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EU Space data and services for the Western Balkans: applications in agriculture and emergency management and response

On 1 and 2 December, the EU Global Action on Space organised a workshop focused on the concrete applications of the EU space flagship components: GalileoEGNOS, and Copernicus for agriculture and emergency management in the Western Balkan region. The workshop hosted a broad range of speakers, spanning from EU officials to remote sensing and positioning companies and researchers.

Day 1

On day one, speakers highlighted the benefits of the three flagship components of the EU Space Programme and how they feature a number of free and open services which can support local farmers boost yields. For example, Earth Observation data can help map parcels and improve crop management, or support farmers in dealing with the consequences of drought and other natural disasters. European GNSS data can provide farmers with targeted information to, among others, improve crop health (e.g., fertilising needs), complementing the information provided by Earth Observation.

EU experts also showcased how EU Space data are being used in the EU to help implement key policies in the agricultural sector, a model that can be transposed to the needs of the Western Balkan countries.

Day 2

On the second day, Earth Observation and E-GNSS experts presented how EU Space data can benefit civil protection and emergency authorities. For example, E-GNSS data can support pilots navigate during crisis situations, improve safety of air navigation or directly support Search and Rescue operations. The combination of Earth Observation and positioning data, underpinned by an ever-evolving space infrastructure, guarantees high-quality results that can support the local economy and increase public safety.

The workshop drew 175 attendees over two days, garnering the attention of local businesses, researchers and public authorities, reinforcing cooperation in the space sector between the European Union and Western Balkan countries.