The thematic research priorities are as follows:
- Global monitoring of vegetation and evolution of terrestrial ecosystems
- Management of the environment on a local and regional scale (water, soil, forest, nature reserves and biodiversity, agriculture, coastal areas, urban and peri-urban areas)
- Interaction between (change in) land cover and climate change
- Epidemiology and humanitarian aid
- Security and risk management
The four-part programme comprises:
- The scientific research covers three types of projects:
The development of applications
- Thematic networks projects: This refers to major projects lasting 4 to 5 years. They can cover fundamental and/or application oriented research. The research should be innovative and topics not studied before in Belgium are favoured. The research is conducted via partnerships involving 2-5 research teams (from Belgium1) inevitably rounded out by (an) international team(s).
- Exploration projects: This involves small-scale projects associated with past BELSPO thematic projects, lasting 1 to 3 years for 1 to 3 teams whether or not rounded out by an international team. The goals of these projects are to: Investigate new concepts, technologies and sensors;
Investigate a new research track resulting from previous BELSPO remote sensing projects.
- Shared-cost projects: In these types of projects there is the possibility for a Belgian partner who was selected for international, bilateral, regional or national projects (in the BRAINS.be programme for example) to be co-financed. There is also the possibility of co-funding for a Belgian participation in transnational programmes such as ERA-nets. These types of projects are not subject to a call for proposals.
These applications can be products, services, software codes or procedures. The goal of these projects is a transfer of technology and knowledge from scientific institutions to companies, administrations and NGO’s. The proposal must result from a critical need of the institution or its customers and end users.
A maximum of three scientific teams are responsible for the implementation of the project for a period of 1 to 3 years.
The programme pays solely for the scientific partner(s) and the partner from administrations or NGOs (non-research partners). These non-research partners can get a maximum of 25 % of the STEREO III subsidy to the project and must contribute at least as much to the project via staff, information and equipment. The proposal must be submitted by the non-research partner who should also coordinate the project. Focus is on non-commercial re-use.
Support of research and Belgian infrastructure and applications
Support to “Belgian” RS instruments and infrastructure, e.g. through the organisation of dedicated APEX campaigns, support to Copernicus Collaborative Ground Segments, …
The further development of the Belgian BELAIR test sites where EO data (Hyperspectral, VHR, …) and in situ data (field campaigns, flux towers,…) are collected and integrated.
- Acquisition and archiving of remote sensing imagery for BELSPO projects;
- Management of the websites eo.belspo.be and eodedu.belspo.be for the dissemination of information about earth observation and earth observation activities (with a focus on Belgium) to professionals and the public at large;
- Development of educational products or contribution to third party educational products;
- Promotion of remote sensing and valorisation of research results of Belgian scientists via posters, workshops and exhibitions in Belgium and abroad.