Institutions

Partners

Partner 1. Technische Universiteit Delft (TUD, The Netherlands)

Partner description

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft, http://www.tudelft.nl/) is the oldest, largest and most comprehensive university of technology in the Netherlands. With over 20,000 students and 2,700 scientists (including 400 full professors), it is an establishment of national importance and of significant international standing. The University collaborates on a structural basis with other international education and research institutes and has partnerships with governments, branch organizations, numerous consultancies, industry partners and companies from the small and medium business sectors.

The project will be hosted at the Water Management Department of the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences of Delft University of Technology, Netherlands. According to the 2015 QS World University Ranking, our Faculty ranked #2 in the world and #1 in Europe in the field of Civil Engineering. An independent survey by the Stockholm Water Institute put our Department #4 globally and #1 in Europe in the field of Water Resources. The most recent international research evaluation of the Hydrology and Water Resources Management Chairs gave us the highest possible grade (“Excellent”), for Research Quality, remarking that the group is “a world leader that is particularly recognized for innovative methods in the measurement, monitoring and modelling of water availability. The Distributed Temperature Sensing method is one of the world-renowned innovations that originated in this programme. Similarly, the research on moisture recycling and the concept of rainsheds is very innovative and has received much attention worldwide.”

The TU Delft Global Initiative supports the project through its network innovation hubs and academic partners in Africa. Through this initiative, scientists from Delft University of Technology use their expertise to find concrete solutions for problems faced by people in developing countries. Their brief: to find solutions that will benefit everyone. In close partnership with local scientists and entrepreneurs they aim to make an impact and improve people’s lives. Cutting-edge science and technology are the means to achieve this goal.

The TU Delft Valorisation Centre (VC) supports, stimulates and facilitates scientists and supporting staff of the TU Delft in transforming results of research and technology development into practical, commercially viable, applications. Within the VC’s European project management team, professional project managers provide non-scientific project management for international collaborative projects.

They support the scientific coordinators in a proactive, efficient and high-quality way on financial, legal, administrative and organizational matters. The team’s portfolio contains H2020, FP7, Europe Aid (with partners from Asia including UNEP and UNIDO) and Interreg projects.




Partner 2. Imperial College of Science and Medicine (ICL, United Kingdom)

Partner description

Imperial College London (Imperial, http://www.imperial.ac.uk) is a science-based university with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research and is the only UK university to focus entirely on science, engineering, medicine and business. Located in the heart of London, Imperial is a multidisciplinary space for education, research, translation and commercialisation, harnessing science and innovation to tackle global challenges. Imperial is consistently rated amongst the world’s best universities, including the 9th position in the QS World University Rankings 2016-2017 (5th in civil and structural engineering), 8th in the THE World University Rankings 2016-2017.

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering was ranked 5th in the world in the most recent QS World University Rankings (2016). It consists of 146 staff and 748 students. Total research grants and contracts income have been consistently above £ 5 million per year over the last decade. The environmental and water resources engineering section is one of the oldest and most productive research groups in their discipline in the UK, with world-class research in areas such as hydrological and hydrogeological modelling, sensor networks, citizen-science and sustainable development.


Partner 3. Helmholtz-Zentrum fuer Umweltforschung GMBH-UFZ (UFZ, Germany)

Partner description

The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Germany, was established in 1991 as the first and only centre in the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centres to be exclusively devoted to environmental research in a great variety of fields. It currently employs around 1100 people. Founded in response to the severe pollution prevailing in Central Germany, the UFZ has become a world-wide acknowledged centre of expertise in the remediation and re-naturation of contaminated landscapes, as well as the preservation of biodiversity and natural landscapes.

UFZ is and was participating in 83 Projects funded within FP7 and Horizon 2020, 11 of them coordinated by UFZ. Additionally, UFZ is or was the host for 3 ERC grants, 2 Starting - and 1 Advanced Grant, and has coordinated 3 ITNs. Since 2014 the UFZ is leading the European Topic Centre on Inland, coastal and marine waters funded by the European Environment Agency (EEA).

