The PROSNOW team
- Météo-France (MF)
Météo-France is the French national operator for weather and climate, including their impact on snow in mountainous regions in particular the responsibility for snow monitoring and avalanche forecast. Its research department (named the French National Center for Meteorological Research (CNRM). CNRM), mostly based in Toulouse, France, is one of the leading laboratories dealing with meteorological and climate science in France and at an international level. It features a dedicated team in Grenoble, France (Centre d’Etudes de la Neige – Snow Research Center) focussing on observations and modelling of the snowpack in mountain regions and providing tools and expertise for operational avalanche forecasting activities. Sustained collaborations between the Toulouse and Grenoble teams, and between upstream and applied research activities, ensure advanced integration between large scale numerical weather prediction, seasonal prediction and climate modelling activities, and snow-related modelling tools serving the needs of a wide range of mountain cryosphere applications (avalanche hazard, snowpack monitoring, mountain flood and water resources forecasting, etc.). Météo-France pioneered in the early 1990s real-time numerical tools (SAFRAN – Crocus – MEPRA suite) for the analysis and prediction of avalanche hazard in French mountain regions. Further developments of this chain of models and in particular the use of seasonal prediction as an input form the basis of the scientific contribution of Météo-France to the project PROSNOW. This will be carried out through a collaboration between the Research (CNRM) and Climatology and Climate Services Division (DCSC) of Météo-France. DCSC is in charge of the memory of past climate in France including the management of the French climatological database, the analysis of past, present and future climate and of climate services development for multi- sectorial applications at seasonal or climate change time scale. DCSC has a long experience in seasonal forecast with the production of a monthly climate global bulletin since 1999. Together with CNRM, DCSC has international responsibilities as GPC (Global Products Centre) with activities for model ARPEGE score calculation and data dissemination and also onto the WMO RA VI as Climate Regional Centre Node for Long Range Forecast (RCC_LRF). As GPC Toulouse and RCC_LRF, DCSC has developed an extranet web site towards NMS to provide specific SF products: http://elaboration.seasonal.meteo.fr/en. DCSC is also involved in research programs for seasonal forecast climate service as EUPORIAS UE/FP7 project with the experiment of an original hydrological forecast prototype over France (http://riff.euporias.eu/en) built upon co-design with socio-economic stakeholders (Viel et al., 2016).
Beyond the scientific input of Météo-France personnel to the PROSNOW project, Météo-France will coordinate PROSNOW, based on a long-lasting experience in managing European projects in the field of meteorology and climate sciences, recognized expertise in seasonal climate prediction and downscaling, and a pivotal role at the European level in the field of applied cryospheric research in mountainous areas.
- Eidgenoessische Forschungsanstalt WSL – SLF (SLF)
The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL is part of the Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain). As one of the leading environmental research institutes worldwide, Research at WSL focuses on the Alpine environment, forest ecosystems, landscape research, management of natural hazards, and sustainable management of resources. WSL’s research approaches range from theory-driven basic research to problem-solving applied research in a disciplinary, inter- or transdisciplinary way. Scientists at WSL can draw on extensive sets of long- term data, as well as use observation and test sites across Switzerland. WSL employs 550 people at five different locations in Switzerland with institutes in Birmensdorf and Davos (WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF), and outstations in Lausanne, Bellinzona and Sion. The SLF is an international leader in snow and avalanche research.
Its scientists conduct research on snow, the atmosphere, natural hazards, permafrost and mountain ecological systems, and develop innovative products that translate their knowledge into practical applications. The SLF seeks to engage in top-level research while contributing to the resolution of urgent societal issues, for example in the fields of natural hazard warning systems and the analysis of as well as adaptation to climate and environmental change.
- TEC Conseil (TEC)
Founded in 2001, TEC is a leading international research and consulting organization in the field of climate policies. This covers pioneer projects on climate change mitigation (carbon and consumption, GHG emissions and scenarios for tourism and mobility…), climate change adaptation (framework and tools for vulnerability, impact and adaptation, notably for international donors) and climate services.
TEC involvement in climate services covers both research and applications. The company has been involved in several FP7 projects: CLIMRUN, on climate services in the Mediterranean, EUPORIAS on the provision of climate services for seasonal to decadal predictions, CLIP-C, about the development of a European climate data portal. We were mobilized here for our expertise of some key sectors (notably tourism) and for our hybrid profile combining climate sciences and social sciences, thus facilitating the interface between modelers and users, in particular assessing users’ needs and engaging stakeholders. Moreover, TEC is part of the “Evaluation and quality control” consortium of Copernicus Climate, in charge of users’ engagement in the tourism sector. Ghislain Dubois participated to the development of the European Roadmap for Climate Services.
