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KICK-START THEMATIC CALL CONNECTED RURAL COMMUNITIES

ESA Open Invitation to Tender AO10273
Open Date: 19/03/2020
Closing Date: 18/09/2020 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 20.1AP.04
Prog. Ref.: BASS 4.0.1
Budget Ref.: E/0520-01G - BASS 4.0.1
Special Prov.: BE+DK+FR+DE+IT+NL+SE+CH+GB+IE+AT+NO+FI+PT+GR+LU+CZ+RO+PL
Tender Type: C
Price Range: 50-100 KEURO
Products: Non Space Procurement / Services
Technology Domains: Others
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate Telecom & Integrated Applica
Department: Downstream Business Applications Dept.
Division: Study and Project Management Office
Contract Officer: Arnaudova, Romina
Industrial Policy Measure: N/A - Not apply
Last Update Date: 19/03/2020
Update Reason: Tender issue

Although more than half of the world population lives today in urban areas and all countries of the world are becoming increasinglyurbanized, the World Bank estimates that 47.0% of the worlds population still lives in rural areas. Poverty is there a serious issue. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) recently reported that at least 70% of the worlds very poor people live in rural areas, with South Asia having the largest number of rural poor people and sub-Saharan Africa having the highest incidence of rural poverty.The nature of the term 'rural' varies from place to place, ranging from the rural urban fringe, to the extreme remote rural areas. The first case refers to areas in a country which are less densely populated, outside the cities and towns with different problems depending on how accessible they are from urban areas. The extreme case refers to remote rural areas which are often farm lands, woodland forests, plains, deserts, and prairies with few buildings and habitants living far apart from each another. Although there are commonalities among rural areas, they also differ greatly from each other and face different issues. The dominant economic activity in the rural areas is typically farming since these areas are located in the countryside. Rural communities in developing economies are almost exclusively relying on agriculture for their livelihood, and many live in extreme poverty. Farming does still happen in the rural-urban fringe in developed countries, but farmers in those areas are more under pressure to sell their land for development. In fact, the urban fringe is often associated with the building of motorways, big shopping centres, hypermarkets and industrial plants. Farming in rural communities of developed countries, such as Europe or North America, may be characterized by the usage of more advanced techniques and access to large markets. However, the number of workers in the sector is decreasingsince the mechanisation and exchange of goods and products across the countries is reducing the potential for employment and therefore new business opportunities are sought. An interesting aspect is the movement of people of the communities from and to the ruralareas. In some cases, it is the decline in the employment the reason why people move to urban areas to find work. Natural disasters, such as drought or flooding may also encourage migration out of the rural areas. In the More Economically Developed Countries (MEDC), some people move out of urban areas to rural communities to benefit from cheaper housing and more green space. Improvements in transport are allowing this to happen. This is putting pressure on rural areas that have good links with nearby urban areas. In the Less Economically Developed Countries (LEDC), forest clearance, mining and cash crops put pressure on rural areas. There are many resulting effects of this, one is soil erosion from the areas that used to be forests, or from the areas used for farming. There are also pressures to use rural land to build on. Roads are built in rural areas to help the movement of people to and from urban areas orto gain access to mining sites and logging sites.Moreover, rural areas may change over time. These changes are caused by economicfactors, as tourism income, farming profitability; environmental factors, as land use, pollution, conservation; social factors, as population change and migration, leisure time, retirement population and others. The provision of the demographic information can bea challenge in the rural communities since the remoteness and isolation of the population makes the counting very difficult. Space technology, in particular satellite images can contribute to facilitate this task by providing indication of the presence of settlementsand activities. The services to be developed within this call may apply to all types of rural communities, ranging from rural urban to the extreme remote ones, including developing econnomies. It is required that a business case underpins the service proposition,with potential customers identified. Rural communities present several challenges in different sectors as tourism, mobility, education, farming, energy, security and healthcare. The issues faced by residents of rural communities are very different than those in urban areas with lack of access to specialized medical care as main critical issue. Because of these many challenges, rural communities are receiving more attention from the regions and countries mainly to support their development. To this aim, various reportsand policy papers have been prepared highlighting the specific characteristics of the rural regions and how their innovation capacity might be strengthened through policy improvements, new support mechanisms, new technologies and targeted actions. Limited connectivity is the one characteristic that all rural areas share in common. Rural communities have still a limited broadband access, for example in 2015 only around 25 % of rural households in EU were connected with these technologies. This rural-urban digital divide is a factor across the EU . The main cause of this divide is that the demand is often too low in the rural areas to be profitable for the companies supplying broadband, and deployment costs are in some respects higher than in urban areas, particularly when buildings are spread over large areas. The Digital Agenda for Europe had clear objectives to provide by 2020 a broadband coverage for all Europeans with connectivity speeds of at least 30 Mbps. Bringing more connectivity to the rural areas is a vital factor to encourage development of the rural communities and related industries. Therefore, governments and network operators are increasingly focusing on the improvement of broadband availability. However, ensuring access to high-speed broadband services in rural areas remains one of their main challenges. Many different projects are under development in the European countries making use of innovative technologies and deploying new business and investment models. Activities in the rural communities are surprisingly large contributors to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (9% of EU emissions and 30% globally) from different sources including nitrogen fertilisers, digestion processes of livestock, manure management, rice cultivation and field burning of agricultural residues. To increase the crop productivity for providing food to increased community, the rural farmers sometimes use pesticides and fertilizers not in the proper amount. The excess of pesticides and agrochemicals accumulate in water bodies and soil causing potential health hazards to humansand other aquatic and terrestrial living organisms. On the other side, rural activities are also affected by climate change. Changes in rainfall, temperature and soil conditions have a number of important consequences, including heat stress on livestock and crops, variations in the patterns of pests and diseases, and lower water availability. The growing seasons for crops may change with damaging or beneficial effects, depending partly on the region. These effects of climate change can have a direct bearing on the rural economy, including the production systems employed in agriculture and forestry and the sustainability of certain practices, such as irrigation in drier areas. Another related aspect is linked to the conversion of farm land to housing land. To provide housing to theincreased population in the rural communities, more agricultural lands are being utilized for housing purposes resulting in a decreased pro capita availability of cultivated land. Rural communities especially in developing countries are suffering from systematicinefficiency on logistics processes. Remoteness, inadequate transportation infrastructure, lack of technology and expertise leadingto ill-conceived infrastructure plans, and uncontrolled growth of urban centres are the main issues hi

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