AUC/ESA EO AFRICA R&D Facility for African Researchers
AUC/ESA EO AFRICA R&D Facility for African Researchers
EO Africa stands for African Framework for Research, Innovation, Communities and Applications to foster an African-European R&D partnership facilitating the sustainable adoption of Earth Observation and related space technologies in Africa.
The ESA initiative has a long-term (>10 years) vision with an African user-driven approach in a collaborative partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC) and its operational GMES & Africa initiative, taking into account requirements and capacities from African regional centres and programmes.
EO Africa R&D Facility is the flagship of ESA EO Africa with overarching goals of enabling an active research community and promoting creative innovation processes for the continuous development of African EO capabilities.
The Facility offers a cloud computing infrastructure for the researchers (Innovation Lab), supports African–European research tandems and delivers a range of collaborative capacity development activities (Space Academy) and initiatives between the African and European research communities based on a comprehensive review of African EO research challenges.Objective
In collaboration with the AUC, the ESA EO Africa R&D Facility launches a call for research proposals to support African–European collaborative efforts to develop innovative, open-source EO algorithms and applications adapted to African solutions to African challenges by leveraging cutting-edge cloud-based data access and computing infrastructure.
This is the second and final call of the first phase of the EO AFRICA R&D Facility.
More information on the first call and awarded research projects are available on the web portal.Research Topics
Water scarcity and food security are the main themes of the EO AFRICA R&D Facility’s Research Calls.
The present call aims at addressing research topics related to the modelling and monitoring of environmental processes.
Proposals in the following topics are encouraged to apply: EO contribution to hydrological forecast
- Runoff and river discharge
- Regional evapotranspiration and hydrological stresses
Crop development and yield forecast
EO support of precision farming
Forest and rangeland processes
Ocean/coastal processes related to food resources
Project proposals shall meet the following criteria:
The project must be proposed by two scientists representing a collaborative partnership of one African and one European research entity (e.g., institute, laboratory, university).
The co-principal investigators should possess a PhD degree relevant to the topics of the call or should be in the process of obtaining it as a PhD candidate.
Project teams may include more researchers.
Projects should be completed within 12 months.
Project proposals should focus on one or more of the research topics of the call.
Each proposal is expected to have a research plan for the scientific cooperation of the African and European partners to develop an innovative EO algorithm or workflow, preferably as an open-source interactive notebook (e.g., Jupyter Notebook).
The proposal should explain how the work will be shared among the partners, including the roles of project team members and their expected contributions.
The proposed research can be linked to an ongoing (collaborative) project of the partners.
Therefore, the proposal can present activities that would aim to expand further ongoing research work.
Research plan should be accompanied by a detailed budget, including anticipated cost items related to the research project.
Proposed budget cannot include ICT resources for computing purposes (e.g., servers), as such resources will be provided by the Network of Resources of the ESA separately.
Both partners have equal rights on the
budget, so its allocation must be decided in a full agreement. Nevertheless, due to the governing regulations, the European partner should administer the budget.
The Innovation Lab of the EO AFRICA R&D Facility should be used for the development of the algorithm/workflow, as well as other analyses and computations. Commercial use of the resources is not allowed.
The developed algorithm/workflow should utilise EO data from ESA missions, such as Sentinel. Third-party data can also be utilised.
The use of analysis-ready data and EO data services is encouraged.
The developed algorithm/workflow and its application in the thematic context of the call shall be published at least in one international conference proceeding or in a peer-reviewed journal.
Open-access publications are encouraged and will be supported by the Facility from an additional fund. Thus open-access publication costs should not be included in the budget.
Funding and Benefits
The EO AFRICA R&D Facility will provide the selected projects with:
A budget of up to 25,000 EUR to cover research activities during the project period (max. 12 months), such as personnel costs, field work, data collection, bilateral visits, scientific meetings, training activities, etc.
Free access to cloud-based Virtual Research Environments (VREs) through the Innovation Lab of the Facility, an interactive geospatial computing platform with ready-to-use EO software and facilitated access to EO data (e.g., Sentinel and other ESA missions) through the host DIAS infrastructure. See Appendix for more information on VREs.
Dedicated user and technical support for using VREs and developing geospatial computing workflows.
Scientific support and advice by senior researchers and experts of the EO AFRICA R&D Facility consortium.
Access to the EO AFRICA Space Academy and its Digital Campus for capacity and knowledge development activities, such as online courses, webinars and face-to-face training events on topics related to EO, cloud computing, food security and water scarcity.
Integration into the EO AFRICA Network for international scientific networking, collaboration and visibility.
The call is announced on 20 September 2022 and will be open for submission for 8 (eight) weeks. The deadline for submitting a full proposal is 15 November 2022, 18:00 CET.
The proposal submission shall include:
Research proposal fully completed in all parts according to the provided template (English or French), duly signed by the African and the European Co-PIs and authorized representatives of the African and European research institutions,
Detailed CV of the African co-principal investigator,
Detailed CV of the European co-principal investigator,
Short resumes of other researchers of the team.
The following items are optional and will be considered as assets:
Support letter(s) from the beneficiaries,
Any other relevant document.
Proposals shall be submitted as a single PDF document together with all supportive documents (e.g., CVs, support letters) to ESA through EO AFRICA R&D Facility via e-mail to: email@example.com.
Application Deadline: 15th November 2022
How to Apply
For more information and job application details, see: AUC/ESA EO AFRICA R&D Facility for African Researchers
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