starting this Friday 25th September! The webinar series will be kicked off with the webinar called Blockchain technology to ensure food security in Africa and you are cordially invited.

Register now!

Food security is vital in the COVID-19 pandemic era and post COVID-19 as Africa still struggles to achieve food security. In achieving food security, technology becomes important so as to ensure that the farmers get their due benefit. Blockchain technology will be simplified so as to ensure that all farmers and other stakeholders benefit from their produce.

Africa has 65% of the world’s remaining uncultivated arable land, an abundance of freshwater and about 300 days of sunshine each year. More than 60% of Africa’s working population is engaged in agriculture, and the soil across most of the continent is rich and fertile. We are losing precious foreign exchange by continuing to pay for food to be imported, so we must quickly eliminate the negative balance, and start to sow, grow, process, consume, and ultimately to export the food ourselves. Modern agriculture, driven by technologies such as blockchain technology can track the provenance of food and thus helps create trustworthy food supply chains and build trust between producers and consumers. As a trusted way of storing data, it facilitates the use of data-driven technologies to make farming smarter. In addition, jointly used with smart contracts, it allows timely payments between stakeholders that can be triggered by data changes appearing in the blockchain This challenge examines the applications of blockchain technology in food supply chains, agricultural insurance, smart farming, transactions of agricultural products for both theoretical and practical perspectives. The challenges also will discuss the recording transactions made by smallholder farmers and creating the ecosystem for utilizing the blockchain technology in the food and agriculture sector.

The webinar’s agenda:

  • The issue with Agriculture industry
  • Reshaping the agriculture industry with blockchain
  • Blockchain 10 possible use case
  • Q&A

You will hear from

Register now!

Stay tuned! Another upcoming webinar “Introduction into challenge #4 Rural Attractiveness Visualization” is scheduled on 29th September at 10:30 AM CET.


We would like to cordially invite you to join us at the upcoming Open Geospatial Technical Committee meeting organised by Agriculture DWG of OGC. The topic of this session will be Digital Twins for Agriculture. The session is scheduled on 15th of September 2020 between 14 00 CEST (8 00 EDT) and 16 00 CEST (10 00 EDT).

  • Karel Charvat (Plan4all) – EO4Agri White Paper
  • Peter Baumann (rasdaman GmbH.) – Datacubes for Optimizing Agriculture
  • Valantis Tsiakos (Institute of Communication & Computer Systems (ICCS) – An integrated EO-based toolbox for modernising CAP compliance monitoring and assessing respective environmental impact
  • Karel Jedlicka (UWB, Plan4all) – Calculation of agro-climatic factors from global climatic data
  • Emmanuel Mondon & Alexandre Cadain (Maxar/Anima) – Impact gaming leveraging EO (satellite, in-situ & 3D) applied to Agriculture Digital Twins
  • Walter Mayer (Progis) – Sustainable management of NATURE supported by time related satellite images, newest technology, local knowhow and global cooperation
  • Michal Kepka (BOSC) – SensLog – an interoperable solution for sensor data
  • Louis Cousin (Startinblox) – Inter-connecting geospatial and agricultural sectors: towards universal interoperability standards
  • Stefano Nativi (JRC) – Green Deal Data Space initiative and in particular the Destination Earth action
  • Zara Khan (Planet) – Planet designs, builds and operates the largest constellation of imaging satellites in history, delivering near-daily imagery of anywhere on Earth

You don’t have to be an OGC member to attend an OGC meeting. This session is open to anyone to attend and new voices are always welcome.


Registration for the session is free for OGC members. In case you are not the OGC member and you are interested in the session, do not hesitate to contact hana.kubickova@plan4all.eu and get the 50% reduction of full week conference fee.

CHALLENGE #13 Calculation of agro-climatic factors – potential source of information for forecasting regional food supplies

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Mentors: Karel Jedlicka, Michal Kepka

The challenge aims to calculate all relevant agro-climatic factors (see below) in order to describe an area of interest comprehensively, using the algorithms published here. The challenge aims to test the global applicability of the factors’ calculations – thus we look forward to a wide variety of case study areas). 

