Partners

National Technical University of Athens

National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) is the top university for engineering and applied sciences in Greece. It has 15,000 students and ranks first among universities in Greece and among the top 50 engineering/technology institutions in Europe and the top 130 globally. It fosters international cooperation and has a major presence in European programmes, including Erasmus+. The NTUA project team operates within the NTUA School of Rural, Surveying and Geoinformatics Engineering. The School specializes in geospatial science and engineering. It has the infrastructure necessary for this project,with laboratories and centers devoted to Cartography, Geoinformatics, Geography and Spatial Analysis, Remote Sensing, Assessment of Natural Hazards and Proactive Planning, etc. The Cartography Laboratory, which will form the core of the NTUA project team, is highly experienced in Cartography and Geographic Information Science. It has developed relevant curricula, taught courses, supervised theses, conducted research and has been active in European initiatives (ESF, GISDATA, GI2000, INSPIRE) and international organizations/activities (FIG, ICA, ISPRS, AGILE, EUROGEOGRAPHICS, GIScience). NTUA’s Cartography Laboratory has coordinated an LLP transversal KA3 project (GEOTHNK – Semantic Pathways for Building a Spatially-Thinking Society), along with EA , and an Erasmus+ KA2 project VISTE – Empowering Spatial Thinking of Students with Visual Impairment). NTUA has participated in Erasmus+ projects EPCA, EMME and GOSTEAM (coordinated by LU, see below) and it has been fully involved in the development of the new Body of Knowledge for Geographic Information (EU Erasmus Project GIN2K) which is a basis for the design and implementation of geo-related curricula for HEIs. As part of its theoretical and technological excellence, NTUA offers educational/training undergraduate programmes also covering the needs of pre-service teachers, while many teachers in-service exploit continuing professional development opportunities through MSc and PhD programmes. Furthermore, NTUA conducts research in the field of school education independently or on behalf of educational policy makers, leads/participates in Erasmus+ strategic partnerships in school education, in addition to maintaining strong bonds with school communities throughout the country and hosting highly successful science outreach activities. Members of the NTUA project team have taught relevant audiences at undergraduate and postgraduate level at the NTUA and other universities, have supervised theses in the field of geospatial thinking and geography education and have developed official school textbooks and curricula in Geography. They have also led/participated in national and European projects aiming to empower spatial and environmental thinking in school students via the provision of teacher training and the co-development of appropriate pedagogical frameworks and educational resources, while promoting teacher mobility and European-level co-operation. Networks thus established, as well as team members’ participation in the governance of scientific bodies in the geospatial field (AGILE, ISPRS, Hellenic Geographical Society etc) can provide opportunities for the effective dissemination of project activities and outcomes. Finally, the NTUA Cartography Laboratory has been participating in the organization of the International Cartographic Association’s Barbara Petchenik Children’s World Map Drawing Competition, in the framework of the activities of the Hellenic Cartographic Society. 

Lund University

Lund is considered one of the most popular study locations in Sweden. The University offers one
of the broadest ranges of programmes and courses in Scandinavia, based on cross-disciplinary and cutting-edge research. It is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities, with around 46.000 students and more than 8.400 staff. Lund University, through its Centre of Geographical Information Systems, has a long-standing experience on research, education and capacity building in the fields of geospatial science and technologies – in fact as the first university in Sweden to offer a comprehensive program in GIS. Individual courses and three MSc programs in Geographical Information Science and Technology are currently offered through the Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science. The university also has a PhD program in Geographical Information Science, with PhD students working on technical aspects of GIS such as interoperability, semantic web, web service composition and/or advanced modelling and analysis techniques with applications in disaster management, health, spatial epidemiology, and spatial planning.

