The kick-off meeting of the Twinning Project “GATHERS – Integration of Geodetic and imAging TecHniques for monitoring and modelling the Earth’s surface defoRmations and Seismic risk” has been held at The Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences (UPWr) on December 4th-5th, 2019

The main purpose of GATHERS project is to enlarge the number of research-intensive actions in the field of geospatial sciences at UPWr, represented by the Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformatics (IGiG), foster development of leaders to form Lead Research Working Group in InSAR, LiDAR and GNSS seismology, and finally, to establish strong networks with the best Universities in Europe to generate competitive research applications in H2020. The main partners of the project are TU Delft (the Netherlands), TU Wien (Austria) and Sapienza University of Rome (Italy).

H2020 WIDESPREAD TWINNING programme initiatives are aimed at filling networking and partnership gaps that institutions in the Widening countries suffer from. Their cooperation with leading institutions from EU will develop activities for education, staff exchanges, initiation of collaboration in scientific fields, publications and life-long cooperation.

One of the key scientific disciplines at UPWr are geospatial sciences, represented by Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformatics (IGiG). IGiG aims at the development of new area of expertise, i.e. integrated multi-technique monitoring of ground deformations and seismicity using modern techniques, such as Interferometric Synthetic-Aperture Radar (InSAR), Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) seismology. Current challenges in the field related to the deformation rate and scale, a non-linear character of terrain movements, seismic magnitude, and differentiation between the sources of surface deformations, require an enhancement of the methodological approaches as well as substantial expertise in the interpretation of the results.

UPWr’s IGiG ambition is to be amongst the top research institutions of geospatial sciences in the coming years, and to become one of the leading centres of excellence in the Central and Eastern Europe.

GATHERS kick-off meeting day was opened by Dr. Maya Ilieva (Project Coordinator from UPWr). The purpose of the first official meeting was the team building, establishing of personal contacts and focus on the project goals. Participants discussed project governance and procedures, and finally voted for the project logo.

The kick-off meeting was accompanied by a B2B event in which over 30 carefully selected experts and companies from Europe took part. The B2B meeting started with two Keynote talks: “InSAR for mining industry” by Davide Colombo (TRE Altamira, Italy) and “Mining tremors – current challenges to the industry” by Prof. Grzegorz Mutke (GIG, Poland). The second part of the meeting was dedicated to the presentation of the techniques and challenges represented by GATHERS partners with the presentations of Prof. Ramon Hanssen (TU Delft), DI Michael Wimmer (TU Wien) and Prof. Mattia Crespi (Sapienza University of Rome). The B2B event concluded with a “World Café” to discuss the challenges in InSAR, LiDAR and GNSS seismology moderated by experts with the participation of business partners.