At UFZ the project will be located at the Department of Catchment Hydrology (CATHYD). CATHYD is a newly founded department (Feb. 2011) at UFZ, focusing on analysis and modeling of hydrological processes at catchment scales. The department facilities include a large laboratory for isotopes and water chemistry and field site monitoring technologies. CATHYD further has a strong focus on water scarce regions, such as Israel, Palestine, Jordan, (funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF), Oman (funded by the Research Council of Oman, TRC), and Western Tibet (funded by BMBF). CATHYD is currently involved in the EU funded projects GLOBAQUA, MASSTWIN and the ETN INSPIRATION. CATHYD is heavily involved in the UFZ Integrated Project IP 'Water Scarcity' that focuses on water related research in semi-arid and arid regions. Within the IP 'Water Scarcity' more than 50 scientists from 10 different UFZ departments work on water scarcity issues, ranging from monitoring and modeling concepts in data scarce environments to regionally adapted water treatment concepts to socio-economic and legal frameworks.

The project will further benefit from the UFZ hosted infrastructures TERENO and MOSES which are long-term respectively event-based environmental monitoring platforms operated jointly by UFZ and other Helmholtz institutes as well as from the modeling resources such as the EVE computing cluster and the data management portal.


Partner 4. Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI, Italy)

Partner description


Politecnico di Milano (PoliMI, http://www.polimi.it/) is a state scientific-technological university, established in 1863, which trains engineers, architects and industrial designers. Education is at bachelor, master and Ph.D. level. Currently more than 1,200 professors and researchers work at University and 40,000 students study in 7 different campuses. Politecnico is one of the leading Italian research centres characterized by the combination of theoretical bases of excellence and first-rate research infrastructures providing the possibility of a wide variety of experimental research. PoliMi is organized in 12 Departments including all main areas of engineering, architecture and industrial design. Politecnico boasts 161 laboratories all over its campuses. Politecnico has been very active in European research projects since the early programmes, with 261 projects approved within FP7.

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (DICA) and the Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering (DEIB) research groups are deeply rooted in the history of Politecnico, characterized as having always been promoters of advanced research themes, following the developments in the fields of electronics and informatics.

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is involved in a large spectrum of research activities from surveying to water resource management, from environmental sustainability to all the classical topics of the civil engineering. The Geodesy and Geomatics area of the department, has always been a promoter of advanced research themes, both at the national and international level, also following the developments in the fields of electronics and informatics, the evolution in the topics regarding earth observation and data acquisition through images. The main research lines include subjects such as Physical and Mathematical Geodesy, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), Photogrammetric and Remote Sensing, Digital Cartography and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). All the described activities share a common ground represented by the stochastic modeling of data and by the use of stochastic prediction and inference methods. These fundamental aspects, on which research work is also carried on, represent a basis for all the activities, leading to substantial contributions both in the methodological approach and in numerical applications. One small spin off, Geomatics Research & Development (GReD), stemmed from the Geodesy and Geomatics area, specifically working on GNSS and gravity observations.

The Electronics Information and Bioengineering Department is one of the major ICT university departments in Europe, with over 800 professors. Its mission is to improve constantly the scientific and technological knowledge in the fields of Systems and Control, Computer Science and  Engineering, Telecommunications, and Electronics. The quality of the research work is demonstrated by the broad network of partnerships with the best international institutions, which makes the Department one of the fundamental players in the worldwide scenario of scientific and technological innovation. The Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Research Group at PoliMI support the activities of one full professors, one associate professor, one permanent researcher, Ph.D. students and several MSc students. Two small spin off companies, namely TRE and Aresys have been created and are supported by the market. The spin offs partly support most temporary researchers, while limiting direct dependence on Space Agencies. The radar group of Politecnico di Milano, initiated by Prof. Prati, Rocca and Monti Guarnieri in the early eighties, has proposed useful components of the recent satellite SAR technologies, as Omega – k focusing, the spectral shift principle, the uses of multiple baselines for the extension of the spatial resolution and for the optimal DEM generation, the TANDEM experiment proposal, Wise swath interferometry, Permanent Scatterers Interferometry, TOPS scan mode, the Phase Linking Algorithm and the Algebraic Synthesis technique. Several patents have also been obtained. This group has been in charge of performing tomographic analysis of distributed media in several studies by ESA in the frame of phase-A activities for the BIOMASS and for SAOCOM-CS mission, for the commissioning phase of Sentinel-1 and for the study a geostationary SAR, GeoSTARe.