Eurisy

Eurisy (EUS) is a non-profit association founded in 1989 by Hubert Curien, then France’s Minister of Education and considered by many in the space sector as “The Father of Ariane”. Eurisy’s Members include most space agencies or governmental offices in charge of space affairs in Europe, and international organisations dealing with space matters. The mission of Eurisy is to bridge space and society. To fulfil its scope, Eurisy stimulates and supports dialogue and collaboration between public institutions, SMEs, industry and academia from the space and non-space sectors. The goal is to build solid relations with communities, new to space, encouraging early adopters to share experiences creating a common ground for professionals from different backgrounds. Aiming at maximising the impact of space-derived innovation and the resulting benefits for society, as well as economy and environment, Eurisy developed a User Programme implemented in several ways: by raising public awareness on the benefits of satellite applications, in particular deriving from technology innovation in satellite navigation, communication and Earth Observation; by surveying users’ needs in their working context and provide our Members, partners and decision makers at local, national and European level with bottom-up feedback; by supporting the take-up of satellite applications and by facilitating dialogue between professional end-user communities and the space community. Eurisy’s unique membership structure of institutional organisations acting collectively as a non-governmental, non-profit organisation, guarantees Eurisy’s independence and neutrality – therefore the valuable legitimacy needed when facilitating cooperation across professional sectors.
Eurisy’s Full Members: Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), Belgian High Representation for Space Policy (BELSPO), Bulgarian Academy of Sciences-Risk Space Transfer Office (RST-TTO), Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), Department of Electronic Communications of the Cyprus Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works (DEC), European Space Agency (ESA), French Space Agency (CNES), German Aerospace Centre (DLR), Hungarian Space Office (HSO), Italian Space Agency (ASI), Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST), Moroccan Royal Centre for Remote Sensing (CRTS), Munster Technological University (MTU), Netherlands Space Office (NSO), Polish Space Agency (POLSA), Romanian Space Agency (ROSA), Turkish Space Agency (TUA), UK Space Agency (UKSA).

Cyprus pedagogical institute

Cyprus Pedagogical Institute (CPI) The Cyprus Pedagogical Institute was founded in 1972 by a
decision of the Council of Ministers and started operating in 1973 aiming at becoming a centre where the profession itself undertakes a critique of its activities, and where cooperative work is done by educators at all levels of seniority in the system, whether they are engaged in class teaching, in teacher training, in supervisory roles or in educational administration.” (Weddell, UNESCO report 1971, p. 14, §3.9) It is a Directorate of the Ministry of Education and Culture and reports directly to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry. The vision of the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute is the continuous professional learning of the teachers at all levels as well as the substantial contribution to the planning and implementation of educational policy, taking into consideration the literature and research and the priorities set by the Ministry of Education and Culture, in order to improve the quality of the educational system. The mission of the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute is the design and implementation of continuous professional learning of teachers at all levels, the setting of framework for the teacher competences and the promotion of horizontal issues of educational priority, improving the content and effectiveness of the education provided in accordance with the wider international, European and local context.
The Departments of the Pedagogical Institute are the following: (a) The Department of Teachers’ in-service Training that aims at providing support to all teachers of all levels in different ways, taking into consideration the needs of teachers, the priorities set by the Ministry of Education and the current scientific knowledge and proactive on the area. The activities of the In- Service Training Department are designed to offer continuous professional development programmes for teachers at all levels of education. It offers compulsory in-service as well as optional courses. (b) The Department of Educational Documentation, which aims at promoting the professional development of educators by supplying constant information on the new trends in education through publication of books that serve the targets set in the Curricular and by creating educational supportive material. (c) The Department of Educational Technology, which is active in in-service training for teachers in the use of Information and Communication Technologies, technological support for the running programs of the Pedagogical Institute, production and dissemination of multimedia material, and promotion of projects in using ICT in education. (d) The Centre of Educational Research and Evaluation (C.E.R.E.). CERE’s mission is the promotion and establishment of research culture as well as the development of research infrastructure in the Cyprus educational system. (e) The Curriculum Development Unit (CDU) deals with the publication of teaching books and the production of additional teaching material addressed to both the teachers and the pupils. It, also, undertakes the responsibility of publishing material to serve the needs of the Ministry of Education and Culture and of the Pedagogical Institute. Moreover, the CDU is responsible for ordering the teaching books that are published in Greece. 