TEC also deliver climate services to clients, in particular to support the elaboration of climate change adaptation strategies. We deliver high resolution reference climatology, tailored indices, long-term climate projections, post processing datasets like CORDEX (statistical downscaling, bias correction…). We gathered this know-how within a brand, designed as a potential spin-off, called PROCLIM (www.pro-clim.org). This also corresponds to a skill in business development (developing business model, preparing market exploitation) we acquired through time. TEC fathered the basic concept of PROSNOW through a case study developed in EUPORIAS. PROSNOW is a logical step further in our theoretical and practical engagement in climate services. We will contribute to WP2 (users’ need assessment), specify and implement the technical demonstrator (WP3 lead), and assist Meteo France in project management (WP6).
- Institut National de Recherche en Sciences et Technologies pour l’Environnement et l’Agriculture (IRSTEA)
Irstea (National Institute for Environmental and Agriculture Science and Technology) Grenoble Centre is one of the 9 Irstea centres spread across the French territory. It conducts research and develops expertise to improve the knowledge and management of mountain ecosystems, territories and natural hazards. Thus, it is organized in three complementary research departments which cover each of these topics. This organization allows Irstea Grenoble for leading the GICC ADAMONT program which aims to model mountain regions adaptation under climate change.
With a permanent staff of 100 people and 120 temporary staff (mostly PhD and post-doc), Irstea Grenoble is particularly involved in supporting public action and helping decision makers. Since its establishment as the “Mountain observatory” in the 1980s the centre has developed a specific expertise in data management to provide relevant information for decision making. Its action relies on a strong DBMS and know-how to make comprehensive information available in the form of indices or webmapping interface for various topics, especially for ski resorts. For example the “BD Stations” (database about French ski resorts in the Alps) has enabled to quantitatively address climate change impact on French Alps ski resorts, in collaboration with MF/Snow Research Center.
- University of Innsbruck (UIBK)
The University of Innsbruck (UIBK) is western Austria’s largest institution of higher education and research and covers a broad range of teaching areas. It is organised in 16 faculties, 79 departments and 37 research platforms & centres. More than 28.000 Students are studying and about 4.500 staff members are employed at the University of Innsbruck. The University of Innsbruck is serving as the home university of the Austrian provinces of the Tyrol and Vorarlberg as well as the home University of Liechtenstein and the Autonome Provinz Bozen – Südtirol / Provinzia Autonoma di Bolzano – Alto Adige (Italy). In FP7 the University of Innsbruck participated in 104 projects, among them several ERC grants, MCA like ITNs, IAPPs etc. In H2020 so far 28 projects were granted: 3 ERC-programmes, 9 Marie Curie actions, etc. The administrative staff of the university has a long time experience in implementing projects of the EU Framework Programme and is supported by a professional research office (project.service.office).
The research group Alpine Hydroclimatology (AHC) at the Institute of Geography of the University of Innsbruck (http://www.alpinehydroclimatology.net) has a strong research focus and experience in modeling of hydrological and climatological surface processes in Alpine regions. Prof. Dr. Ulrich Strasser is the original developer of the hydroclimatological and boundary layer model AMUNDSEN which has been continuously further developed, i.e. in the ACRP-funded (=Austrian Climate Research Program) research projects CC-Snow, CC-Snow II and SNOWPAT (see list of relevant projects). His colleague and team member Ass. Prof. Dr. Thomas Marke has a profound knowledge in the development of numerical models and techniques for spatial and temporal refinement of meteorological data with focus on the mass and energy fluxes in the atmospheric boundary layer for past and future scenario conditions. He has further developed the meteorological pre-processor in the AMUNDSEN model. AMUNDSEN will be a core development and activity of the working group in the proposed project. It will be further enhanced and adopted in PROSNOW to the specific needs of the demonstrator in the two ski areas in Tyrol. Research in the proposed project is mainly carried out by the proposed post-doc scientist who will be integrated in the working group.
Besides the human resources, the Institute of Geography of the University of Innsbruck is well- equipped with hard- and software (high performance computing cluster, geographical information systems, model development software, digitizing tools) needed to carry out the project, including the required computing infrastructure to develop and test larger software development projects, and to carry out data intensive simulation runs for larger numbers of even long-term simulation model runs. The institute maintains well-established cooperations with several station data providers in Austria, hence the UIBK team will have access to important observational datasets.
