SCO France is the French offshoot of the international initiative.

The Operating Charter of SCO France is available hereafter (in French).


SCO France is managed by an Inter-Agency Committee (IAC) made up of French public entities operating in the field of climate action. The IAC meets at least twice a year. An Executive Board oversees the smooth operation of the Committee and coordinates its work.

Links with national policy

SCO France is the French offshoot of the international initiative. It is a national network whose role is to bring together the scientific community, the authorities and the business world around the objectives of SCO International and the pursuit of studies into climate change and its impact. SCO France and – more generally – SCO International owe their existence to an initiative put forward by the French Presidency at the One Planet Summit in December 2017.

The work of SCO France involves supporting national public policies on climate change and contributing to the work of national players. SCO calls for projects therefore target the fields identified as priorities by the French government as part of its climate policy. Particular emphasis will be placed on French overseas departments and territories and on countries with which France is seeking to extend cooperation. To this end, the governance of SCO France includes the Ministries of Higher Education, Research and the Ecological and Inclusive Transition.

In this context, the mission of SCO France is to:

  • Foster the emergence of projects complying with SCO criteria by contributing to the dissemination of calls for projects,
  • Grant projects the SCO label after consulting the labelling committee,
  • Provide support throughout project life cycles, including the funding stage,
  • Communicate at national and international level,
  • Manage community feedback for these projects,
  • Shape a response to requests relating to the future International Charter.

Links with local policies

Local and regional entities are particularly concerned by the impact of climate change, as are the players involved in local policy. In the programmes for planning, sustainable development and regional equality currently being rolled out at regional level, the environmental component is particularly important, since it includes the former climate, air and energy components. Several regions have set up scientific advisory bodies to help them develop a component on adaptation to climate change.

The role of the SCO is to provide local decision-makers with operational tools to help them implement their climate adaptation policies more easily. To this end, it relies on scientific expertise, research and technological tools tailored to the needs of users in the regions concerned. Regional entities are able to contribute to the development of tools and to take part in the design process in different ways. The aim is to make sure that the tool meets the specific needs of regional players.

Through these practical actions, the SCO contributes to the multi-player information and discussion made possible by decentralisation, as well as playing a role in the financing mechanisms dedicated to climate issues.

SCO France builds on the links between members of the Inter-Agency Committee and, where applicable, their local offshoots, partnerships and all the networks to which they belong. The aim here is to create a community with the capacity to relay detailed requirements through an approach based on specific use cases.

The SCO France project model

SCO projects should involve several families of players:

  1. The scientific community, whose research studies contribute to practical solutions by analysing and modelling the data available, and producing the algorithms necessary to develop innovative project solutions
  2. National and local authorities, as well as municipalities, since they will be responsible for adapting the project at grassroots level
  3. Regional engineering players, whose technical expertise is applied at regional level
  4. Companies and design offices with the capacity to deliver an industrial and operational response linking scientists, data and the population.

To ensure compliance with SCO objectives, SCO projects are required to satisfy the following six criteria:

  1. Select case studies that expressly meet regional needs,
  2. Present an operational tool on completion of the project,
  3. Make the best possible use of all available satellite, environmental, climate and socio-economic data to develop a solution tailored to the issue,
  4. Draw upon research, production and data infrastructure (Data Terra, Copernicus, DIAS, Geoportail, existing GIS platforms, etc.) as well as on operational services (Copernicus, etc.),
  5. Enable the duplication/adaptation of tools across several regions (transition to a larger scale),
  6. Satisfy SCO criteria on community feedback,

as well as these additional criteria, wherever possible:

  1. Bring together a consortium of scientists, manufacturers and authorities able to generate new knowledge, and to produce innovative and efficient methodological cores, as well as practical decision-support tools,
  2. Promote methodology based on updated state-of-the-art data, including the latest developments in artificial intelligence with the related computing infrastructure,
  3. Promote the use of open-source data and tools with a view to developing an open-source solution,
  4. Put forward a method of project financing that involves municipalities in the initial phase of the project and defines the scope of private-sector funding in future developments,
  5. Include studies on the development of the associated business model,
  6. Include international cooperation efforts to assist countries receiving development aid.

Bi- or multilateral cooperation projects are eligible, providing that a French member of the Inter-Agency Committee is involved. Cooperation involving other national SCOs is encouraged.

Community feedback

After obtaining the SCO label for their projects, participants become part of the SCO community, and agree to contribute to its development for the benefit of all. They set out their contribution in their labelling application, where possible. Further information may subsequently be provided in their annual reports, as they continue the fine-tuning of the business models to be adopted for project output.

Where possible, feedback should consist of all the data, algorithms and miscellaneous technical building blocks that could be reused in another context. Exceptions to this open approach must be limited, justified and replaced by other forms of community contributions: international cooperation and capacity building, for example, supply of expert services, technology watch, etc. The board of the Inter-Agency Committee can help project players decide what form their contributions could take.

The consortiums agree to respond with goodwill to requests from SCO France to assist in promoting and showcasing the SCO, providing feedback or talking about their involvement.

In order to help project leaders in the valorisation exercise that is required of them, the SCO France has produced a Valuation Guide, which can be downloaded below (in French).

Project labelling

Projects complying with the values of SCO and receiving the SCO label also gain international recognition, since the SCO label awarded by the labelling committee of SCO France is also recognised by SCO International.

The SCO label provides preferential access to the funding obtained as part of institutional agreements between the SCO and international or European agencies, as well as any funding dedicated to the SCO by the entities of the Inter-Agency Committee.

Consortiums gaining the label receive support from the members of SCO France. They enjoy a higher profile at national or international events, and can also take advantage of the wider deployment of the technical solutions that they already implemented on a local scale.  

All projects meeting requirements are eligible for the label.

SCO project support

The support provided by SCO France for labelled projects indicates the likely form of the support to be provided by the International Charter in the future.

Through its communication tools, SCO France agrees to:

  • Give visibility to international funding as part of the SCO’s institutional agreements (UNDP, C3S, Copernicus via CNES, Caroline Herschel FPA, etc.),
  • Give visibility to French funding through “Booster” initiatives and competitiveness clusters (Land, Sea and other topics),
  • Keep participants informed about the main national and international events relating to climate issues,
  • Facilitate access to satellite data (ensuring these are visible on portals, specific agreements where necessary).

Labelled projects are at the core of communication efforts and should reap the benefits of cross-fertilisation, particularly by:

  • Highlighting progress and the achievement of short/medium-term operability objectives by sharing information as widely as possible,
  • Organising “Project Workshops” in a format to be defined,
  • Taking part in SCO communication through its strategic entities (networks of local players, scientists, business networks).


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