 Following agro-climatic factors can be calculated:

  • frost-free periods, growing degree units, heat stress units, number of (optimal) growing degree days from temperature.
  • nitrogen application window from soil temperature.
  • accumulated solar radiation from incident sunlight.
  • water balance from precipitation, evapotranspiration, and runoff data.

The algorithms calculating the factors will primary use the worldwide ERA5 Land dataset as a climatic data source. Nevertheless, other data sources can be leveraged as well, e.g.the Copernicus regional reanalysis for Europe (CERRA), meteoblue historical API, free meteorological data from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (API, download) or others.

To assess the input data quality (which of course influences the accuracy of the calculated agro-climatic factors), an evaluation has to run. In the case of the ERA5 Land dataset, the uncertainty will be evaluated using the information from the reduced resolution member ensemble (EDA) of ERA5.

However, to come to a “ground truth” as much as possible, our aim  is to compare the input climatic data to some in-situ  sensors in the area of interest and then discuss the limits of leveraging the global data.

Register now!

About your mentors

KAREL JEDLICKA The theoretical background of Karel’s research lies in modeling, analysis, and even simulation using multidimensional (geographic) data structures. In particular, Karel actively researches on 3D and 4D aspects of Geographical Information Systems. Primarily Karel focuses on the following application domains: 

  • analysis of trends in climatic and weather data for agricultural purposes and 
  • influence on transport to the city life, by designing and developing interactive traffic models for Digital twins of Smart cities.

Karel has been leveraging his skills in various EU projects since 2007. Karel usually acts as a leader of a small research or technical team in the project. He participated, namely in Stargate, EUXDAT, AfarCloud, and DataBio projects related to agriculture and in DUET, PoliVisu, and OpenTransportNet projects related to Smart Cities.

MICHAL KEPKA is a researcher that participated in many EU projects (e.g. AFarCloud, SmartAgriHubs, FOODIE, DataBio, SDI4Apps etc.) as geomatician, spatial data modeller, software developer, sensor data expert. PhD at the University of West Bohemia in Geomatics (2018). Research activities: spatial data modelling, application design and development, sensor data processing and publishing according to standards (e.g. OGC SOS, SensorThingsAPI, OMA NGSI).


e-Geos presents CLEOS, the all-in-one solution to master the digital revolution of geoinformation services. As a user of CLEOS you can access the digital services of the market vertical application platforms, proprietary data (COSMO-SkyMed and, soon, COSMO Second Generation), EO and non EO third party data, specific microservices (e.g. SAR Data Preparation, Change Detection) and much beyond.

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Curious to know more? Read blog on – CLEOS: Taking geoinformation analytics to new heights.


CHALLENGE #12 Atlas of Social Enterprises

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Mentor: Radoslav Delina

The rapid pressure on the development of the social economy has often been caused by the inefficient development of social enterprises. Low transparency of their production, location or their potential to meet market demands, lack of information and unavailable geospatial and other relevant analyzes of social economy development, as well as non-existent infrastructure of services supporting voluntary activities (or potential employability of severe health disabled) or added value of social entrepreneurship hamper increasing and streamlining their production and sustainability.

This challenge focuses on solving the mentioned problems by promoting information, easier connection of voluntary work with the needs of social enterprises, (eg through harvesting days at social farms), or opportunities to participate in regionally available severe health disabled, or. vulnerable groups into the social enterprise as well as raising awareness of its production, quality, needs (eg work) and social benefits.

The application should be at the appropriate level of complexity based on Atlas of best practices, or other mapping tools:

  • Visualize the location of a social enterprise, with information about its character, production and social value
  • Visualize their actions such as Harvesting days, local social markets as well as demands for team building or. Other types of actions that can be implemented on social farms, or Other social enterprises
  • Visualize the business potential mainly for the public sector in the framework of social public procurement
  • Visualize the business potential mainly for the public sector in the framework of social public procurement
  • Visualize the needs of the company with mapping the offer of suitable volunteers and vice versa
  • Visualize the job offer of severe health disabled, or other vulnerable groups
  • Visualize the growth potential of social entrepreneurship in terms of needs as well as social job market opportunities
  • Visualize trends, developments, gaps in the social market for the needs of policy makers

The Atlas of the Best Practices will be used as the basic technological platform, on which a prototype of the application of social enterprises and farms will be created.

