How did you became one of the facilitator of the Sud Regional Animation Network?
Philippe Rossello: The Emmah Department of Inra in Avignon prompted me into taking charge of the Regional Animation Network (RAN) for the Sud region. Dominique Courault, its director, thought my company, GeographR, was in capacity to take on the issues and to meet the needs in the regional context. I was already convinced that it was essential to develop remote sensing in our region, and this facilitation mandate off ered a good way to keep a constant watch on satellite-based products. Putting GeographR into such light contributed fi nally to reinforce the visibility of my consulting, even if the benefi ts in terms of contracts are still very marginal. Supporting the regional actors to use satellite-based resources for environmental monitoring, for assessment of climate change impacts or documenting land use evolution remains however the main stake. It is crucial to capitalize the investments dedicated to spatial information.
How do you envision your role as a facilitator between research and users?
Philippe Rossello: This mediation is essential to reinforce the dialogue between academics, companies, local authorities, national and regional conservation areas… Users waver before questioning researchers because both communities remain very segmented. Theia regional animation network has to foster these discussions. It can involve setting-up joint projects, modest or ambitious. In the Sud region, we are trying to bring together different kinds of regional actors, public and private, without exclusion. Users are inquisitive and willing, but their needs concern very narrow territories. They thus expect the Sud RAN to act directly on their territory. Unfortunately, current South RAN financial means do not allow us to meet this expectation.
What does constitute the greatest Sud RAN achievement?
Philippe Rossello: With approximatively 50 trainees, the two-day technical training organized with the Avignon University in 2017 has been a great success. We did not expect such a large craze. An event at the Maison de la météo et du climat (Weather and Climate House) in Les Orres has enable us to present the remote sensing potential to alpine actors. In the mountains as on the plains, remote sensing constitutes a precious tool to broaden knowledge and databases. The national conference dedicated to remote sensing scheduled in September 2019 in Aix-en-Provence will bring a new momentum for our actions. Organized by the CRIGE in partnership with the Sud RAN, this event will constitute a milestone in our regional animation. CRIGE and GeographR will now facilitate jointly the Sud RAN. The rapprochement is an excellent news for the development of the economy and the broadening of knowledge related to satellite-based products – from the monitoring of the health of alpine lakes to the identifi cation of the area best suited for the installation of renewable energies equipment. GeographR, with its will to create bridges between public and private sectors, and CRIGE, with its large network of public and local actors, are more than complementary. The animation dynamics must be constant to prevent any loss of momentum and impetus at regional level.