Pedagogical University Tyrol

Pedagogical University Tyrol (PHT) The University College of Teacher Education Tyrol sees itself
as a cosmopolitan educational campus for all pedagogical professional fields and stands for researchand practice-oriented education, advanced training and continuing education. We use the potential of digitization to further develop teaching and learning processes. We are aligned with “Education for Sustainable Development”. There are five institutes at the University College of Teacher Education Tyrol. Each of these institutes deals with a specific field of activity:
● Institute for Studies of Elementary and Primary Education
● Institute for Secondary Vocational and General Education Studies
● Institute for Digitization, Education for Sustainable Development and Quality Development
● Institute for School Quality and In-service Professionalisation
● Institute for Research and Development in Didactics and Educational Science
Innovative study programs enable science-based and theory-driven learning on the one hand, and experiential and future-oriented learning in contexts of meaning on the other. The University College of Teacher Education Tyrol focuses on the development of general and specific professional competencies in a professional continuum (initial education, career entry, career development). The University College of Teacher Education Tyrol accompanies schools and other educational institutions as learning organisations in their development and change processes.
As a teaching and research centre specifically for educational sciences and didactics, the University College of Teacher Education Tyrol is an innovation driver for school and teaching development. Careerrelated research and development as well as the close involvement of the practical schools as research and model schools ensure the diffusion of theory and practice. The University College of Teacher Education Tyrol defines education-relevant research and development focal points along its own research strategy.

University of Coimbria

The University of Coimbra (UC) is a Portuguese public and autonomous institution of higher education created in 1290. It has more than 7 centuries of experience in production and dissemination of knowledge, culture, science and technology, through science and technology, cutting-edge research and innovation in the most diverse areas of knowledge. It is an excellent choice for those who want a high-quality academic formation and a lifetime experience, which
includes cultural activities, leisure, and sports activities. The UC is an open and global university, strongly committed to the needs of the present and the challenges of the future, especially towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, as stated in the 2030 UN Agenda. In particular, in 2021, the UC was the best Portuguese institution in terms of overall performance with regards to SDGs achievement.
The UC is a large complex structure with 3 campuses, more than 25 000 students, of whom 20%
international students from more than 100 countries, and about 3 000 academic and technical staff, with a strong and incomparable sense of belonging. The UC participates in consortia and joint programmes with some of the best universities in the world. Among UC partners there are EC2U, MIT Portugal, Harvard Portugal, and Erasmus Mundus. The UC comprises ten research and education units, namely: Faculty of Law, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Faculty of Pharmacy, Faculty of Economy, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, Faculty of Sport Sciences and Physical Education, the European Judicial University Court, and the Institute of Nuclear Sciences Applied to Health.
Focused on the wholeness of the Bologna Process and on building an education system for the
development of student’s skill, in which all aspects that enhance the acquisition of cross-cutting skills are valued, the University of Coimbra (UC) is aware of the importance of introducing new pedagogical methodologies. There is an approach centred on new teaching-learning processes and tools anchored in pedagogical innovation strategies, which focus on teacher training, the use of information and distance learning technologies and on the approach to contexts and real problems. The focus of the teachinglearning processes should be the student, thus enabling a process of flexible learning and cross-cutting of knowledge. The adaptation also implies finding excellence responses to the educational needs of new audiences and lifelong learning and strengthening and stimulating the link between teaching and research, with third cycle students taking a relevant role as a basis of the research pyramid. One of the University of Coimbra goals regarding teaching is to increase by 25-50 per cent the number of students readmitted to the UC for lifelong learning and knowledge updating. The UC will expand the training opportunities, by meeting the needs of new audiences, offering different and attractive programmes for lifelong learning and implementing micro-awarding of credits options. Consequently, training programmes aimed at lifelong learning will be diversified by developing the concept of a senior
university and increasing non-degree courses offered in different areas of knowledge, based on the scientific matrix of excellence that characterizes the UC. In the area of geoinformation, UC has offered graduation courses in Geographic/Geospatial Engineering since 1922, integrated in the Mathematics Department of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology, and more recently in a collaboration between the Mathematics Department and the Department of Informatics Engineering, completing 100 years of experience in teaching in this area of knowledge in 2022. The Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences and the staff participating in the project is involved in teacher preservice and in-service training and in designing and evaluating educational programs for teachers and students. In this scope, it can contribute to the development of the pedagogical framework of the project and to the design, implementation and evaluation of the teacher training program, e.g. developing desk and field research.

