At times when all sectors are being hit by the economic and logistic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FIRE team has decided to re-design all further interactions scheduled for this year and move them to an online format. We are still working on establishing and developing partnerships with the sector leads of our users’ fora to maintain and even strengthen our commitment to listen to users’ needs, providing a platform for the digital exchange of experiences and requirements to be incorporated into a forward-looking Earth Observation strategy.
Consequently, FIRE is going to hold the first round of sectorial discussions online instead of visiting various locations across Europe. The first round of Focus Group Events will be organised in Autumn 2020 and will aim to bring together the actors representing all interested communities (downstream market actors, EO innovators and researchers, end-users) within each of the thematic focus groups organised around the six focus sectors. Representatives from across the value chain will set the tone to discuss the opportunities and challenges of their sector. The results of these focus group discussions will help to set the agenda of the first FIRE Forum event in 2021.
The FIRE team is determined to continue the work started earlier this year with a successful launch of project activities and designation of sector leads for raw materials, marine, agriculture, and infrastructure sectors. We will closely follow the evolution of the COVID-19 situation and adapt our activities to allow us all to stay healthy, but also engaged and committed. The need for a strong bottom-up strategy for the European Earth Observation Research and Innovation Strategy has never been more important than during these challenging times.