Munich, September 18th, 2014 -- obsAIRveYourBusiness will provide a customer-specific service for cities and regions by offering high-resolution air quality forecasts. The air quality service will deliver near real-time information via mobile apps and builds on experiences from the obsAIRve project and the European Copernicus programme. The project is led by bavAIRia and involves the partners GAF AG, DLR and Regio Augsburg Wirtschaft from Germany, Airparif from France, and the research networks CORILA and INNOVA from Italy.
Air pollution is one of the major health hazards faced by humans. A recent study by the WHO, released in March 2014, reports that air pollution resulted in around 7 million deaths in 2012. This is double the previous estimates and “confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk”. As Europe is no exception in this regard, the European Commission has provided funding for obsAIRveYourBusiness in order to further develop the Copernicus downstream service obsAIRve (www.obsairve.eu) and thereby address specific stakeholders and potential customers of the service in Europe. While obsAIRve already disseminates European-wide air quality information, obsAIRveYourBusiness will enhance the service with high resolution air quality model data for selected cities.
obsAIRveYourBusiness focuses on dedicated mobile apps for selected cities in Europe. An important objective of the project is to provide easily comprehensible and detailed air quality information on the city level. Using numerical models and the latest mobile technology, the service will translate environmental data into individually localised information for citizens. Key air pollutants are ozone, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter. Information about and forecasting of these pollutants, as well as a general air quality index, will be accessible via each mobile app.
In order to stay closely connected to the project stakeholders, workshops and user forums are planned throughout the project. This will allow the consortium to involve city representatives and other potential customers at an early stage in the service development and provide a platform to exchange information.
obsAIRveYourBusiness offers numerous possibilities for Europe by preparing the air quality service for the market. It will enable cities, regions and other stakeholders to start using high-resolution data for air quality management within cities in order to raise the awareness of citizens or for integration into other applications. In acknowledging the importance of air quality to human health, the challenge is to combine data from various sources and provide an easy to use and meaningful service for citizens and cities.
The obsAIRveYourBusiness project is funded by the European Commission as part of its Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and is part of the European Mobile and Mobility Industries Alliance (EMMIA). EMMIA aims to support European’s mobile and mobility industries using policy analyses and funding instruments.
bavAIRia is responsible for the management of the Bavarian Cluster Aerospace and is engaged in the fields of Aeronautics, Space and Space Applications. bavAIRia’s objective is to foster cooperation between industry, SMEs, universities, research institutes and politics. Through networking, location marketing, consultancy and other services, bavAIRia supports the Bavarian Aerospace industry on a regional and global level. By accompanying and carrying out national and international projects the cluster deals with the development of innovative applications and services.
GAF AG, an e-Geos/Telespazio company, is a leading solutions provider with an international reputation as a skilled supplier of data, products and services in the fields of geo-information, satellite remote sensing, spatial IT and consulting for private and public clients. GAF is one of the most experienced European service providers in the Copernicus programme and covers all the thematic domains - Land, Marine, Atmosphere, Emergency Management and Security.
DLR is the national aeronautics and space research centre of the Federal Republic of Germany. It conducts research and development work in the fields of aeronautics, space, energy, transport and security. DLR supports science and industry as well as the general public. Its activities in earth observation have become more and more important with regard to environment and climate, mobility, planning, and the prevention and management of natural catastrophes. DLR is currently heavily involved in the European Copernicus programme and provides scientific service development for air quality monitoring using satellite-based instruments and new forecasting methods.
Airparif is a non-profit organisation that was founded in 1979 and which is accredited by the French Ministry of Environment to monitor the air quality in Paris and in the Ile de France region (the capital city region). The Airparif administrative board consists of representatives from the state, local authorities in the Île-de-France Region, industries contributing to pollutant emissions, and also environmental and consumer NGO experts. Airparif continuously monitors the air quality and contributes to the assessment of health risks and the environmental impacts of air pollutants.
Regio Augsburg Wirtschaft is the local government’s main body for the promotion of economic activities in the region Augsburg A³ in Germany. Its role is to meet current and future challenges for the region and its businesses, to support the development of the region and to foster conditions that promote economic growth. Its main activities include regional marketing, technology transfer and initiatives for securing skilled personnel.
CORILA is a consortium consisting of the two Universities of Venice (Ca’Foscari and IUAV), the University of Padua, the National Research Council of Italy (CNR) and the Italian National Institute of Oceanography (OGS). CORILA promotes and carries out multidisciplinary research activities mainly related to coastal and marine areas, with particular attention being placed on the Venice Lagoon and historical cities. Its objective is to use research to improve the quality of decision-making in local and national public administrations. CORILA is member of the European network NEREUS (Network of European Regions Using Space Technologies) and co-chairs the working group on GNSS. It participates in a number of EC-funded projects.
INNOVA is a private company specialised in technology transfer services and R&D project financing. It has branches in Italy, Belgium, Poland, Spain, the United Kingdom and the USA (Boston). With more than 100 members of staff, INNOVA assists industrial and research organisations in the implementation of innovation strategies that promote the assessment and exploitation of advanced technologies and the valorisation of R&D results. Its mission is to enhance competitiveness by linking research and industry by providing technology transfer & exploitation and venture capital support.
INNOVA includes R&D laboratories (LABOR), innovation and research consulting and a seed capital operation company (INVENT). INVENT currently owns 10 high tech start-ups and evaluates over 25 deals / month, including on behalf of leading European venture capital funds.
Figure 1: Example of a simulation of NO2 concentrations for the region of Augsburg performed with the POLYPHEMUS/DLR air quality model. Red colors indicate areas of elevated concentration
Image: GAF AG