Partner 5. Makerere University (Makerere, Uganda)

Partner description

Makerere University is one of the renowned universities in Africa. It became an independent national university in Uganda on July 1, 1970. It offers undergraduate (35,000 students) and postgraduate (3000 student) courses during the day (full time), evening and through external study programmes. From December 2011, the university has been run under the collegiate system. It has 10 colleges now which operate as semi-autonomous units. More information can be found https://www.mak.ac.ug.


Partner 6. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST,Ghana)

Partner description

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) was established in January, 1952 by the Government of Ghana to serve as the Technical University of Ghana. Currently it is the second largest public university after the University of Ghana. KNUST has a student population of about 45,000 about a third of them being postgraduate students. Currently, about 60% of students in KNUST are pursuing STEM programmes and the university has intensified its efforts to increase the enrolment of female on the STEM. KNUST has produced over 75% of Ghana’s technocrats in the Area of Built Environment, all forms of Engineering, (Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Geomatic, Biomedical, Computer, Geological, Materials, Petroleum, Chemical, Aerospace, etc). In the area of Science Education, Computer Science, Biochemistry, Medicine,Biology and Nursing dominate.

In 2013, KNUST realizing the high rate of graduate unemployment focused attention on students’ entrepreneurship. It established the Kumasi Business Incubator (KBI) to groom students who had innovative ideas with market viability. KBI received an initial grant from the World Bank through a 12 month project. The project was highly successful and KNUST took over the management of the incubator as part of the sustainability plan.

Kumasi Business Incubator (KBI) is the first University incubator to be established in Ghana. The facility is Technology and IT-bias and is expected to be the hub where components and the necessary instrumentation will be assembled in Ghana as part of the TWIGA Project for environmental monitoring. It is estimated that the project will build the capacity of KBI by way of equipping a makers’ space or lab that reflects state-of the-art creative and innovative centre to train young entrepreneurs and start-ups. KNUST churns out brilliant and creative technological talents that need to be guided through entrepreneurial capacity building to deliver climate monitoring devices. Through this, job creation will be achieved and in the end the Planet, People, and Profit will be achieved in a more balanced approach. Research output in the university is high and KBI intends to go into valorisation of research. An equipped laboratory will go a long way to support the valorisation.


Partner 7. Strathmore University (STRAT, Kenya)

Partner description

Strathmore University(www.strathmore.edu ) is a chartered private University based in Kenya with a vision of being a centre of Academic, Research, Entrepreneurship and Professional excellence that provides all-round education in an atmosphere of freedom and responsibility, creating a culture of continuous improvement, fostering high moral standards and developing a spirit of service and respect for others. The University was founded in 1961 as Form Sixth College, offering advanced level studies in Arts and Science subjects. The University has a population of over 5000 students across undergraduate and post graduate programmes.

@iLabAfrica is a centre established in January 2011 in the Faculty of Information Technology at Strathmore University. The centre spearheads Research and Innovation in the ICT for the development (ICT4D) ecosystem towards the attainment of the UNDP Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Kenya’s Vision 2030.Our main focus areas are on ICT Research and Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship and ICT Policy Research. We recognise that the spread of ICT technologies in developing countries remains painfully slow; condemning a large fraction of Africa’s population to poverty, undernourishment, disease and disempowerment. We also recognise

that this situation is improving in some countries as a result of the phenomenal growth of the mobile telephony and other ICT services.

In the past six years, @iLabAfrica has been involved in several research grant projects, Trainings, software contract projects, collaborations and partnerships in the aforementioned themes. These include a partnership with the leading mobile service provider in Kenya (Safaricom); H2020 ICT 39 Research grant, World Bank Open Data analytics project, Samsung Electronics, IBM-Africa Research Lab, Google, Ericsson, HP, the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), IDEA foundation in Norway for the support of the business incubator as well as Government bodies such as the Ministries of Health, Education, Information and Communication, the Kenya ICT Board and the Communication Commission of Kenya and University collaboration projects with IT University of Copenhagen-Denmark, MIT, University of Oslo-Norway, regional and local universities.




