Sligo to take Part in €10M Horizon 2020 Project to increase Climate Resilience in European Coastal Cities

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IT Sligo will lead a newly launched €10 million euro Horizon 2020 project that aims to increase climate resilience in European coastal cities.

The four year project was officially launched by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD at the recently held online “kick-off” meeting attended by academics and strategic partners from across the European Union.

SCORE (Smart Control of the Climate Resilience in European Coastal Cities), outlines a comprehensive strategy, developed via a network of 10 coastal city ‘living labs’, to rapidly, equitably and sustainably enhance coastal city climate resilience though an Ecosystem-Based Approach (EBA) supported by sophisticated digital technologies.

The intensification of extreme weather events, coastal erosion and sea-level rise are major challenges to be urgently addressed by European coastal cities. Deaths caused by extreme weather in Europe could rise from 3,000 a year between 1981 and 2010 to 152,000 between 2071 and 2100 if mitigation pathways are not enacted to increase the resilience of European cities and settlements, based on a study in The Lancet Planetary Health journal.

To tackle this challenge, Dr Salem Gharbia from the Institute of Technology Sligo (Ireland), will lead a consortium of international scientific institutions, cities, and SMEs in a new €10m Horizon 2020-funded research project to increase climate resilience in European coastal cities. Dr Salem Gharbia, said;

“SCORE will provide Europe with expandable and transferable solutions to increase climate resilience against extreme events in coastal cities. Together with our partners, we will establish a network of coastal cities that will work together and learn from each other to tackle climate change.  In SCORE we want to put every effort to mitigate the effects of climate change now and in the years ahead”

The SCORE interdisciplinary team consists of 28 world-leading organisations from academia, local authorities, RPOs, and SMEs encompassing a wide range of skills including environmental science and policy, climate modelling, citizen and social science, data management, coastal management and engineering, security and technological aspects of smart sensing research.

The project will involve citizen science in providing prototype coastal city early-warning systems and will enable smart, instant monitoring and control of climate resilience in European coastal cities through open, accessible spatial ‘digital twin’ tools.

Along with Sligo and Dublin the project seeks to advance the control of climate resilience in cities in; Spain, Portugal, Italy, Slovenia and Poland.

Local partner in the Horizon 2020 SCORE research project Sligo County Council is delighted to be part of this important opportunity to protect our coastal cities against a growing concern in climate change. Sligo County Council, Deputy CEO Mr Tom Kilfeather, said;

“Sligo County Council is delighted to be a part of this initiative. We look forward to working collaboratively on this very important project, a topic which is at the top of all our agendas and one which will require every effort as we strive to adapt to and mitigate on the effects of Climate Change now and in the years ahead”.

Mr Mark Sweeney of Enterprise Ireland and the National Contact Point of the Horizon Europe Programme said;

“Enterprise Ireland would like to congratulate IT Sligo on the launch of the €10m SCORE project under Horizon 2020. As a National Contact Point, I would particularly like to commend the dedication and approach of the coordinator Dr Gharbia during the preparation and submission of the proposal. This project is a great example of how Ireland can compete successfully with the best of European researchers. I would also like to take this opportunity to encourage all Irish researchers, innovators and newcomers across all disciplines to look at the opportunities under the recently launched €95b Horizon Europe Programme. The National Contact Points in Enterprise Ireland and across the national support network offer information, funding, guidance and expert support in evaluating opportunities, and making applications, improving your chances of success”.

SCORE will establish an integrated coastal zone management framework for strengthening the Ecosystem-Based solutions and smart coastal city policies, creating European leadership in coastal city climate change adaptation in line with The Paris Agreement.