GIONET research centre aims to address natural disasters

Leicester University is launching a new €3.5m (£2.9m) research centre that will train researchers skilled in using satellite technologies to tackle environmental issues.

Part of GIONET, the new European Centre of Excellence in Earth Observation Research Training aims to develop new methods for research and addressing disaster relief following landslides and floods.

Coordinator of the project, Prof Heiko Balzter, head of the Department of Geography, said: ‘GIONET will lead to better satellite monitoring methods to control tropical deforestation, help people affected by natural disasters and adapt to climate change.’

GIONET is expected also to satisfy demand for more researchers for the European Earth observation programme, Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES).

Prof Balzter, who has contributed to the development of the European land monitoring from space since the inception of GMES, said: ‘GIONET is training 14 young researchers in satellite remote sensing over the next four years.

‘They will be placed in industry and universities and experience working abroad, as well as getting the best technical training and scientific education.

‘Each full GIONET partner organisation is looking to recruit the brightest research students out there, who can really make a big impact on our future satellite monitoring capability.’

Funded by European Commission, Framework Programme 7 and Marie Curie Programme, GIONET is a collaboration between international partners from the private and public sector.