One of the main goals of the GEOEssential project is to create cross-thematic workflows to evaluate, predict and monitor natural resources to inform via Earth Observations the Sustainable Development Goals, and other relevant environmental policy at European and national scales. The GEOEssential workshop organized in 23 – 25 April, 2018, in Palma de Mallorca, was focused on practically defining and executing these cross-thematic workflows, using the Virtual Laboratory (VLab) – cloud-based platform, developed by one of our partners – Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – CNR.



SMURBS partners participated in the 4th ACTRIS-2 General Meeting, held in Nafplio city, Greece. This annual meeting brought together more than 120 scientists , attending targeted central and poster presentations, exploiting the opportunity to learn about the new developments in the field of Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research InfraStructure.

ACTRIS-2 is a Horizon 2020 Programme (H2020-INFRAIA-2014-2015) . The ACTRIS-2 Integrating Activities (IA) addresses the scope of integrating state-of-the-art European ground-based stations for long-term observations of aerosols, clouds and short lived gases. It consolidates and improves services offered within FP7 funded Integrated Infrastructures Initiative ACTRIS (2011-2015). ACTRIS-2 takes up the overarching objectives of ACTRIS to further integrate the European ground-based stations and to construct a user-oriented RI, unique in the EU-RI landscape, for aerosols, clouds, and short-lived gas-phase species.




SMURBS organized its 1st citizen workshop hosted by Navarino Environmental Observatory in the pilot city of Kalamata, during April’s scientific café. More than 40 citizens participated in the event, sharing their needs and smart ideas, over a hot cup of coffee!

The coordinator delineated the main goals of SMURBS and the concept of integrating state-of-the-art Earth Observation methods with smart-city methods. He highlighted some major findings concerning user needs at the time of the Workshop and urged participants to step up, and offer their own ideas and of course giving emphasis on the local issues and particularities.

The discussion reaffirmed many of the user needs findings, further reinforcing this early but necessary activity of SMURBS and the level of engagement was more than satisfactory, as the citizen observatories activities regarding AQ was decided upon with great zest, in alignment with SMURBS plans for the role of Kalamata as a pilot city.



SMURBS partners participated in the European Geosciences UnionGeneral Assembly (EGU2018) held in Vienna Austria, 8-13 April 2018.

The EGU General Assembly 2018 was of great success with 4,776 oral, 11,128 poster, and 1,419 PICO presentations. 666 unique scientific sessions together with 68 short courses and 294 side events created an interesting programme.

Dr. Eleni Athanasopoulou presented the atmospheric implications of severe African dust transport events, which frequently cause air pollution and health-related problems in Southern European cities. You may find the abstract here and the poster here.




SMURBS  successfully organized the 1st Stakeholder workshop on User Needs,  held in Hamburg Germany,  27-28 March 2018.

Twenty five stakeholders from ten European cities, with affiliations ranging from public administration to the academia, gathered in Hamburg, on late March 2018 for a two-day workshop on user needs, towards the strategic planning of the design, implementation and delivery of the portfolio of Smart Urban Solutions of SMURBS, in the months ahead and up till the end of the project.

Smartphones and laptops were switched off, as the workshop focused heavily on the face-to-face interaction between the stakeholders and adopted the method of “World Café” table discussions per SMURBS theme, and of a plenary “fishbowl” discussion, where all participants had the opportunity to stir and enrich the conversation.


From 12 of 15 of March of 2018 Deputy director of Space Research Institute NASU-SSAU Prof. Nataliia Kussul participated in Regional workshop on UNCCD training for the countries on NMED/CEE and Central Asia that was held in Antalya and funded by UNEP/GEF Global Support Programme.

Within the workshop Prof. Nataliia represented Ukrainian contribution to GEO related activities and GEOEssential/ERA-PLANET H2020 project, as well as the results of global land cover products validation via cross-comparison with national high-resolution land cover maps for the territory of Ukraine with presentation “SDG Monitoring and Global Products Validation within GEO related projects“.

Workflows for SGD indicators monitoring that are under development with GEOEssential project will be operationally used for assessment of land degradation with UNCCD activities.



SMURBS was invited to participate in the “21st European Forum on Eco-Innovation”, that was held in Sofia, Bulgaria, on 5-6 February 2018.

The goal of this Forum was to examine eco-innovative solutions and practices for improving air quality in Europe. For this purpose, public authorities were brought together with companies, research institutes and universities that have already succeeded in developing and deploying effective new technologies, or innovative business and governance models. You can find the detailed agendahere.


SMURBS participated in “Sentinel-2 Validation Team Meeting (S2VT) – ESA – ESRIN”, that was held in  Frascati, Italy, on 29-31 January 2018. S2VT aimed at involving world-class expertise and activities, through shared benefit collaboration, that support the implementation of the Sentinel-2 validation activities and ensure the best possible outcomes for the Sentinel-2 mission.

SMURBS partner CNR-IIA, presented radiative closure studies as complementary methods for calibration and validation of Sentinel-2 data, especially those referred to ecosystem studies, serving SMURBS’ objective of supporting the Copernicus programme.