Partner 8. Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD, Kenya) *

Partner description

The Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD, www.meteo.go.ke) is a Government Department domiciled in the State Department of Environment, It is the authoritative voice of the Kenya government in matters of weather and climate). KMD has close to 700 staff members and has field offices and stations in 47 counties within Kenya. KMD hosts the Regional Instruments’ Calibration Centre(RIC) and the Institute for Meteorological Training and Research(IMTR). IMTR is a World Meteorological Organization Regional Training Centre(RIC) and it is currently ranked first in Africa. IMTR is the regional Centre of Excellence in Training in Satellite Meteorology.

KMD has partnered with other branches of Government, Development partners like European Union, USAID, DFID, UNDP,WMO and others to enhance provision of climate services. Some of the relevant Projects include satellite data acquisition and processing, equipping of the Instruments Calibration Centre, procurement and deployment of Automatic Weather stations.

The project will be hosted at the KMD headquarters and the Director of Meteorological Services and Permanent Representative of Kenya with WMO shall be responsible for the project. The Director may appoint of change the project focal point if need arises.

KMD’s role in the project will be but not limited to: Calibration standards for low-cost sensors and citizen science, exploration of (un)certainty error structure of the sensors and optimization scheme for monitoring locations.


Partner 9. South Africa Weather Service (SAWS, South Africa)

Partner description

Background

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) is the national provider of weather and climate information in South Africa and custodian of the South African Climate Databank. SAWS, by law, is the only organisation to issue weather warnings of severe weather. SAWS is a member of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) where it plays a role in various WMO technical committees and commissions and its Permanent Representative serves on the Executive Council of the WMO.

The staff component of SAWS is approximately 382. Most of the staff are located at our Pretoria Head office but with 23 regional and other smaller weather offices the staff are distributed in every region of the country. SAWS also have representation on 2 x remote Islands (Gough and Marion Island) as well as Antarctica. Scientists, Technicians and ICT staff represents 69% of SAWS staff.

Competence

Forecasting and prediction

SAWS also conducts research on the development of forecasting products and application development. Forecasting products ranging from the nowcasting timescale (0-12 hours) till seasonal timescale (6 months) are being developed. Climate change research is also conducted with downscaled scenario planning being conducted from IPCC model output for the region. The research focus is to improve forecasting accuracy over all time scales.


Observation infrastructure

In order to provide the weather forecasting and climate services to the country and the region, SAWS operates the following infrastructure:

  • ± 220 Automatic Weather Stations
  • 22 Climate stations
  • 1233 Rainfall stations (manual)
  • 173 Automatic Rainfall stations
  • Marine and Ocean Infrastructure e.g. SST stations, weather buoys, and VOS’s
  • 14 Meteorological Radars
  • 24 Lightning Detection Sensors (Vaisala)
  • 11 Upper Air Stations – 1 station performing Ozone soundings
  • 6 Air Quality Measuring Stations
  • 1 Global Atmospheric Watch Station(GAW)


Climate Service

The SAWS Climate Service Department is responsible for the organisation of the surface weather observation network, archiving, quality control, dissemination and analysis of climate data, and research of the historical climate of South Africa.

Support services

SAWS support services include the following Departments:

  • Technical Services: Their responsibility is to deploy, maintain and upgrade the entire observation network of SAWS.
  • Information Communication Technology (ICT): Ensures sustained communication networking within SAWS (between weather offices), with sensors, and with national and international stakeholders. They are also responsible for the maintenance of the Regional Telecommunications Hub (RTH). It also ensures that SAWS’s computational requirements are met.
  • Financial, Supply Chain Management, Human Resources -Services: The supply of support services in each specialised category.

SAWS is an ISO 9001 (2008) certified organisation.

Cooperation

International relations are maintained especially with neighbouring countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region. We fulfil a critical role in various aspects of meteorology in the SADC region e.g. SAWS is the data communications hub for the region as WMO designated telecommunications hub and Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre as well as the WMO Regional Training Centre which is recognised as a Centre of Excellence(CoE). SAWS also participates in WMO programmes such as the Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration Project (SWFDP) for the enhancement of severe weather warnings in the region. Specialised forecasts are also produced for the Aviation and Marine industry and its services comply with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) requirements.

