Resilient Society Department

Welcoming note

Haris KONTOES
Resilient Society Department Coordinator

Thank you for taking the time to learn about the Resilient Society Department on our website. On behalf of the entire Resilient Society team, I would like to welcome you. Through my role, I am responsible for ensuring that the Department runs efficiently, the research and innovation activities meet the department’s needs and the quality standards and finally the strategic plan will be implemented through the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) of the Centre. As you explore our site, please do not hesitate to contact us in the event that you have questions or concerns.

Dr. Haris Kontoes has a longstanding experience in coordinating a large number of EU, ESA, and transnational projects, in the context of EU flagship EO programs. He has been managing the development and sustained operation of Copernicus infrastructures in the SE Europe and Balkans regions (e.g. the Hellenic Sentinel Data Hub), and has been assigned leading roles in the organisation of international research forums, including GEO and Copernicus relevant congresses. He has been assuming the leading role in the coordination of national delegations in the context of International Organisation Boards and Space Committees (e.g. ESA PBEO, EC Space Committees, GMES Steering Committee, Space Advisory Committee, etc.).  

Resilient Society Department

The Resilient Society Department of the ECoE, with an impact to the public sector and the industry, focuses on research and services tailored to ensure the societies’ wellbeing, make economy sectors resilient, exploit efficiently the available resources, and protect civilians and businesses from natural threats and illegal actions in respect to smuggling/refugees trafficking in the surrounding seawith. The thematic cluster includes a portfolio of several research fields and more specifically:

  • The Disaster Risk Reduction Area, which refers to situations of disasters, both environmental and/or anthropogenic. The ECoE uses Earth Observation for Disaster Risk Reduction to forecast and prepare for disasters, to mitigate damage and to better manage and recover from disasters, to shield critical infrastructures and to enable business operation continuity after major disasters through enhanced preparedness plans, timely activation and dynamically updated situational awareness throughout the emergency management cycle for early action. The Disaster Risk Reduction Area comprises of the following sections:
    • Fire monitoring and management, that includes satellite data processing, theory, algorithms, database post-processing, data fusion and hands-on co-development. Fire management assists in limiting destruction of property and business interruption, ensuring the development of effective disaster business continuity plans mapping of fire events’ extend, supporting the firefighting mechanism and the civil protection mechanism to generate plans for citizen safety, and business, critical infrastructure and sector resilience.
    • Flood management, that supports the decision-making process of the relevant authorities (civilian protection, fire brigade, transportation, construction, agriculture, insurance, hydropower and tourism sectors) and mitigates the risks that floods pose to human health, the environment, cultural heritage, economic activity and infrastructure.
    • Health/Epidemics, which importance lies on the reduction of infections/outbreaks/deaths, the improvement of people’s lives, the assistance to public authorities that need accurate and in time information for early decision-making and for taking preventive and control measures.
    • Earthquakes/Landslides, that includes modelling the risk and estimating the hazard, exposure, susceptibility, vulnerability, techniques for damage assessment using optical, SAR and fused datasets and EO-based early warning systems for detection and alerting. The importance of this sector lies on supporting Civil Defence and Emergency Response, providing information for Critical infrastructures (electricity, water, communication networks), conducting large-scale mapping of current active landslides and frequent update of landslide inventory as well as determining areas susceptible to natural hazards.
  • The Cultural Heritage (CH) Area is a strategic resource for Europe and the International society with high cultural, social, environmental and economic value. To maximise the benefits of the application of digital technologies to CH, important challenges and obstacles are to be addressed through research to develop a holistic approach which meets the needs of all existing and potential user and increases the social and economic value of CH.
  • The Access to Energy Area which refers to solar energy that is the most abundant renewable resource and therefore much of the focus on sustainable energy is targeting on the optimum solar energy use. Southern Europe, including Cyprus, presents an important solar energy potential and its exploitation is critical for the regional sustainable development through an efficient energy planning and a gradual independence from fossil fuels. Solar energy management is crucial in the energy exchange marketplace, where on-the-spot energy prices are defined by supply and demand equilibriums hence, energy ‘’liquidity’’ is vital. End-users of this area are national transmission system operators, national distribution system operators, environmental, energy related authorities, thematic sectors (Tourism, Agriculture, Health, Energy), industries, value adders, SMEs, decision makers.
  • The Marine Safety and Security Area, which includes droughts, water shortages, water quality, freshwater aquifers and land desertification. The ECoE establishes a satellite based maritime research and services and supports maritime traffic, transport and exploitation regulations at national and European/Global scale. The Marine safety and security sector capitalises on secured supply of EO data and rapid development of services and customer needs in this domain and specifically in that geographic area.
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