Category Archives: Meetings

BESTSDI & NatRisk Final Conference Press Release

Western Balkans, adherent of advanced educational and economic practices

The final conference of the BESTSDI (Western Balkans Academic Education Evolution and Professional’s Sustainable Training for Spatial Data Infrastructures) and NatRisk (Development of Master Curricula for Natural Disasters Risk Management in the Western Balkan Countries) Projects was held on 4th September 2019, in Sarajevo, in the framework of Erasmus+ programme aimed at capacity building in the field of higher education, supported by the European Union.

This conference has brought together participants from the Western Balkan academic community, prestigious European universities, government and non-governmental sector, professionals in higher education and curriculum development, information and communication industries, security, as well as resource and risk management.

The conference was held in the University of Sarajevo Rectorate.

New curricula and study programmes

After three years of intensive BESTSDI project implementation, it can certainly be noted that the project has completely achieved all its objectives and prof. Željko Bačić, from the University of Zagreb takes pride in this fact as project coordinator.

“A high level of understanding of Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) concept has been reached among academic institutions and project partners who create different expert profiles, which has, furthermore, made possible the formulation of a new curriculum in the field of SDI and the implementation of SDI classes within 88 subjects at 16 faculties in the region. In addition to those faculties and universities, the economy will mostly benefit from this by getting new profiles of electronically literate experts – capable of developing applications with a modern understanding of the use of spatial data and interdisciplinary educated experts, who will understand the needs of other professions. Such experts will be able to rise to the challenges of current times, especially in terms of spatial management, climate change impact and society management in entirety, based on spatial data and geoinformatics. This is precisely why we organized a joint final conference of BESTSDI project and NatRisk project that developed a new curriculum for the Natural Disaster Management study “, said prof. Bačić.

European Union experts suggest that the economy based on the design of applications for the spatial data use and processing will develop to such an extent by 2030 that geoinformatics, with spatial data infrastructure as one of its bases, will become a new independent / standalone profession.

How to manage natural disasters?

Natural disasters have become a constant threat to the community and the environment as a whole. The damage they sometimes cause exceeds all preventive measures.

„We have witnessed that exposure to the impacts of natural disasters – droughts, floods, landslides, earthquakes – largely increased due to low level of knowledge about causes, mechanisms of action and manners of protection. Therefore, the objectives of NatRisk project are: development and implementation of master study programme in the Western Balkans in line with European standards, modernized laboratories for research in the field of natural disasters, mobility of students and teaching staff to learn about & adopt innovative methods in classes, development and conducting training for citizens and public sector in the field of natural disaster management. ” said prof. Milan Gocić from the University of Niš.

In addition to the training of teaching staff and students, four training manuals were created within the NatRisk project for civil sector training purposes in situations of natural disaster and 14 several-day trainings were held at Higher Education Institutions in the Western Balkans, where at approximately 500 participants from more than 150 institutions were trained.

Thanks to the participation in projects BESTSDI and NatRisk, with the support of European universities, the faculties/colleges of the Western Balkans have become leaders in the region when it comes to the scientific endeavors of this kind – much to the benefit of society as a whole, especially in terms of the development of electronic literacy in the adequate use of spatial data when managing space and natural resources.

(Nihad Penava)

BESTSDI and EuroSDR workshop: Academia-Business Cooperation Survey

Joint workshop of BESTSDI and EuroSDR titled Academia-Business Cooperation Survey will be held together with BESTSDI Q12 final workshop on Tuesday, September 3, from 13:30 to 16:45 at the University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Patriotske lige 30.

Topics of the workshop include: Academia-Business cooperation survey, How should Academia-Business cooperation work from an entrepreneur perspective, Academia-Business-Government cooperation for NSDI development, How should Academia-Business cooperation work from an entrepreneur perspective, Academia-Business projects as drivers for cooperation fostering, View in the future – broader scope.