- Institute of Water Management, Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering (IWHW), Universitaet fuer Bodenkultur Wien (BOKU)
The Institute of Water Management, Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering (IWHW) has a long lasting history in all aspects of hydrology and water management. The common feature of the research activities at the Institute is to better understand and to describe the complex relationships between the hydrological cycle and human water use. Furthermore, it is about the development of measures which preserve and protect the functioning of aquatic ecosystems. Members of the institute are committed and have leading functions in different international networks like GEWEX INARCH or the Virtual Alpine Observatory (VAO). Hence, members of IWHW do have access toextensive sets of long-term data, as well as to observation and test sites across Austria and Germany. IWHW employs about 60 people and is an established institution in view of model building, remote sensing analysis and hydrologic as well as water management related research.
The research focus of the group of hydrology and water management at IWHW is focused on the development and application of hydrological models at the catchment scale, on scaling meteorological information, on the use of remotely sensed data in context of land surface models and on the nexus of natural water support and human water management. Products of IWHW are used in context of basic research but are also operationally used by industrial partners like the energy producer VERBUND.
- Accademia Europea di Bolzano (EURAC)
EURAC (www.eurac.edu) is a private non-profit organization for advanced research and education, located in Bolzano, Italy. Founded in 1992, EURAC is composed of eleven institutes pertaining to four distinct areas of research: Technologies, Autonomies, Mountains, and Health. Through an interdisciplinary approach, EURAC’s research teams promote sustainable development plans using renewable energy sources, applying the protection of minorities and multilingualism, the investigation of climate change, and contribution to the general health of the community by advanced biomedical research. EURAC has a turnover of about 21 million Euros and has been involved in the past 10 years in about 70 projects of which 45 funded within various EU programs, including H2020, FP7, IEE, and Interreg. Besides EU and private funding, EURAC receives contributions from the center’s members and from the Province of Bolzano.
EURAC contributes to PROSNOW through the Institute for Applied Remote Sensing which is composed of highly interdisciplinary staff members dealing with a variety of research topics, including natural hazards and risks, climate change impacts and advanced remote sensing techniques. EURAC has been involved in the EU research projects such as EUFODOS and MSMONINA for the development of tools and products based on remotely sensed images for improving the monitoring of forested and natural protected areas. It has looked at climate change vulnerabilities and adaptation options in various Interreg Alpine Space projects (CLISP, Adaptalp, Climalptour, C3-Alps). Currently the Institute is involved in the H2020 proposal ECOPOTENTIAL with the main aim to provide products (snow, leaf area index and soil moisture) to support models in monitoring ecosystems functions. Within PROSNOW, the Institute will generate and provide time series of snow products at two main scales: regional based on MODIS imagery and test-site scale based on Sentinel 1 and 2 imagery.
- Joanneum Research- Forschungsgesellschaft mbH
JOANNEUM RESEARCH (JR) is a leading international research organization that develops solutions and technologies for businesses and industry covering a wide range of sectors. It is linked to a worldwide network and has been providing leading research according to the highest international standard for more than thirty years. With more than 450 researchers in seven research units the company ranks among the largest non-university research institutions in Austria. Focused on applied research and technology development, it plays a key role in facilitating the transfer of technology and knowledge in South-East-Austria. JR is acting as a customer interface by providing advice and facilitating contact between research, business, industry and the public sector.
JOANNEUM contributes to the PROSNOW proposal through its Center for Climate, Energy and Society (LIFE), which currently counts 22 permanent staff and addresses key issues related to climate change. The overall aim of JR-LIFE is to support the transition to a low-carbon economy/society and to provide tools and strategies to strengthen resilience to climate and weather risks. One of the services provided by JR-LIFE is WEDDA® (WEather Driven demand Analysis), which consists of analyzing a company’s weather and climate risks and providing weather- dependent 10-day-ahead forecasts on important business indicators (e.g. sales, visitor numbers, skier days) to optimize workforce planning and ordering processes. Amongst others, the current WEDDA® clientele also comprises some Styrian (Austria) ski area operators. In addition, JR-LIFE is part of two H2020 projects (EU-MACS, MARCO) on Climate Services, focusing on market research and market development, starting end 2016.
Within PROSNOW, JR-LIFE will lead WP5 on communication, dissemination and preparation for market replication and contribute to tasks in WP2, WP3, WP4 and WP6. In addition, the enhancement of the WEDDA®-tool to provide seasonal forecasts on alpine skier days and cross- country skier days will be tested in Mayrhofen and Seefeld.