European University of Cyprus

European University Cyprus (EUC) operates five Schools, namely, the School of Humanities, Social and Education Sciences, the School of Business Administration, the School of Sciences, the Medical School, and the School of Law, with the mission to educate students for successful careers and life achievement, to understand and serve the needs of society, and to create knowledge through research and innovation. EUC has participated in more than 250 projects funded by a number of programs and organizations such as the Horizon2020, Erasmus+, 7th Framework Program, Lifelong Learning Programme 2007-2013, Directorates General of the European Commission, the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation, United Nations, European Space Agency, governmental bodies and others. In the last 4 years, the University
has accumulated more than 5.5M euros in research funding. Research activity is primarily carried out by a number of research centers, laboratories, and other kinds of specialized settings such as clinics and innovation centers (http://euc.ac.cy/en/research/research-centers). Researchers and members of the university’s academic staff collaborate with scientists from the best universities and research centers in the world such as Harvard, Oxford, Imperial College London, King’s College London, Karolinska Institute in Sweden, Max Planck Institutes in Germany and all top Greek universities. They participate or coordinate many research projects funded by the European Union, the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation and other sources. The university has contributed significantly to many fields of research such as Computer Science and Engineering, Education Sciences, Natural Sciences, Humanities, Business and Health Sciences, Medicine and Law. EUC will participate in the project through the Centre of Excellence in Research & Innovation in Social Sciences, the Arts and the Humanities (SOSCIEATH). SOSCIEATH was established in 2020 as an interdisciplinary Research Centre at the European University Cyprus. It promotes active collaboration between researchers, theorists, academics, practitioners, and the public towards achieving interdisciplinary scientific excellence and promoting social change. Adopting an approach of Responsible Research, Sustainability, and Innovation, the Centre particularly aims at enabling the public’s participation in broadening the development of today’s knowledge-based society, through the public’s engagement with the Social Sciences, the Arts and the Humanities. The Centre has a current/running research funding of more than 1,000,000 Euros with more than 17 running research projects of the Centre from national and European funding.

Austrian Space Forum

The ÖWF is a private space research institution and a network for experts, the commercial sector and people with a passion for space. We cooperate with international research institutions and industry and are in active exchange with opinion leaders, media and policy makers. The forum with its 250 members from more than 20 nations focuses on scientific excellence and contributes to launching, shaping and networking careers, whilst inspiring individuals since 1998. The
ÖWF is financed by industry cooperations & public research funding. Highlights
● International Mars expedition simulations in Mars-like regions on Earth. From the Northern Sahara,
Southern Spain, the Dachstein giant ice caves to the Arabic Peninsula, the ÖWF has so far
conducted about 200 experiments with research organisations.
● Development of the first privately organised Austrian satellite project (ADLER-1 with industrial
partners)
● Development of prototypes for a Mars space suit simulator and the associated establishment of a laboratory and mission support centre for field simulations.
● Organisation of international scientific and technical conferences (amongst other instances taking the position of host organisation for the Association of Space Explorers with over 100 astronauts in Austria and organising 137 public events within one week in 2016), various (training) workshops.
The Austrian Space Forum institutionally fosters a culture of both innovation and education. We have participated in various national and European education and outreach projects, reaching out to literally thousands of students in primary and secondary education, complemented by teacher training. Core programs involve space-related water rocket building workshops, Earth-Observation-related classroom activities, street science including adult education and many others.
● Numerous cooperative projects with Austrian science centres.
● Strong national educational work for over 10 years: involvement in children’s universities, Long Night
of Research (national public science initiative), BMK initiative fti-remixed, European Researchers
Night, etc.
● ÖWF offers teacher training workshops as well as one-day workshops for children and young people,
supervises pre-scientific work and offers internships for pupils at ÖWF.
● Strategic public relations and media work (during the AMADEE-20 expedition alone: five
international TV documentaries as well as hundreds of national and international contributions on
TV, radio and print) as well as targeted social media work to strengthen STEM subjects.