The Atlas of Social Enterprises and Farms will be an information tool for clarifying the location, supply and needs of social enterprises, including social farms. The application will be open to other relevant applications that could suitably complement the content for services for social enterprises. Target users will be:

  • End customers looking for production with a higher social benefit in the required quality
  • Volunteers looking for opportunities to volunteer on social farms and in social enterprises
  • Severe health disabled with the opportunity and willingness to work
  • Public and commercial contracting authorities looking for an offer of social enterprises on a regional scale
  • Social enterprises looking for outlets and job assistance
  • Policy makers, ministries, associations interested in the development of the social economy looking for a better tool to clarify the state of social enterprises, their production, market gaps, needs, development, potential, etc., which will support the decision-making of governments and local governments.

The application should be interoperable and interconnectable with other pilot projects and services appropriately complementing the atlas of social enterprises and farms extending services and information for better sustainability and development of social enterprises (eg connection to job portals, supply chains, public procurement software, etc.)

Main topics of the challenge:

  • The method of connecting available information sources, or modeled
  • Design of indicators for better decision making
  • Creation of data structure and method of data collection
  • Different forms of visualizations
  • Creating a model applications
  • Links to third party applications

Register now!

About your mentor

RADOSLAV DELINA graduated at the Faculty of Economics, Technical University of Kosice, Slovakia. He has experiences from memberships in the European RTD Evaluation Network (Ares(2013)437085-MS) under DG Research and Innovation of European Commission, MGA WG DG R&I, expert advisor for the Ministry of Education Slovak Republic, for Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in the field of research and innovation and international cooperation and from expertise for EC in different several initiatives. Radoslav has extensive RTD experiences from EU FPx research and development projects in the field of digital and data services innovation in different areas and as evaluator of FPx and national projects in different countries. Nowadays, he is focusing on socially responsible digital innovation with higher societal impact, transparency, smart data (data mining) services, e-procurement and decision making process automation. He is developing the concept of social farming 4.0, where smart technologies are helping with working inclusion and sustainability. He is a strong supporter of higher data driven transparency and social inclusion. His commercial activities are focusing on market intelligence for strategic and operational supply chain, fraud detection and public procurement transparency. Radoslav was the coordinator of H2020 CSA WIRE2017 project in the field of socially responsible digital RTD and reducing inequalities. He won first prize on eBF – Fair Sourcing Award in the IDEA section with data driven innovation for e-procurement.

CHALLENGE #11 EO for monitoring of regional food supplies deviations

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Mentors: Jiri Kvapil, Ivo Denemark, Herman Snevajs

Covid19 pandemic and mainly subsequent restrictions was and still is a test for the food supply chain in order to provide enough food to the market to the end customers. Especially in crises a good decision can be made only with enough information. During the previous INSPIRE hackathons the yield potential maps were derived. These potential yields are highly prone to the seasonal effects such as drought, floods, optimal amount of rainfall, duration of insolation, temperature and others which can make the predictions highly different from the reality.

The challenge is to make the yield predictions more realistic by combining the predictions with the actual seasonal conditions. The more realistic the prediction is the better decision can policymakers make to prevent the danger of lack of food. Comparing yield prediction with more realistic predictions will help insurance companies to quantify the effect of the specific damage issue.

The goal of challenges is to design methods of monitoring yield and climatic conditions during the season, which can influence negatively or positively yield in the season.  As the reference layer will be used the yield production zones with the trends during the season. Temporal trends or events will be analysed on the base of three types of information

Figure 1: Deriving soil moisture from Sentinel-1 – workflow in SNAP

For the hackathon we plan to use and test results on more farms using historical satellite and climatic data from the last three years and if available we will compare these results with data from yield monitors. This data will be used for calibration. For analysis we will use statistical and visual methods already available on Lesprojekt cloud and additionally we will also use AI algorithms. The AI frameworks are available on Lesprojekt  cloud too. The main goal is to be able to predict during season problems with production and give in advance warning.