Relevance to TWIGA Project

SAWS is an operational institution that also conducts research on various aspects of the meteorological service value chain and therefore can contribute toward this project on a variety of disciplines e.g.:

  • Instrumentation testing, calibration and maintenance
  • Analysis of meteorological data
  • Remote sensing: radar, satellite, lightning detection
  • Modelling: high resolution models for the SADC region (Africa south of equator) - UK Met. Office Unified Model and WRF Model
  • International relations with NMS’s in the region and on the continent.
  • Training through the Regional Training Centre located in Pretoria


Partner 10. Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory (TAHMO, Kenya)

Partner description

The Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory (TAHMO)’s goal is to develop a dense network of hydro-meteorological stations in sub-Saharan Africa - one every 30 km. This entails the installation of 20,000 stations. By applying innovative sensor technology and ICT, TAHMO stations are both cost-effective and robust. The ground-based data is fused with satellite imagery and weather forecasting models to produce reliable weather information to farmers and the public through mobile platforms (SMS, apps and voice messaging in local dialects). To ensure sustainable operations of the weather stations, various business models have been developed around the data/information generated from these stations in collaboration with various SMEs, institutions and sectors in the countries where the stations have been installed. TAHMO Kenya will carry out research in Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Mozambique. TAHMO has the capability to scale up the market uptake of any product and services developed by the consortium to the 16 countries where it is operational or finalising agreement with the National Meteorological Agencies in Africa. These countries include Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Mali, DRC Congo, Chad, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, Cameroon, Senegal and South Africa.

TAHMO’s network is growing and will be close to 500 stations by July, 2017. This network of stations would be made available to the consortium to plug in other suites of sensors for in-situ measurements. The stations are specifically designed to provide rainfall, temperature, wind speed, wind direction, relative humidity, solar radiation, electrical conductivity of rain, barometric pressure,

lightning strikes (within 40km - strength and count) and other critical data using robust redundant sensors with cell phone uplink. The station has an integrated GPS receiver compass and an accelerometer to check movements and alignment. The extra 5 ports on the logger make it easy to integrate any device with SDI-12 interface with the standard measurements such as soil moisture, Leaf Area Index (LAI) and groundwater levels.

The TAHMO initiative helps make it possible for Africa to leapfrog to become one of the best monitored continents in the world. Stations are located primarily at schools and universities, with TAHMO providing science curriculum materials and connections between the participating schools in the network. The data collected by stations provide a foundation for scientific education and environmental research in which students can directly participate. TAHMO consists of various (field) coordinators, researchers and supporting staff. Currently, TAHMO has various projects through funds from the USAID, IBM, The Rockefeller Foundation and the Dutch NWO. The main assets of TAHMO that it brings to bear in this project are its innovative and robust weather stations for data collection, its educational and training programs to strengthen the curriculum of students and start-up companies across Africa, and its business case development in relation to climatic services. TAHMO’s extensive experience in sub Saharan Africa in developing business models by providing local weather information to -for example- insurance companies allowing more farmers to insure their crops, and to farmers themselves with timely, reliable weather-based advice (when/what to plant, advice on how to improve on-farm practices, increase agricultural productivity and transform their water efficiency) would be brought to bear in the project. In general TAHMO´s experience concerns validation, exploitation and dissemination of localised information. TAHMO will lead Work Package 7 product delivery and contribute to all other Work Packages based on its experience with platforms/portal development with global and national providers.


Partner 11. Farmerline Ghana Limited (FARM, Ghana)

Partner description

Farmerline Ltd (http://www.farmerline.co/) is a for-profit company in Ghana that has built a social business, software technology, and partnership network reaching over 200,000 farmers across 5 countries across West Africa. The company supports farmers, agribusinesses, and other agricultural stakeholders with mobile technologies. This includes data collection along the value chain via smartphones and tablets as well as farmer education, information dissemination, and E-extension services through voice calls in local languages. Our mission is to empower rural farming communities by bridging the information gap and connecting them to the markets that work with them.

Farmerline’s proprietary Mergdata software is a powerful app-based tool used by field agents. Mergdata is built for offline functionality to capture robust end-user data in rural settings. Farmerline is trusted by partners including Hershey’s, Theobroma Chocolate, Welthungerhlife, MEDA, and Oxfam, with accolades from Echoing Green, EU Horizon 2020, Afrinic, Appfrica, and Indigo Trust.

Partner 12. Ghana Agriculture Insurance Pool (GAIP, Ghana)*

Partner description

The Ghanaian Economy could be described as an Agricultural Economy. Agriculture accounts for over 29% of the GDP and provides employment to over 60% of the Rural Folks. The number of irrigation facilities in the country is inadequate to cater for the smallholder farmers who produce to feed the 25 million people, since the commercial farmer are mainly focusing on the export market.

