OVERVIEW ON THE DEVELOPMENT AND EVOLUTION OF EARTH OBSERVATION RESEARCH AND APPLICATIONS PROGRAMMES FOR AGRICULTURE AND ENVIRONMENT DURING THE LAST THREE DECADES IN ROMANIA
Following the fall of communism in 1989, the R&D sector started a modernization process. By establishing in 1995 a structure dedicated to the space activities – Romanian Space Agency (ROSA) – the Government recognized the importance of this innovative strategic domain. The National Space Strategy defined by means of the RTD policy, with effects on both academia and industry, had three objectives since the 90’s: Participation to international space missions and programmes, Development of specific national projects and Capacity building at national level. In time, the experience acquired in the implementation of CIS, LCCS and LPIS/IACS projects offered the possibility to establish new certitudes for the evolution of the domain. The main development directions had been oriented towards the implementation of dedicated applications to answer problematics concerning smart agriculture, traceability, better agro-environmental practices and the relation with other scientific domains (e.g. cultural heritage). The partnership between a strong Governmental R&D structure – ROSA – and the University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Bucharest (USAMVB) demonstrates the capacity to find solutions for promoting space EO technologies and adapt the higher education curricula in synergy with the development of the ambitious European space programme evolution.