Ellinogermaniki Agogi

Ellinogermaniki Agogi (EA) is one of the most innovative schools in Europe, has rich research and
development activity in the fields of Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE), Project Based Learning (PBL), and STEM education in combination with digital, online based learning environments and tools that use virtual reality, augmented reality and story-based education. EA is an institutional member of EDEN (European Distance Education Network), of STEDE (Science Teacher Education Development in Europe), of ECSITE (European Network of Science Centres and Museums) network and a partner school of the German Excellence Network of STEM Schools “MINT-EC” (https://www.mint-ec.de/). It has 2500 students (ages 5 to 18 years old) and 250 teachers in different disciplines. EA has a very strong vision generated interest and rich research and development activity in the fields of Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE), Project Based Learning (PBL), and STEM education in combination with digital, online based learning environments and tools that use virtual reality, augmented reality and story-based education. Established in 1995, the Research and Development Department of EA is guiding the introduction of innovation in the school setting. The R&D Department acts as an interface between the pedagogical research, the technological innovation and the school community. It focuses on the design, implementation and support of pedagogical and technological innovation in educational practice, both through internal research as well as through collaborations with numerous educational, research and commercial institutions in Europe and the world. R&D Department currently employs 18 full time researchers (10 PhD level, 8 MSc). Its work in EU projects over the last 20 years has established EA as a leading pioneer in innovative approaches to science education. Since its establishment, the R&D Department has coordinated and supported the participation of EA, either as coordinator or as partner, in more than 200 national and international collaborative research projects and networks (H2020, eContentPlus, ICT-PSP, SiS in FP7 and FP6, IST in FP5 and ICT in FP6, LLP-ICT, Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci, Erasmus+), the majority of which have been concerned with the fields of science and new technologies in education. EA team has implemented numerous projects and initiatives that combine ICT and STEM education that include the development of innovative tools and approaches and development of contextual based storylines. Moreover, some of these projects have already combined STEM with Arts in a creative way to support students’ deeper learning, e.g., by developing and performing a global science opera that included the collaboration of students, scientists, artists, and educators from 35 countries. EA is a founding member of the European School Innovation Academy (ESIA – https://esia.ea.gr/), which is promoting a European standard-based IBSE competence framework that will facilitate the professional development of teachers in applying and implementing IBSE, as well as supporting the creation of a European community of practice among science teachers to modernize science education. Overall, EA has a very strong and proven experience in actively extending the dialogue between scientific and the educational community, enforcing the collaboration between schools and research organizations, centers and museums, and helping young people to acquire better understanding of the role of science in the society. In this framework coordinates large scale policy experimentation actions like the Reflecting for Change Initiative (https://reflecting4change.eu/) and Coordination Actions like the Open Schools for Open Societies (https://www.openschools.eu/) that are introducing the concept of open schooling to numerous schools in Europe and in the USA

Spotin

Spotin (Spotlight on Innovation), https://spotin.org/, is a non-profit organization based in Athens that promotes learning innovation in various practice areas (environment, STE(A)M, science & technology, culture and society) with a positive social impact. Its scope of work puts a special emphasis on the use of geo-technologies, synthesis and visualization of information through digital maps and geo-storytelling, combined with an experiential approach of learning. Spotin’s actions involve the development of innovative learning activities, planning and implementation of innovation projects in collaboration with institutions and stakeholders in Greece and abroad, preparation and development of educational material and training courses, as well as dissemination activities such as events, seminars, workshops etc. related with the Organization’s fields of action.

Spotin is the organizer of the Panhellenic School Map Competition (https://mapcompetition.gr/), which is implemented annually after a relevant approval of the Greek Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs. It has a different yearly thematic but a common aspect: spatial literacy, digital maps and geo-storytelling (Storymaps). The aim of this transdisciplinary Competition is two-fold:

a) to enhance school community’s (students and teachers) digital skills and spatial thinking, introducing the use of geotechnologies, the creation of digital maps and the synthesis of geospatial information on a Storymap (final deliverable of the Competition)

b)to raise students’ awareness and knowledge on the Competition’s annual thematic, through an inquiry-based learning process and relevant experiential activities organized by schools themselves.