Most of the smallholder farmers are the rain-fed agriculturist and the inadequate supply of irrigation facilities offers little avenue for crop production in harsh weather condition and/or dry season farming. The changes in the climatic conditions have adversely aggravated the risk these farmers face in the crop production cycle. The farmers could have good variety of seeds, and other inputs coupled with the best farm practices yet lack of rain or drought in a planting season will adversely affect the production.

The sovereign risk we faced as a country in the agricultural sector among other risks could be described as weather related risk (excessive rainfall, floods, erratic rainfall and drought) in a particular year. Inaccessibility to ready markets which results in post-harvest losses and price fluctuations are to mention but a few risks which could be “shelved” whenever there is a crop failure.

Ghana Agricultural Insurance Pool (GAIP) in mandated to implement the Ghana Agricultural Insurance Programme which was the brain child of the collaboration between the German Development Corporation (GIZ), the National Insurance Commission (NIC) and the Ghana Insurers Association (GIA) to provide innovative agricultural insurance products for the agricultural sector.

Agriculture is perceived to be a high risk hence financing agriculture activities comes at a higher cost. In that vein no single insurance company had provided services to the agriculture sector, hence as part of the collaboration, the GIA formed the Pool to provide agriculture insurance services to crop, livestock, poultry etc. farmers. The pool is made up of Nineteen Insurance Companies.

GAIP provides insurance services to both smallholder farmers and commercial farmers (Farms which are 50 acres and above in size).

The objectives of the Ghana Agricultural Insurance Programme among other things are;

  • Protection of the investment in the agricultural sector, whereby the farmers’ income could be stabilized and his/her investment is protected through the provision of agricultural insurance products
  • The lowering of the lending rate (interest rates) to farmers by the financial institutions through the use of agricultural insurance products.




Partner 13. Hydrologic Research (HR, the Netherlands)

Partner description

HydroLogic Research (HR) is a hydroinformatics company from the Netherlands. We believe that many of the current water problems resulting from climate change and urbanisation can be solved by innovative information and communication technologies (ICT). HR’s activities focus on the major processes and components related to the water environment, such as urban and rural water management, water safety, fluvial and pluvial flood simulation and forecasting. The applications and services we develop use advances in hydroinformatics such as simulation models, data modelling, remote sensing, GIS-based modelling, web services and mobile information and communication technologies. Many prototypes of tools and applications have been developed in EC funded research and innovation projects. It resulted in the open HydroNET Software as a  (SaaS) platform. This platform received the National ICT Innovation Award of the Netherlands in 2013, a prestigious prize for product excellence and business model, issued by the Dutch ICT industry.

HR’s team of hydrologists and ICT professionals is experienced in conducting large and small research projects and works closely with consultants, NGO’s, research institutions and clients, in the Netherlands and internationally. HR has been coordinating and participating in various FP6, FP7 and H2020 projects on ICT, environment, water, communication and citizen observatories.

Our team of experts is composed of HydroLogic Research employees and employees of linked third party HydroLogic BV, HydroLogic BV is the commercial sister company , which is owned by the same mother company, HydroLogic Group BV.


Partner 14. Geomatics Research and Development SRL (GReD, Italy)

Partner description

GReD is a SME Spin-off of Politecnico di Milano that studies, designs and develops innovative state-of-the-art solutions, based on geomatics technologies, according to its customer requirement. GReD is characterized as a centre of excellence focused on Research and Development, professional advice and algorithmic development in the following application areas: Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), advanced surveying and cartography, high precision high-resolution gravimetric applications, space applications.

In the field of positioning and monitoring using GNSS data, GReD has been working since the start of its activities with public institutions, namely the IGM (Italian national cartographic institute), CISIS (Italian Interregional Center for Informatics, Geography and Statistics) and the Como Municipality, for example for the adjustment of the reference Italian network (RDN – Dynamic National Network), as well as for the adjustment of the Italian RTK network of Leica (ItalPoS). Furthermore, GReD is initiating monitoring service activities, based on low-cost GPS instruments, for large Italian companies like Terna S.p.A. (Italian electricity transmission system operator) and Autostrade per l’Italia S.p.A. (Italian concessionaire for the construction and management of toll highways). As regards kinematic positioning, i.e. GNSS navigation, GReD is providing consulting and software development services for drone attitude determination; it has also collaborated with the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics for airborne detection of natural radioactivity over Italy, by providing precise positioning of the aircraft.

