A very big thank you to everyone who joined us for our recent 2nd ECFAS Webinar, which was held online on Wednesday 20th April from 9:30-13;00 CEST. We were delighted to receive over 100 participants during this special event.
The webinar “A potential new tool for Copernicus: a Coastal Flood Awareness System” welcomed researchers, companies, technicians and decision-makers to share expert knowledge and opinions about present and future coastal risk scenarios, innovative technologies and methodologies, geoinformation data and services value for the development of a European coastal flood awareness system.
The scope of this event was to showcase ECFAS results from the first year of the project and to receive feedback and inputs from end users towards scaling up innovative solutions and approaches for European coasts in support to decision-making actors and the private sector.
High-level representatives of the following project partners took part in the discussion: University School for Advanced Studies IUSS Pavia, Mercator Ocean International, Planetek Hellas, Collecte Localisation Satellite, Consorzio Fututuro in Ricerca, EurOcean – The European Centre for Information on Marine Science and Technology, Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, University of the Aegean.
ECFAS benefits from the advice and guidance from JRC, EEA, ECMWF, ESA and Mercator Ocean International. It also formally involves the Copernicus User Forum of Italy, Greece, Spain, Germany and France in the ECFAS Users Board.
The event saw the participation of users from all over Europe with a particular interest from Mediterranean countries (81%). The participation of northern European countries attendees was less numerous but yet significant (15%).
While the participation from Universities, National and Regional Authorities, National Agencies and Research Institutes has been very significant, ECFAS continues to attract the interest of the private sector. In fact, 16% of the participants to the webinar belonged to private companies, in particular SMEs. We are delighted to have the interest of such a variety of end users, as they will help to improve the ECFAS system, and to ensure that it meets their ultimate needs.
Questions and Answers Session
As for the first webinar, users were very engaged in the discussion, asked several questions to the team and provided useful inputs to improve the different ECFAS components. Interesting topics of discussion included: the potential expansion of ECFAS to a global level given the importance of EWS especially for developing countries; the inland extension of the coastal dataset; the Shoreline Analysis and Extraction Tool functionalities and validation results; the ocean and flood modelling; public availability of the ECFAS outcomes (datasets, reports, models).
Some attendees provided fundamental information in relation to EWS at national/regional level that are very useful in the context of the analysis carried out in ECFAS of current practices at the EU level.
The final part of the webinar was dedicated to a round table discussion among the panelists and with the attendees on topics such as the ECFAS ultimate goal of developing a proof-of-concept, the implementation of a Thematic Hub for coastal areas within the Copernicus framework, and possible future improvements of the ECFAS system.
This exchange has been very helpful in identifying potential new users and to guide the implementation of ECFAS products. Users’ inputs will also contribute to the evolution of the European Coastal Flood Awareness System into its roadmap for the future.