ESA EO AFRICA Initiative

ESA – EO AFRICA R&D Research Grant – Intended invitation to tender

This is to announce that as part of the ESA EO AFRICA Initiative the R&D Facility intends to invite African and European researchers to tender for a research grant under the topic:

EO for managing water scarcity and safeguarding food security in Africa

The ESA EO AFRICA R&D Grant aims to facilitate African–European collaborative efforts to develop innovative, open-source EO algorithms and applications adapted to African solutions in relation to water scarcity and food security and by leveraging on cutting-edge cloud-based data access and computing infrastructure.

Who can apply

A research project must be proposed by at least one African and one European scientist in partnership, both with a PhD degree or in the process of obtaining it as a PhD candidate relevant to the topics of the call. Both African and European investigators shall provide proof of affiliation with an institution in Africa and Europe, respectively. Project teams may include more African and European researchers at all levels.

What to apply for

Each supported project will receive a budget of up to 25,000 EUR to cover activities during a period of maximum 12 months. Projects teams will have free access to tailor-made cloud-based Virtual Research Environments (VREs) through the Innovation Lab of the Facility, which is an interactive geospatial computing platform with ready-to-use scientific and EO software, and direct access to EO data (e.g., Sentinel and other ESA missions) through the host DIAS infrastructure. Projects will be integrated into the EO AFRICA R&D Network and will also benefit from capacity development activities, such as online and F2F training.

When to apply

Two funding rounds with different themes will be held in 2021 and 2022. The first call will be announced in the second half of September 2021 and will be open for submission for 8 weeks. The second call will follow a year later.

What to consider

Under the broad topic of managing water scarcity and safeguarding food security, the first call will focus on “mapping and monitoring the environment”, and the second call will focus on “analysing, simulating and forecasting dynamic processes”. Each proposal is expected to have a research plan for the scientific cooperation of the African and European partner, with the goal of developing an innovative algorithm or workflow as an open-source interactive notebook (e.g., Jupyter Notebook). Proposals will be evaluated by an expert committee with members from ESA, EO AFRICA R&D Facility, and invited African stakeholders.

ESA EO AFRICA Initiative