As regards gravimetry, GReD has a long experience in gravity field analysis, geoid estimation and satellite gravity determination, having participated, under the leadership of Politecnico di Milano (PoliMi), to the analysis and interpretation of the GOCE mission data. Also, the company is currently leading and working on a large project for Eni, the Italian oil company, aimed at designing and developing innovative solutions for the analysis of aerogravimetric data and its geophysical interpretation for oil & gas exploration.

GReD is a privately-owned company, and its staff is composed of researchers holding PhD degrees by Politecnico di Milano (Italy), providing the company with the knowledge and method necessary to tackle complex problems and solve them by means of innovative value-added solutions. The staff is supported by experts of business development, who collaborate closely with GReD researchers to develop market-ready products and services.


Partner 15. Noort Harmannus Conradus Pieter (HCP, the Netherlands)

Partner description

HCP international is a micro-enterprise, located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. HCP international specializes in program and project evaluation, advice on marketing and innovation, dissemination and capacity building strategy, business intelligence, preparation of international cooperation programs, calls and proposals and feasibility studies. The activities of HCP international focus on the areas of climate action, agriculture, risk management, water management, environmental management and water supply and sanitation. More specifically activities focus on marketing of Earth observation, with emphasis on innovative applications of satellite solutions in an international environment, particularly in developing countries.


Partner 16. FutureWater SL (FUWA, Spain)

Partner description

FutureWater is a research and consulting organization (SME) that works throughout the world to combine scientific research with practical solutions for water management. FutureWater works at both global, national and local levels with partners on projects addressing water for food, irrigation, water excess and floods, water scarcity and droughts, climate change, and river basin management.

FutureWater’s key expertise is in the field of quantitative methods, based on simulation models,geographic information systems, remote sensing observations (satellite and unmanned aerial vehicles), and has as its clients World Bank, International River Basin Organizations, Asian Development Bank,European Commission, private organizations, irrigator´s associations and others.



Role in the project

FutureWater (FW) participates in WP3 Hydrosphere and WP4 Biosphere. The principal role of FW is to bridge the gap between the satellite-scale and the ground-based data using Unmanned Areal Vehicles (UAVs) and techniques to combine the different scale levels. FW not only performs the actual data collection but has solid expertise in using this type of imagery for different hydrologic and agricultural applications, combining remote sensing-data with ground-station data using innovative methods and algorithms. It has a large list of project references in in Sub-Saharan Africa. FW will apply this experience to support the activities in WP3 and WP3 related to soil moisture retrieval, energy fluxes, flood mapping and crop health assessments. Agro-hydrological modeling will be used to integrate different hydrological measurements and provide useful outputs to end-users. FW has a direct link with a wide range of end-users in the targeted countries: from farmers, water boards, ministries, international donors, NGOs and development banks.

More specifically, principal contributions are expected in: WP3 Hydrosphere. UAV imagery and techniques to scale ground-based and satellite-based imagery, including hydrological modelling tools, to: 1) estimate soil moisture conditions at the adequate resolution for farmers, and 2) energy fluxes and evapotranspiration, 3) and flood risk analysis and flood mapping.

WP4 Biosphere. In task 4.1., FW aims to provide In-Situ Systems to monitor crop properties (e.g. greenness). FW will also lead task 4.2. consisting on the collection, retrieval and processing of satellite-based and UAV-based data (VIS-NIR and thermal imagery) to detect stress symptoms or to monitor crop health/performance. Activities in task 4.2. will also include the analysis of scaling issues among the satellite and UAV observations, and the ISS measurements derived from task 4.1.

Previous experience

FW has demonstrated a distinguished track-record in designing and developing science-based solutions and services for getting better impact risk assessments and management/adaptation strategies against weather hazards and climate change. FW has been involved in a wide range of cutting-edge research and applied projects relevant to TWIGA and funded by National and European organisms.


