New Projects 2024: Stakeholder Engagement Facility (SEF)
16 May 2024
Esther Millet

Welcome to Evenflow’s new project series, where we introduce our new projects from the perspective of the Evenflow team and the work the team will carry out for each project.

Projects are at the heart of what Evenflow does, and the beginning of 2024 saw us take on exciting new projects, leading in areas such as communications, coordination, and management. One such project is the Stakeholder Engagement Facility, or SEF for short.

What is the Stakeholder Engagement Facility?

A service funded by the European Space Agency (ESA), the SEF will focus on Earth Observation (EO) based projects supported by ESA’s Science for Society programme. The SEF focuses on four main areas commonly tackled within the earth observation field – Food Systems; Ecosystems and Biodiversity; Carbon, Energy and Green Transition; and Sustainable Development Goals.

Often when a project ends the stakeholder engagement is not continued, resulting in a loss of momentum for the uptake of results by the target audience. With SEF, we want to increase stakeholder engagement and cross – link projects, so users and stakeholders will be introduced to different projects that may be better suited to their EO-based needs.

Evenflow’s Role

To tackle such an ambitions project, ESA have contracted Evenflow to lead the SEF, working together with our partners Serco and EARSC. The SEF kicked off at the end of 2023 and has recently passed its readiness review. The team is now beginning to fully start work and to engage with a first set of stakeholders.

The SEF team will be responsible for the overall implementation of the project which includes:

  • Understanding the stakeholder landscape and the policy context driving their needs and working with selected targets to refine their requirements and how EO Applications can meet them.
  • Finding innovative ways to promote EO to the target communities, including attending user-focused events.
  • Providing helpdesks, training events and direct support to users.

Phillip Harwood, the project manager for the SEF project, had this to say about Evenflow’s role and the tasks ahead.

“It is widely recognised within the EO community that although there are many exciting applications based on EO data, there is a gap between the R&D projects and the operational uptake. By building bridges between stakeholders and projects the SEF can help to address these barriers. Evenflow is uniquely positioned to deliver this important service for ESA, having both a deep understanding of the uses of earth observation and wide experience at promoting these to a range of stakeholder communities.”

The SEF team is working closely with two other ESA-funded initiatives: the Application Propagation Environment (APEx) team, responsible for ensuring continued access to services and results from the Applications projects, and the EO ASCENT project, which focuses on producing high-quality communication materials to enhance engagement with stakeholders.

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