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Overview of the CloudEARTHi initiative | 2023 conference and call for academic contributions

In this guest blog post, Sophie Rippinger, Innovation Manager at Edinburgh Innovations (EI), shares details of how EI are supporting the European Institute of Innovation & Technology CloudEARTHi Project, and highlights the upcoming 2023 conference as well as a call for academic papers for a special issue by Emerald Publishing.

What is the CloudEARTHi project?

The CloudEARTHi project brings six partners (five HEIs and one business partner) together with the aim of increasing institutional capacity for innovation and entrepreneurship in the area of using big data in environmental sciences, climate change and circular economy.

Project partners include:

  • The Artic University of Norway (UiT, Consortium Lead)
  • University of Applied Sciences Burgenland (FH-Burgenland, Austria)
  • Technical University of Varna (TUV, Bulgaria
  • Alicante University (UA, Spain)
  • The University of Edinburgh (UoE)
  • and business accelerator G-Force (Slovakia)

CloudEARTHi is funded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (under the HEI Initiative).

Project details

The main objectives of CloudEARTHi are to build capacity for innovation and entrepreneurship by:

  1. Increasing the knowledge and skills of professional services/academic staff and students through the creation of new resources and delivery a series of learning and skills development opportunities;
  2. Developing the required infrastructure that enable the change (including creation of a virtual data hub and three physical innovation spaces);
  3. Supporting the development of low-carbon, circular start-ups by developing new tools and providing direct support to selected companies;
  4. Enable knowledge exchange and dissemination of project resources and insights across partner institutions and their wider innovation ecosystems (including business, NGOs, social enterprises and governments), and;
  5. Fostering strong relationships between partner institutions and exploring funding opportunities to support on-going collaboration to continue to drive greater low carbon, circular innovation and entrepreneurship over the longer-term.

Teaching activities

Our teaching programmes are aligned to the CloudEARTHi mission to build innovation capacity using big data in Environmental Sciences, sustainability and Circular Economy.

The UiT, TUV, UA and FH-Burgenland teams contribute to our teaching program through a high-level set of courses such as:


Academic contributions

CloudEARTHi runs a conference and a special edition publication. Academics, postdocs and researchers are encouraged to participate in these knowledge exchange opportunities.


The previous conference was held in FH-Burgenland in May 2022.

CloudEARTHi 2023 conference will be held in Alicante, Spain from 23 to 25 of May 2023.  Registration and call for abstract is now open.  The 2023 conference will again be a free and hybrid event.


A call for publication is currently open for academic papers to be published in a special issue by Emerald Publishing:

The deadline for submission is 30 April 2023.

CloudEARTHi contacts for this special issue are Tamer Abu-Alam and Verena Liszt-Rohlf;

In the special issue, we aim to examine the role of Higher Education Institutes as a driver of transformation to sustainable futures that considers sustainable development goals (SDGs) as both interconnected and contradictory. Such a debate provides a summary of the various challenges, pathways, and prospects.

We invite projects related to the European Instiute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) HEI Initiative to submit contributions to highlight the role of the initiative as a changing platform that aims to bridge the gaps between the different stakeholders in society putting HEIs as an engine of such change. Similar projects and initiatives are invited to submit contributions to highlight the needs, opportunities, and challenges facing such institutional change.

The issue covers a wide range of theoretical, methodological, and empirical approaches that cover the role of HEIs to implement the SDGs; challenges in the field of sustainability; factors controlling the transformative innovation and circular or green economy; and, the role of academic education on the advancement of technologies e.g. big data and artificial intelligence for sustainable development, blue growth, or green transition.

For the full list of sub-topics of the special issue, please visit:


Edinburgh Innovations (EI) contribution to CloudEARTHi

EI is delivering the project on behalf of the University. It is being led by the Circular Economy/Sustainability Team in EI Business Development with close collaboration and involvement from the Data Driven Entrepreneurship (DDE) Team within Enterprise Services.

A key element of the project being led by EI, is to develop a new business framework to help start-ups develop circular, net-zero business models.

With the help of our business partner G-Force and our DDE team, the new “EARTH Centred Business Design Framework” was created.  This business framework tool comprises a series of interactive digital resources combined with hands on mentoring and support.

Two start-ups (Ethy and Danu Robotics) have already received support through the project and three others (Outfit of Tomorrow, Heritage Hive and Crover Ltd) are beginning their journey with us. We are also trialling the framework with selected student enterprises who are at the ideation phase.

Find out more about these start-ups:

Ethy Website

Danu Robotics Website

Outfit of Tomorrow Website

Heritage Hive Website

Crover Ltd Website

Meet the team

From left to right starting top level – top step: Charlotte Lee-Wolf (EI, Business Development Manager), Jana Belovicova (G-Force – climate accelerator based in Slovakia, Public Funding Officer), Dr Amy Tayler (EI, Strategic Partnership Manager), Prof Todor Ganchev (Technical University of Varna, Bulgaria. Vice Rector of Research, Head of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory), Assoc. Prof Angel Marinov (Technical University of Varna, Bulgaria. Associate Professor Power Electronics), Georg Pehm (FH Burgenland University of Applied Sciences, Austria. University President)

Second level (left to right) Laura Bernal (EI, DDE Venture Builder Programme Manager), Prof Valentina Markova (Technical University of Varna, Bulgaria. Vice Rector for Academic staff coordination), Katarina Suchova Pastrnak (G-Force climate accelerator based in Slovakia, Project Manager)

First level (first step– left to right again) Lucy Stanfield-Jenner (EI, Business Development Executive), Sophie Rippinger (EI, CloudEARTHi Innovation Manager), Prof Silvia Ettl-Huber (FH Burgenland University of Applied Sciences, Austria, Vice Rector of Research, Innovation), Prof Tamer Abu-Alam (UiT The Arctic University of Norway, CloudEARTHi Consortium Lead)


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