Copernicus Academy Network: a cornerstone to build skills for sustainability, growth and jobserstone to build skills for sustainability, growth and jobs

Back in the 15th century, the region of Silesia had a thriving copper mining industry and the ore inspired the names of many things in the area, including surnames. A genius born in a small village of Silesia carried his surname into fame as his ideas changed the world. The man was Nicolaus Copernicus. It is remarkable to think that a man who lived in a world where people couldn’t even dream of space travel restructured the model of the universe using the sheer power of his imagination.

The European Union’s Copernicus Programme is standing on the shoulders of such giants of the past and seeks to inspire and enable the future generation of great minds. As Copernicus Sentinel satellites are observing the Earth from Space, the European Commission is focusing on enabling users on the ground to take advantage of the free data and services provided not only to Participating Countries but globally. As part of Copernicus User Uptake activities, the European Commission has launched the Copernicus Academy and has recently made public the list of the founding members of the network

The Copernicus Academy will connect European universities, research institutions, business schools, both private and non-profit organisations, in the Participating Countries of the Programme and beyond. The goal of the Network is to develop lectures, training sessions, traineeships as well as educational and training material to empower the next generation of researchers, scientists, and entrepreneurs with suitable skill sets to use Copernicus data and information services to their full potential.

The Academy Network will also work to increase the exchange of ideas and best practices across borders and disciplines while contributing to the development of the use of Earth Observation data in general and Copernicus data and information in particular, in various public or private user organisations or industries. Moreover, the Academy will foster collaboration between educational institutions and established commercial operators or entrepreneurs so that innovation can reach the market and benefit the citizens of Europe and the future of our Planet.

The Copernicus Academy Members will have access to a comprehensive toolbox of User Uptake tools and will receive updated information from the European Commission and the recently established Copernicus Support Office. Starting in early 2017, Academy Members’ questions and inquiries will be answered by the Support Office via email, live chat and phone. There are numerous animation activities planned for the Copernicus Academy Members in coordination with the Copernicus User Forum and existing national structures, the Copernicus Relays and the Copernicus Support Office.

As an integral part of the recently released European Space Strategy, the Copernicus Academy has the ambition to develop new tools, to foster exchanges of knowledge as well as cross-border and cross-sectorial collaboration, with a view to contribute to unleashing the vast potential of Copernicus Sentinel data and service information to change our world for the better. The sky is not the limit!

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