The Research Centre on Interactive media, Smart systems and Emerging technologies – RISE Ltd (www.rise.org.cy), with the support of the Municipality of Nicosia and Disy, a software and consulting company located in Karlsruhe, Germany, organized the 34th edition EnviroInfo2020. EnviroInfo is the long standing and established international and interdisciplinary conference series on leading environmental information and communication technologies.
Responding to the sudden changes imposed so vehemently by COVID-19 and the ensuing emergency restrictions in the form of lock-downs and travel bans, this year’s EnviroInfo was organized in a hybrid conference experience that combined physical attendance to the conference and remote participation. The online conference took place on September 23rd and 24th and was broadcasted through the conference’s website and from the RISE Makerspace in Nicosia, with speakers and panelists connecting remotely.
“Organizing the most historic international conference on environmental informatics in a fully digital way was a big challenge, but everything ran smoothly at the end keeping all participants happy”, says Assist. Prof. Dr. Andreas Kamilaris, RISE Research Group Leader.
The main theme of the EnviroInfo2020 was the emerging research concept of digital twins, of natural or urban environments and processes, towards sustainability and advanced intelligence. “Sustainable Digital Twins of Smart Environments” is also the flagship project of RISE CoE.
More specifically the areas covered by the conference ranged from agriculture, oceans and waters (plastics), industrial and circular economy, forestry, air quality in cities, transport and logistics. Particularly interesting applications and solutions where discussed during the conference on how information systems are built to support, optimize, maintain and observe these environments. In addition, the concept of digital twins of natural environments was explored in the areas of bee keeping, marine ecosystems and outdoor tourism. Notable was the fact that a diverse pool of techniques can be applied when studying these topics such as optimizations, machine learning and artificial intelligence, geospatial analysis, measurements/sensing and the Internet of Things. Finally, research in biodegradable plastics and recycling considerations for plastic innovation, concepts new to the conference, were presented.
After 33 years in attendance, this year's EnviroInfo conference was held in digital format for the first time. This experience was therefore very special for our community and we can sum up that, thanks to Andreas Kamiliaris and the RISE team, we were able to offer our participants a interesting and scientifically challenging experience. It is a pity, however, that we were not able to experience Cyprus and Nicosia personally. Many thanks to all participants, authors, chairs and the programme committee for this successful premiere!
The most historic international conference on environmental informatics went digital this year, in responce to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. The culture of blending practical applications with state of the art developments in the field proved to be alive, bringing together a diversity of presentations. Vivid interactions sustained the spirit of openness of the community. Local organisation was superb! Thank you all for the participation!
See the full Online EnviroInfo2020 Conference by following the links:
EnviroInfo2020 – Wednesday, 23rd September
EnviroInfo2020 – Thursday, 24th September
Authors accepted at the conference were given the opportunity to submit their full papers and be considered for publication in the conference proceedings. It is planned to publish the proceedings with Springer in the “Advances and New Trends in Environmental Informatics: Digital Twins for Sustainability” book, planned to be published in November.
Due to the necessity to fly to the host country this year and taking into account the impact of flight emissions to our carbon footprint, the organizers of Enviroinfo 2020 were planning to contribute part of the proceeds from registration fees to offset those emissions. The organizers have decided that despite the fact that no participants flew in for the conference, a contribution will still be made: The project chosen by the organizers to sponsor is “The Initiative 300.000 trees in Nicosia”, that aims to coordinate the planting of trees in the Nicosia in order to create a carbon-reducing, natural ecosystem.