Q11 BESTSDI Workshop, Podgorica, July 8-10, 2019

The Q11 BESTSDI workshop was held at the University of Montenegro in Podgorica on July 8-10, 2019. At this gathering, 50 teachers and experts from 20 academic institutions, project partners will work on the introduction of new content into university study programs in the area of spatial data infrastructure.
At the workshop opening welcome addresses have been given by prof. Nataša Kostić, PhD, Vice-Rector of University of Montenegro, Mr Dragan Kovačević, Director of Real Estate Administration Montenegro, Mr Ranko Lazović, National Erasmus Office representative, Prof. Jelena Latinović, PhD, Vice-Dean for science and international collaboration at Biotechnical Faculty and Mr Aleksandar Stijović, GDi l.t.d. Podgorica. Information about the project and its achievements have been given by Prof. Željko Bačić PhD, Project coordinator BESTSDI project.
Following the workshop, sessions were productive steering project towards its successful end. There was also time for social events prepared by our host, project partner team from Biotechnical faculty. So, we have visited vineyards and cellar of Plantaže company and later enjoyed dinner at the national restaurant “Pod voltom”.

SDI Days 2018, Zagreb, Croatia

SDI days 2018 were held on September 27, 2018 at the Faculty of Geodesy of the University of Zagreb organized by the State Geodetic Administration, the Croatian Cartographic Society and the Faculty of Geodesy.

This year’s jubilee 10th SDI Days gathered 250 participants, and the conference consisted of two parts. In the first part, after welcoming speeches, two invited lectures were held (Prof. V. Cetl, JRC: INSPIRE current status and future activities and P. Kane, EuroSDR: EuroSDR in a nutshell) and a round table on “NSDI; can we do better? ”

Participants of SDI Days 2018 (source:

After the Round Table, the Director of the State Geodetic Administration Damir Šantek, PhD, awarded acknowledgments for contribution to the development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure in the Republic of Croatia to prof. Željko Bačić, PhD from the Faculty of Geodesy and to Mr. sci. Ljerka Marić.

The second part of the conference was marked by seven presentations from which we highlight the presentation of the Erasmus + BESTSDI project. In the presentation Communication and Education – Essential aspects of SDI building – experiences of the BESTSDI project (authors: Prof. Ž. Bačić, PhD., J. Crompvoets, PhD., V. Poslončec Petrić, PhD) Željko Bačić, PhD. emphasized that building a fully functional NSDI implies active participation in building and using SDI capabilities by all NSDI stakeholders such as state and public administration bodies, business entities and academic-educational communities, all for the benefit of all user. He also presented the results of the requirements analysis that confirmed the need for the development and introduction of standardized study contents (curricula) from the SDI for the wide variety of study programs, as well as the need for new and much wider forms of communication to IPP stakeholders.

Beside the hosts, Faculty of Geodesy, Zagreb University, on the SDI Days 2018 also participated project partners from: Catholic University of Leuven, Faculty of civil engineering, architecture and geodesy University of Split, Faculty of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy University of Banja Luka, Faculty of Science and Education University of Mostar, Faculty of Civil Engineering University of Sarajevo and Faculty of Mining, Geology and Civil Engineering University of Tuzla and BESTSDI Associated Partners: Republic Administration for Geodetic and Property Affairs of Republika Srpska and Federal Administration for Geodetic and Property Affairs of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

1st Day of Spatial Data Infrastructure of Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina

1st Day of Spatial Data Infrastructure of Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina was held in Mostar on September 6, 2018. and gathered experts from the field of establishment and implementation of the INSPIRE directive in the EU and in the region, employees of the Federal Administration for Geodetic and Property Legal Affairs and entities of the Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) of the Federation of BiH. The SDI Day was opened by the Director of the Federal Administration for Geodetic and Property Legal Affairs and Chair of the Spatial Data Infrastructure Council of the Federation of BiH, Mr. Željko Obradović, highlighting the importance of cooperation between institutions and sharing spatial data.
With presentation Erasmus + BESTSDI project – modernization and standardization of SDI teaching in the region, Prof. Željko Bačić, PhD, presented the BESTSDI project and the activities which are currently being carried out in the framework of the Lifelong Learning Program for the project partners establishment, emphasizing the need to adapt the existing formal and informal education of persons who will be active participants in the SDI.

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