Partner 17. Starlab Barcelona (STAR, Spain)

Partner description

Starlab is a private Research and Development company whose main areas of work lie in the Space and Neuroscience sectors, two key areas for the 21st century with a common element: the increasing availability of streams of information. The Company employs physicists, mathematicians, environmentalists and engineers, who are backed up by a business team aiming to provide technical solutions, products and services for governments, industry and downstream markets.


Starlab Space area provides top-level technical consulting and value added Earth Observation (EO) services to many clients in Europe, and contributes significantly to several ESA technology programs. Information services based on EO offered by Starlab include water quality monitoring, determination of snow cover, change detection, vegetation monitoring and soil moisture mapping.

At Starlab Space we have a track record of projects demonstrating a comprehensive set of capabilities:

Managerial tasks: Starlab has proven experience leading projects in the frame of EU, ESA, NASA, EADS, and National funded programs.

Market development: Starlab counts on a wide experience in user management and market development. As a GMES–MarCoast service provider, Starlab has signed 10 Service Level Agreements (SLA) with Spanish users to provide oil spill and water quality monitoring services. Starlab has carried out several market studies on the EO applications interviewing and interacting with users from environmental and energy sectors. User requirements and market prospects have been analyzed in depth. Technical tasks: Experience on image processing, system design, R&D on new retrieval algorithms, data assimilation and data integration. As an example, Starlab counts with more than 8 year experience in Water Quality, Snow Cover and Soil Moisture retrieval.

Data sources integration: capacity of integrating and made interoperable different data sources (EO and non EO data) to fulfil standards and customer expectations.

Capacity building: flexibility and promptness to customize services already in place providing solutions to customer specific needs.

In the context of TWIGA project, Starlab offers its expertise in the development of novel in-situ systems and measurement concepts, multi-sensor retrieval and data harmonisation, as well as its know-how in the setting up of downstream services and user uptake activities. Starlab has a long history of projects involving acquisition and synergistic processing of remote sensing and in-situ data, from soil moisture monitoring based on satellite radar imagery and moisture probes (Smart Irrigation) to basins monitoring based on GNSS Reflectometry (GNSS-R) coupled with satellite optical and radar imagery and run-off models.

Starlab leads WP1 – Value chain design and development, and contributes to WP3 – Hydrosphere, WP5 – Calibration and integration, and WP6 – Platforms and Applications.


Partner 18. MicroStep-MIS SPOL SRO (MISTEP, Slovakia)

Partner description

MicroStep-MIS (www.microstep-mis.sk ) operates worldwide and is specialised in development and manufacturing of monitoring and information systems, processing of acquired data, research and numerical modelling. It develops, deploys and markets monitoring and information systems in the fields of meteorology, seismology, radiation and emission monitoring and crisis information systems.

The product range covers measurement, real-time data collection, data processing, archiving and tools for analysis, modelling and decision support. MicroStep-MIS has a special qualification structure of employees, which is a prerequisite for the interaction of a full-fledged scientific work and applied research. More than 88% of employees have a university degree and 15% have achieved academic degree PhD Since year 1993 as department of MicroStep-HDO company and since year 2001 as an independent subject MicroStep-MIS spol s r.o., the company succeeded to develop a fully-fledged scientific and research work with national and international acclaim. The company is for many years working on the principles of project management in a range of standard project methodology. Within the management of human resources, the applicant applies the strategy of formation of high level research teams that cooperate in the development and implementation of competition-able projects. Each of the research team members have a primary work package assigned, meaning that most of the work of a single researcher will be focused on one of the project’s objectives. This ensures the complementarity of the researchers and their tasks. Each work package is the primary research objective for several researchers, forming a small, cooperating research sub-team. It contains expertise which provides guarantee enough for the success of the project. Project teams have demonstrated experiences in project implementation, development of projects funded from the agency, the European Regional Development Fund and other sources including own sources. The company has cooperated with several universities (University in Bratislava, STU Bratislava, Košice TUKE, Charles University in Prague, University in Bonn) and other research and professional institutions (SAV Bratislava SHMU, SHMI of Sweden, LPS, WMO). The company in 2014 has been certified from the Ministry of Education - Science and Research certificate of competence to carry out research and development.


* Departments under main legal bodies.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No.776691. The opinions expressed on the web page are of the authors only and no way reflect the European Commission’s opinions. The European Union is not liable for any use that may be made of the information.