Franz Immler is head of Environmental Observations (EO) Sector in the department for Research and Innovation of the European Commission in Brussels, where is responsible for the strategic approach to EO research in the Horizon Programme, focusing on the non-space based activities and the collaboration with GEO, WMO, ESA, EEA and others. He has studied physics in Freiburg/Germany, St Catharines/Canada and in Berlin where he completed a PhD at the Free University in the field of atmospheric science. From 1999–2007 he has worked at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven and has studied the role of aerosols and clouds in the climate system based on remote sensing systems (LIDAR). In 2008 he joined the German Meteorological Service (DWD) and had a leading position for setting up an international network of upper air reference observatories (GRUAN). He recently joined the Climate Change Working Group of GEO as the representative for EC DG Research and Innovation.