The five project partners are IFAC-CNR (Italy), DLR (Germany), CU-CLAC (Egypt), INAT (Tunisia), and IRA (Tunisia)

Institute of Applied Physics – National Research Council (IFAC-CNR)
The Institute of Applied Physics “Nello Carrara” (IFAC) was born in Florence in 2002 from the union of the Institute of Research on Electromagnetic Waves, founded by Nello Carrara, with the Institute of Quantum Electronics. The merger created a strong institute, operating in the fields of applied physics and ICT. The scientific-technological identity of IFAC relays on a central core of expertise in physical technologies (optoelectronics and photonics, spectroscopy, electromagnetism), applied to the development of innovative devices and instruments, such as lasers, sensors, spectrometers, integrated photonic and nanophotonic devices. These skills are complemented with those from engineering, aimed at modeling environmental parameters and data/images processing. Skills in materials science and biotechnology complete the multidisciplinary landscape of the available enabling technologies. From this picture it results a very strong interaction of IFAC with companies and end users (hospitals, space agencies, environmental protection bodies and for the conservation of Cultural Heritage) that are able to incorporate innovation into an advanced state of development. The Institute is therefore highly competitive in the acquisition of external research funds, which guarantee continuity in self-financing for purchasing new equipment and recruiting new human resources. In addition, IFAC plays a key role in supporting technology transfer programs at regional, national and international levels, providing innovation policy recommendations, high-level consulting activities and supporting the training of experts. For additional info, please visit IFAC website

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
German Remote Sensing Data Center, DFD, of the German Aerospace Center, DLR (ca. 8000 employees) (Project Coordinator): DFD (employs around 415 staff) provides direct access to information derived from earth observation (EO) missions, extracts products from raw data, distributes these products to users, and stores all data sets for future applications. The “Land Surface” department of DFD, which comprises 50 researchers with a strong background in environmental monitoring, has the function to serve as a link between the engineering activities and their geoscience applications. The team “Agroecosystems and Phenology”, which is directly involved in this proposal, has been involved in several projects in Africa, Asia and South America, amongst others the BMBF-funded WASCAL, SALDI BIOTA-South and BIOTA-West projects, the PARLU and SULU projects (both BMUB IKI), the CAWA project on water management in Central Asia funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, and GRAZE, a project funded by GIZ in Azerbaijan. In fact, the team has been working closely with the WWF for more than 4 years in projects focused in Paraguay under the framework of IKI of BMUB and published numerous scientific articles relevant to the forestry sector in the country. The team’s competencies include the time series analysis of environmental products relevant to support decision making, including the derivation of detailed land use and land cover maps, natural vegetation and wetland habitat mapping, flooded areas derivation, and the development of remote sensing algorithms. For more info, please visit DLR website.

Cairo University – Central Laboratory for Agricultural Climate (CU-CLAC)
Cairo University (CU) is the biggest and oldest one in Egypt there is about 2.3 Million students at 26 Faculties and institutes. Faculty of Science is one of the oldest biggest faculties in Cairo University; the faculty has 10 departments for basics sciences. One of these departments is the astronomy, space and Meteorology Department. In this department, the three divisions have undergraduate and graduate students. The division of Meteorology counted as one of the biggest departments in MENA. The officers of weather forecasting in Egypt are graduated from this department. Also, the department receives students from the Arab world and Africa. This department has an advanced lab with HPC to run weather and climate models. Also, this department has MOU with the Ministry of water resources in the area of early warning system and flash flood forecasting, in addition to MOU with Egyptian meteorological authority in training and research. The department used to be involved in Mega projects related to meteorology and climate change.The Central Laboratory for Agricultural Climate (CLAC) was established to conduct research, training and extension activities related to agricultural climate in cooperation with the other institutes to serve the specific needs of different regions in Egypt. The mission of CLAC is aiming to avoid extreme losses that may happen in the agriculture sector. The activates of CLAC are not only collect and process the weather data from different sources, but also in applied form and applications to be at hand of recently the agriculture sector, that affects consequently on the national economy. As well, CLAC building a team in remote sensing technique to use this technology in the agricultural applications like monitoring the agricultural lands, assessing the agricultural drought, and estimating the evapotranspiration. CLAC has main four departments which are the Application of agriculture climate research department, Climate modification research department, Soilless culture research department, and the Organic culture research department. Also, it has established a system that covers more than 35 automatic agro-metrological stations all over the country. CLAC performs some service such as avoiding climate hazard that may effect on crops, like hazardous of diseases and pests, hazardous of loss crop yields due to natural disasters such as hot storm, and storms, Indirect hazard such as sudden extremely rise in temperature that causes a sudden thirst to plants, or micro-climate unbalance of livestock houses, thus effects on the general health of animals and final production, and Climate change impacts on agricultural sector, crop water requirement calculations, and diseases and pests forecasting.

National Agronomic Institute of Tunisia (INAT)
INAT is the dean engineering school in Africa. It is the first college of Agriculture built in 1898 by the French colonists as the “Ecole Coloniale d’Agriculture” (ECAT), to train agronomists needed for the French land colonization. It became INAT in 1970. It carries out studies in a wide range of agronomic topics, including agricultural and agro-food economy, rural water and forest engineering, fishery animal resources and food technologies, and plant agronomy and biotechnology(Organic Agriculture, Organic foods, General Agronomy and Cereal Systems). INAT is under the dual supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture (IRESA) and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (University of Carthage). INAT houses a doctoral school and hosts six laboratories and tow research units where the main activity of research covered in priority themes, such as water management, environment survey, sustainable development issues, applied remote sensing and geomatics, biodiversity, environment, water management, rural engineering, functioning and engineering of natural and cultivated ecosystems, marine ecosystem and animal production, genetics, plant breeding and biotechnology. For additional information, please visit INAT website. INAT is involved in the OPTIMED Water project through a team from it GREEN-TEAM laboratory.

Arid Regions Institute (IRA)
Created under law n ° 76/6 of January 7, 1976, the Institute of Arid Regions (IRA) of Medenine (Minister of Agriculture) has for main missions the realization of research necessary for the development of the agricultural sector, the protection and conservation of natural resources and the fight against desertification in arid and desert regions. The activities to enhance research achievements are carried out by the Research Results Development Department in collaboration with the various research laboratories, the technical services of the institute and in partnership with development stakeholders and socio-professional organisations. The promotion of IRA research achievements over the past few years takes place within the framework of a contractual approach with economic actors, through an integrated system comprising awareness-raising and popularisation of research results (through primary and secondary education establishment), organisation of training and information days, supervision of the agricultural sector, study of development projects and audiovisual production. Please visit IRA website