So far, 2 Map Competitions have been implemented, with the participation of 74 schools, 147 teachers and 847 students throughout Greece. The final submitted Storymaps can be accessed in each year’s Digital Library of projects:

Núcleo Interativo de Astronomia

NUCLIO – Núcleo Interactivo de Astronomia (NUCLIO) is a non-profit association and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) for development. NUCLIO team is composed of a group of science professionals, teachers, and researchers as well as educators devoted to innovation in education, science education, psychology of education and science outreach. NUCLIO is an official training centre recognized by the Portuguese Ministry of Education. Our vision is to train and support educators and students by creating innovative methodologies for student centred learning and introducing real research in classroom settings. To achieve this vision NUCLIO produces resources, trains, and supports teachers and provides online and onsite support for the implementation of innovative models for teaching and learning. The training framework developed by NUCLIO in partnership with Ellinogermaniki Agogi was recognized by the European Commission Innovation Radar for organizing training on Inquiry Learning with online labs in schools (project Go-Lab). NUCLIO’s activities include training teachers in the use of new technologies, innovative methodologies, promotion of real research in classroom where students are introduced to the scientific methods using robotic telescopes, data mining, virtual labs, and other advanced tools for science learning. NUCLIO has been involved in several EC projects as national coordinator for Portugal and more recently as coordinator of international community building efforts, with the mission to support teachers in the uptake of innovative approaches for science learning. NUCLIO was the coordinator of the successful PLATON Erasmus+ project (http://platon-project.eu/), the coordinator of the Islands Diversity for Science Education Erasmus + project (https://idiverse.eu/ ), and is currently the coordinator of the project ASSESS (https://assess.nuclio.org/about/) . NUCLIO is also the coordinator of one of the largest astronomy education efforts in the world, the Galileo Teacher Training Program, a legacy of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 endorsed by the International Astronomical Union and UNESCO. The program has reached since 2009 over 100 nations and 50 000 teachers. NUCLIO is the coordinator of the Portuguese Language Office of Astronomy for Development, for the International Astronomical Union where, among other roles, has the responsibility of bringing innovation and capacity building to Portuguese speaking nations. As national representatives of various international projects NUCLIO currently has 25 active members focusing on the following areas:

  • Creation of models for the inclusion of the community in education.
  • Online engagement activities (webinars, training events, MOOCs, etc.).
  • Promotion of public outreach and awareness events, fostering best practice exchange for a global network of educators
  • Development and testing of new methodologies for the introduction of real research in classroom.

Association “Professional Forum for Education”

Association “Professional Forum for Education” (PFE) Association “Professional Forum for Education” is a non-profit organization which has a wide range of activities related to the youth work, education and culture. Partners of ours are many schools and NGOs in Bulgaria.
We have the aim of involving young people in the non-formal educational process, promote intercultural dialogue, youth mobility, volunteering, outdoor and other activities. We aim to foster young people’s will to express their opinion on themes, relevant to the European citizenship, how to solve problems in a nonconflict way and develop a sense of tolerance and understanding of diversity.These goals are realized by a number of specific activities provided by our organization, such as seminars, courses, conferences, summer and winter trainings and realization of youth activities on local and national level on topics like European citizenship, employment and entrepreneurship, volunteering, Human rights, etc. These activities are designed both for pedagogues who would like to integrate non-formal educational methods in the classroom. The development of Youth projects as part of the Erasmus+ has become a priority for us, and nowadays we consider them to be one of the most important aspects of our work as a NGO. Our members regularly participate in training courses and international seminars in order to develop their competences as youth workers and youth leaders, learn new tools and methods, relevant to non-formal education. Our organization has been very active in the frame of the Youth in Action and subsequently in the Erasmus+ programme. Our members and volunteers have a lot of experience and good practices to share. The topic of the project is strongly related to the field of our work, as we are promoting pro-active behavior among young people, creativity, raising awareness about important social issues, through volunteering campaigns, training courses and international projects (such as “Ideas and Work for Better Future” which was realized by us in 2013 and “Re-Act through Art” which was realized by us in November 2014), and the Festival of Bulgarian Education where young people can find more information about opportunities for education, internships, volunteering and work. We annually organize winter, spring and summer trainings for teachers and young people from Bulgaria where we discuss innovations in education, nonformal educational tools and methods, project development and management in the frame of Erasmus+ and other programs.