INCOBRA - Increasing International Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation between Brazil and the European Union

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INCOBRA Bilateral Networks: a chat with PEARL network


  • Posted on: Oct 23, 2018
  • Belgium
  • Important


PEARL objectives:

  • Find solutions to an unresolved vulnerability of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) related to ionospheric disturbances typical of the Brazilian territory, which is crucial to support precision agriculture in Brazil, among other high accuracy GNSS based applications; 
  • Exploit the expertise and past intranet collaborations to develop at least one highly competitive proposal that addresses one of the priority areas of the INCOBRA call, i.e. “Bioeconomy, Food security and sustainable agriculture”;
  • Develop and later submit aproposal to H2020 that will bring to market anenhanced real time high accuracy GNSS positioning service that can be piloted within the precision agriculture market in Brazil;
  • Tailor our strategy taking on board input from the Brazilian sector through face to face discussions in Brazil and in Europe, enabled by the INCOBRA funding;
  • Address the importance of the European GNSS Galileo, also referred to as EGNSS, when H2020 SPACE-EGNSS calls will be out (October 2018);
  • Ensure the proposal(s) is driven by the commercial interest of PEARL’s industrial partners Geo++, AleziTeodolini, SpacEarth and MCEngineering.

Which are the potential impacts yielded from your network for:

Demonstration of aservice that can work at any region sprone to ionospheric disturbances, so that not only Brazil will benefit, but also other similarly affected parts of the world, such as Southern China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, thus promoting EU and Brazilian industry, and ultimately European GNSS (EGNSS, Galileo), to the global applications market.

What are the main activities carried out so far, and the main achievements in strengthening EU-BR research and innovation (R&I) cooperation in your thematic area?

  • Press release about the project on the University of Nottingham website, thus increasing the visibility and disseminating the objectives of the network
  • A 3 day event in São Paulo, Brazil was organised successfully during 04-06 July 2018. The event on 04 and 06 July was closed to the PEARL network members. The workshop on 05 July involved the participation of Brazilian actors like John Deere, Topcon, and exposed the ideas of the PEARL network to develop collaborative research on high accuracy satellite based positioning to support ‘precision agriculture’ in Brazil. The workshop paved the way to gather interest from the stakeholders for the new proposal that is being developed for submission to H2020.

Which are the most beneficial outcomes of bringing together the participants of the network in the foreseen events/meetings?

  • Ensure the potential participation of local market leading industry and their customer base, as well as local authorities in future application and validation campaigns in precision agriculture in Brazil 
  • Engagement with local stakeholders and representatives directly affected by the problems caused by ionospheric disturbances, scintillation in particular (including government, academia and industry);
  • Engagement of local actors keen to find solutions to which they could adapt to provide or benefit from 24/7 high accuracy GNSS positioning;
  • Ensuring that European and Brazilian research institutes and companies can work together to remain at the forefront of new technology development in the field

What are the plans for the future?

  • Organise a 3-day face to face brainstorm meeting in Rome involving the PEARL network members to carry out a detailed review of the H2020 Space EGNS Scall, in-depth discussion on the development of the proposal, including possible change of course in line with the full call documentation available in October, or of new opportunities or partners or scenario changes and agreement on individual tasks for final proposal preparation and subsequent submission;
  • Develop and later submit (March 2019) a proposal to H2020 that will bring to market an enhanced real time high accuracy GNSS positioning service that can be piloted within the precision agriculture market in Brazil

Testimonials - How INCOBRA is supporting your network? Is it useful? What are the advices you would give to other R&I players willing to engage in international cooperation programmes (with BR and with EU)?

The main aim of our network is to develop and submit (at least) one proposal that will bring to market an enhanced real time high accuracy GNSS positioning service that can be piloted within the precision agriculture market in Brazil, delivering user required accuracy and integrity under ionospheric worst case scenarios.The INCOBRA funding has enabled tailoring our strategy taking on board input from the Brazilian sector through face to face discussions in Brazil and in Europe. The organisation of the workshop and the exposure of our proposed idea to the local Brazilian stakeholders thus supporting EU-BR policy dialogue in this area, by ensuring that government and academia, as well as local specialised industry and their large customer base become aware of and can indeed contribute to solutions that will allow full exploitation of EGNSS in Brazil. Running this workshop and implementing suchacomprehensiveworkplanwouldnothavebeen possible without the support of the INCOBRA funding and consultancy services.

“The INCOBRA initiative provides a great opportunity to bring to life initiatives that can take advantage of existing or new collaborations in research, in particular supporting a bottom up approach so that any subject field within the INCOBRA remit can be funded..” MarcioAquino

“The workshop in Brazil was an excellent forum to expose existing ideas to support precision agriculture in the country and to discuss new ones that may be implemented through future collaborative research potentially enabled by EU funded projects..” SreejaVeettil
“Our past and current experience in research collaboration with EU partners such as UNOTT and INGV has been prolific in the past decade and enabled significant progress in the field of mitigation of ionospheric scintillation effects on satellite positioning, besides providing means to deploy a very useful network for monitoring ionospheric scintillation in Brazil. The INCOBRA funding provides an important route to continue this collaboration, while also allowing to engage new partnerships in this field of research..” Joao Francisco Galera Monico


Scientific field: Bioeconomy, Food security, Sustainable agriculture, Other