- AlpSolut S.R.L. (ALPSOLUT)
ALPSOLUT (www.alpsolut.eu) is a start-up company with the aim to provide state-of-the art scientific products for practitioners and the general public in order to tackle their problems related to snow. ALPSOLUT offers services for the snow avalanche risk management and avalanche danger evaluation both by directly tackling the problems and by designing the risk management procedures. Moreover, ALPSOLUT performs snow cover simulations both for several national avalanche centers and private companies, on a daily basis. ALPSOLUT is active in snow-applied research improving the snow cover simulations, coupling snow cover models with weather prediction models and defining new approaches for the avalanche danger assessment and risk mitigation.
- Technoalpin SPA (TECHNOALPIN)
TECHNOALPIN is the leader worldwide of snowmaking systems with more than 400 employees and an installed base of 84000 snow producers on 1800 ski resorts in 48 countries. TECHNOALPIN designs, manufactures and markets snowmaking devices, machine rooms and control softwares for a fully automatic snow production. Having subsidiaries in France, Switzerland, Austria, USA, Russia, China, TECHNOALPIN has an important international presence. The company has been acting for more than 40 years and combines now the expertise of the 2 major teams of YORK Neige and Technoalpin. Innovation is a key point with more than 3 M€ spent / year for the R&D and 25 patents registered. Technoalpin is at the origin of most of the main improvements in snowmaking, reducing the energy and the noise to make snow. The efficiency of snow producers is essential and the company has developed means to help customers to better manage the snowmaking, i.e. making only the needed snow. Along with the efficiency of the snow producers themselves, TECHNOALPIN included in his automatic control softwares ATASS+ and LIBERTY the snow depth management and a weather forecast. There are two centers of product design : one in Italy (Bolzano) and one in France (Nantes).
TECHNOALPIN recently created a research unit in its french subsidiary and working on the snow mantle is one of the research axis in the scope of PROSNOW but funded internally. The PROSNOW project is the ultimate goal to help customers and our target is to include it into the automatic control softwares. TECHNOALPIN strongly supports the PROSNOW project as being a major breakthrough to really help saving water and energy. Having its internal project, TECHNOALPIN will work on its own funding and considers only costs for cooperation and coordination as eligible expenses in PROSNOW. TECHNOALPIN contributes to the PROSNOW project through its R&D team and the very recent research center in France. TECHNOALPIN will provide to PROSNOW expertise on man made snow to adapt the model to this type of snow.
- CGx AERO in SYS (CGX AERO)
Founded in 1996, CGX develops, integrates, distributes, implement and helps to operate geographical information systems dedicated to civil and military aviations, mountain and defence and civil security. CGX Mountain develops operational solutions for specialized services aiming at feeding the information system of the ski resort. CGx Mountain develops also many plugins that facilitate interoperability with other solutions. CGx Information System equip many ski resorts in Europe and CGx has built up a recognized expertise in Information system and development of brigdes between the differents applications in the ski resorts.
Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG is the leading supplier of all-terrain vehicles for the environment, nature and recreation. The current product range comprises four PistenBully models for ski slope and trail preparation, BeachTech machines for beach cleaning and various special vehicles for work and transport operations throughout the year in normally impassable Terrain – since 2014 with PowerBully for high payloads too. With a market share of over 60 % PistenBully is leading in ski slope and trail preparation. SNOWsat is located in France and entirely focused on research and development topics. SNOWsat is present in 60 resorts and nearly 350 vehicles in 11 countries all over the world. As the customers manipulate snow with our Pistenbully vehicles SNOWsat will participate in sharing snow knowledge between actors in ski resort.
SNOWsat will contribute to PROSNOW by participating in data exchange definition and format specifications, contribution to propose user interfaces prototypes in order to adapt technical data to SNOWsat customers. Also SNOWsat will work with some ski resort already linked to PROSNOW as they are also customer from their products. SNNOWsat can also propose results from daily measurement in those ski resorts.
- Dianeige SA
DIANEIGE (ww.dianeige.com) advises and supports clients in their projects of development of mountain tourism activities in an environmental-friendly way. DIANEIGE carries out tourism planning projects in mountain territories, such as 4 seasons Master Plans, projects of ski slopes, snowmaking lakes and snowmaking systems. At the same time, DIANEIGE’s team brings his skills in snow cover properties in an effort to optimize the snowmaking strategies and grooming techniques, with constant concern for quality and sustainability of snow on ski slopes. Located in Grenoble (France), with a permanent team of 18 employees and two branch offices in Russia and Romania, DIANEIGE exports its knowledge and skills in more than 20 countries all over the world (Europe, Russia, China, India, Japan….). Within PROSNOW, DIANEIGE will contribute to WP2, WP3, WP5 and WP6 through its knowledge of the European ski market, providing support in particular in project’s dissemination and market adaptation.