Yield production zones are areas with the same yield level within the fields. Yield is the integrator of landscape and climatic variability and provides useful information for identifying management zones [1]. This presents a basic delineation of management zones for site specific crop management, which is usually based on yield maps over the past few years. Similar to the evaluation of yield variation from multiple yield data described by Blackmore et al. [2], the aim is to identify high yielding (above the mean) and low yielding areas related as the percentage to the mean value of the field. Also, yield data’s inter-year spatial variance is important for agronomists to distinguish between areas with stable or unstable yields. The presence of complete series of yield maps for all fields is rare, thus remote sensed data are analysed to determine in field variability of crops thru vegetation indices.

Figure 2: Map of yield potential delineated from multi-temporal Landsat imagery

[1] K. Charvát, T. Řezník, V. Lukas, K. Charvát, Š. Horáková, M. Kepka, M. Šplíchal QUO VADIS PRECISION FARMING, 13th International Conference on Precision Agriculture, July 31 – August 4, 2016, St. Louis, Missouri, USA

[2] Blackmore, B. & Godwin, Richard & Fountas, Spyros. (2003). The Analysis of Spatial and Temporal Trends in Yield Map Data over Six Years. Biosystems Engineering. 84. 455-466. 10.1016/S1537-5110(03)00038-2.

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About your mentors

JIRI KVAPIL graduated at Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Science, graduated in Cartography, Geoinformatics and Remote Sensing. His working history is GIS analyst,IT administrator, IT Architect, Head of department, Project manager. Jiri has great experience with implementation and reporting of EU Directives (INSPIRE, WFD, UWWTD, DWD), responsible for the CLC 2012 project in the CZ as project manager. He is also involved in many national projects (Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Environment, Technology Agency) and international research projects (ETC/ICM, smeSpire, SUDPLAN, FATIMA, Polirural, SIEUSOIL and others).

IVO DENEMARK works as ESA BIC Prague Business Development Manager at CzechInvest Agency. His job is to help innovative start-ups with defining and developing feasible businesses on Earth and beyond.




HERMAN SNEVAJS graduated with a bachelor degree from Palacky University in Geoinformatics, Cartography and Remote Sensing in 2019. He specializes in Earth Observation – water retention, drought monitoring and use of machine learning.

CHALLENGE #10 Sustainable solution to chronic diseases like diabetes through organic farming

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Mentor: Mohammed Nayeem

Around 15.5% of the adult population of Qatar is suffering from diabetes. 55 million people have diabetes in the MENA region and it is estimated that by 2045 this will rise to 108 million. Medicines are effective but not without their side-effects. What the region needs right now are more natural and organic solutions that boost the immunity of the human body and at the same time protect against chronic diseases like diabetes,
cancer etc

What we are looking for are farming techniques feasible to arid regions that will

  • Increase the green cover of Qatar and maintain sustainability
  • Grow organically without artificial enhancers
  • Contribute to the fight against diabetes with organic supplements

A winning solution would cater to all the criteria – build a sustainable model of farming on one hand, combat diabetes through superfoods on the other hand.

Register now!

CHALLENGE #9 Production and Agri Logistics chain Cyber Assurance solutions

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Mentor: Clodagh Durkan

“Agriculture companies looking to help promote food security and position themselves to be winners in the post-COVID-19 world must conserve their financial strength so that they can make the necessary strategic acquisitions, boost their efforts to build or buy technologies that promote sustainability while supporting farmer P&Ls, and develop more tailored offerings that put the individual grower in the centre.” Boston Consulting Group May 2020

The Agri sector has a large compliance requirement, that often flies below the radar, as more of the logistics and supply embraces smart connected solutions, online procurement and Ecommerce differentiated solutions. 

July 15 2020, a new regulation. temporarily called Shrems 11, invalidated the previous existing privacy shield for EU to US data transfer security. This impacts data traversing borders, credit card payments, data privacy for data at rest in transit. Many Agri businesses are unaware of their obligations under data privacy, GDPR and the enhanced EU Cyberact. This program seeks solutions to assist that process. 


