Celebrating Public-Private Partnerships at INSPIRE-Geospatial World Forum 2015

Contributed by: 
Ms. Annu Negi - COO and Sr. VP outreach and business development division, Geospatial Media with Athina Trakas, Director of European Services, OGC

After six Geospatial World Forum conferences, this year Geospatial Media and Communications was presented with an excellent opportunity to work together with our colleagues at the European Commission to co-organize the Forum and the INSPIRE conference. The OGC, too, has been actively engaged as a Strategic Partner.

INSPIRE, a unique and ambitious multi-national SDI that serves 28 different countries in Europe, is now shifting from technology to content. With full implementation required by 2019, INSPIRE is using the INSPIRE-Geospatial World Forum 2015 conference as a communication and outreach platform to reach a broader community, not only in Europe but at the global level.

Our plenary sessions have an all-star line-up of policy-makers, technology providers and user entities discussing convergence of policies, practices and processes. We are thrilled to have organizations such as the World Bank, the US Information Sharing Environment (ISE) Program, the SAP University Alliances, the European Federation of National Drinking Water & Waste Water Associations (EUREAU), and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) addressing Geospatial World Forum attendees for the first time. Their presence at a geospatial conference is in itself proof of how far the geospatial industry has come over the years.

The OGC and OGC members have organized and are involved in an outstanding array of workshops and sessions, including the workshop on Urban Energy, the Urban Resilience & Sustainability thread and the Indoor Positioning workshop. An updated list of OGC members and staff involved in INSPIRE-Geospatial World Forum 2015 can be found at http://www.opengeospatial.org/node/2185.

The geospatial industry now stands at the threshold of another giant leap. Throughout 2014, we have been talking about Big Data, Smart Cities, Internet of Things, BIM, UAVs – disruptive technologies that could improve human lives and ultimately help us realize a sustainable future. These technologies enable unprecedented convergence and transformation of geospatial data into valuable information. This information is the key to improve practices in agriculture, construction, mining, governance, transportation, and disaster management, to name a few. However, these technologies have only begun to bring value to key industries that drive the economy.

In order to promote the use of geospatial technology in different industries, we need to understand the mandates, trends and business models in those industries and, more importantly, understand their challenges and requirements. Decades of effort by OGC to develop international standards and interoperability science have helped introduce geospatial language in industries such as construction, energy, water and transportation. INSPIRE-Geospatial World Forum 2015 will host thematic sessions focusing on ten key user segments that will bring together experts from across the world sharing their perspectives, challenges and success stories.

As technology progresses, laws and regulations, too, need to evolve. Industry needs to be proactive and work with regulatory authorities to smooth the path of technology acceptance at the regulatory level. Bringing technology and its applications closer to the regulatory environment is something we, the geospatial community, should be focusing on in 2015.

The theme for our flagship event this year is Convergence: Policies, Practices, Processes via PPP (public-private partnerships). For the OGC and Geospatial Media, two organizations committed over the years to serving technology providers and technology  users in the geospatial industry, it is a huge milestone for us to work with the European Commission to execute this joint event. With 30+ other international partners, almost 450 speakers on board, and 2000+ expected delegates, we look forward to a future-shaping exchange of dialogue, knowledge, policy reforms, and business initiatives at INSPIRE-Geospatial World Forum 2015.

We invite all of you to join us in Lisbon on 25-29 May 2015 and play a role in making a difference through geospatial knowledge in world economy and society!