Chapman University associate professor
Hesham El-Askary
, Ph.D., is one of the two sub-regional coordinators on a €3 million grant from the European Union’s (EU) Horizon 2020. The work of Dr. El-Askary and his colleagues will focus on earth observation related research with the aim of providing timely and accurate information, forecasts and projections. In his role, Dr. El-Askary will oversee the project for North Africa and the Middle East working with 23 institutions in Europe, North Africa and the Gulf nations, and with more than 200 individuals.

“Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation program ever,” said Dr. El-Askary. “It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.”

Man in suit with crossed arms

The project, known as GEO-CRADLE, which stands for Coordinating and integrating state-of-the-art Earth Observation Activities in the regions of North Africa, Middle East and Balkans and Developing Links with GEO related initiatives toward GEOSS, will have its kick-off meeting in February of next year in Athens, Greece. The project will span three years.

“This is to address exiting specific challenges that are affecting our global understanding of the system we are living in, namely, strengthen the earth observation networks (space-based, airborne, and particularly in-situ) of the broad European and North African, Middle East, and Balkan region to reinforce its contribution to the knowledge base for climate, natural resources, and raw materials,” said Dr. El-Askary.

According to Horizon 2020, “The European Research Council supports frontier research, cross disciplinary proposals and pioneering ideas in new and emerging fields which introduce unconventional and innovative approaches.” More information on the Horizon 2020 Program can be found at:

Graphic with information about a grant program

The consortium comprises 18 regional institutions as partners: Balkan Environment Center (sub-regional coordinator), Center for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe (sub-regional coordinator), Centre D’etudes Et De Recherches Detelecommunications, Tel Aviv University, Cyprus University of Technology, Turkiye Bilimsel Ve Teknolojik Arastirma Kurumu, Space Research and Technology Institute, National Institute of Research and Development for Optoelectronics, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Instituti Per Ruajtjen E Natyres Shqiptare ShoQata, Institut Za Fiziku, Centro Internazionale in Monitoraggio Ambientale – Fondazione (CIMA), Idryma Iatroviologikon Ereunon Akademias Athinon, Inosens Doo Novi Sad, European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EURISY), EuroGeoSurveys – (EGS), Schweizerisches Forschungsinstitut Fuer Hochgebirgsklima Und Medizin in Davos, and collaborative institutions located at the Region of Interest (RoI).

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