Secure Data as Optimised Business Intelligence 

In field solutions can be centrally correlated for optimised Agri business intelligence. Security throughout the whole supply chain is a vital key for which solutions are invited e.g. consider if someone can alter the best before date on food, it has the potential to severely impact the brand value, undermine consumer confidence and lose market trust. 

All companies, particularly those in food, shops, manufacturing, farm works rushed to create processes and procures that were not pre-existing before the Covid 19 crisis and there will be a large body of work to ensure that data privacy and data security governance created over the last 20 years is not completely invalidated, putting customers at risk .. e.g. for movement tracking, health data kept private 

Smart innovation for Covid aware Agri Industry 4.0 

– Cloud integration in Traditional ICS environment supporting digital transformation. – Innovative Secure Propositions that promote Agri P&L and sustainability. – Optimised tracing solution using RFID. Bluetooth, Embedded ESIM etc 

Smart Tracking 

– Solutions for Securing remote supervision of Production equipment and failure alarming – Blockchain solution integration for tracking assurance. – Secure Animal & Herd tracking – Security assurance of perimeter systems such as ICS interfaces, Ecommerce Sites, Logistics 

tracking such as warehousing and order fulfilment. – Secure Solutions for remote supervision of farm workers and production sites – Secure Contactless staff logging solutions 

Smart Logging 

– IOT and IOT Solutions and monitors for remote sensors. – Secure Camera propositions – Security Assurance of Digital Printing – Contactless staff logging solutions 

Smart Data correlation, inspection and regulatory 

– Legal and regulatory solutions for the changing face of Food supply chain cyber innovation. – Third party Agri logistics chain access solutions. – User-friendly ecommerce solutions to EU Cybersecurity Act, PCI, GDPR, NIST, IS27001. – Data governance requirements for EU & US exports under GDPR and Schrems ii. – Machine Learning for Cyber Agri solutions 

Smart Secure Communications 

– Communication encryption. Assuring data transfer integrity. – Vendor communications – Website and perimeter security assurance and threat intelligence. 

Smart marketplace access 

– Smart Access to Cyber professional marketplace at cost effective prices. – Digital invoicing and Ecommerce solutions. – Access to new PPE procurement solutions 

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About your mentor

CLODAGH DURKAN Originally from a west of Ireland farming village, Corballa, Co. Sligo, Clodagh has 24 years of building Cyber Capability and security transformation including 4  Vodafone Operators in EU & Africa, working in Ireland, Ghana, Italy and Germany and Müllergroup, the European dairy and food logistics company.


Invitation to contribute to Remote Sensing for Future Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture

We would like to invite you to contribute to this Special Issue of the Remote Sensing journal, “Remote Sensing for Future Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture”. There are several reasons behind this special issue. Agriculture comprises a vital economic sector producing food, agro-industrial feedstock, and energy and providing environmental services through managing soil, water, air, and biodiversity holistically. The agri-food chain involves multiple actors and stakeholders that produce and provide food and agricultural commodities to consumers. In addition to farmers, there are farm suppliers, processors, transporters and market intermediaries. These actors make the agri-food chain efficient. Current agriculture is under pressure to produce high quality products with fewer inputs and in smaller areas.

In order to provide solutions to all complex problems related to the agri-food chain, we need to better understand all processes and build an interoperable knowledge management system for each agriculture sector. A key part of such knowledge management systems is data, including remote sensing data. The intention of this Special Issue is to collect ideas on how remote sensing and data derived from remote sensing can help future knowledge management for global food security and better sustainability of agriculture production in varying climatic conditions and how remote sensing can support the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the European Green Deal.

There are new systems for Earth monitoring, a number of delivery platforms have been developed, and new technologies such as artificial intelligence are now starting to be used. Remote sensing can bring data and knowledge from the global scale to provide global monitoring, monitor production on a country or regional level, but also monitor field variability. In order to optimally use remote sensing for agriculture, capacity building and training people will become a key part of the entire process.

As the Special Issue looks for innovative methods of applying remote sensing in agriculture at all scales, many different aspects have to be addressed. We hope you find the topic of this Special Issue interesting, and we look forward to your research contributions.

Please, visit https://www.mdpi.com/journal/remotesensing/special_issues/FutureFood and read more about how to submit your paper to this special issue!