Munich, Germany, April 4, 2003 – The Open GIS Consortium (Europe) Limited (OGCE) today announced the creation of the European Virtual Resource Pool (EVPool), and the availability of an Invitation to Qualify (ITQ). Participants in EVPool will undertake critical work to increase understanding of the benefits of OpenGIS® specifications in European business and government pre-procurement settings. EVPool is intended to provide technical support for OGCE projects where strategic evaluation about future investments of interoperable geoprocessing will be made. The ITQ is available to European companies, universities and independent consultants at in the European geospatial marketplace are interested in conducting pre-procurement projects centering on technology architecture and proof of concept to gain important operational experience and more fully understand life-cycle implications and return on investment from interoperable information solutions. OGCE will provide four types of services to customers throughout Europe drawing on the talents in EVPool – Architecture, Proof of Concept, Procurement Readiness, and Program Support. Customers will pass along project requirements to OGCE, which will announce a Request for Quotation to EVPool. Based on the responses, a team will be assembled to take on the work.Participants in EVPool will gain market recognition for hands-on project management, architecture and engineering excellence and collaborative development experience where process interoperability is required. They will realise new revenue and relationship-building opportunities, and near-to-market experience in the interoperable technology adoption process. Work within EVPool will yield enhanced sales and support possibilities, opportunities to test market standards-based commercial-off-the-shelf (SCOTS) technology with minimum risk, and influence technology adoption with potential customers. Finally, participants will increase their knowledge of open system integration using SCOTS software products and will have the opportunity to participate in OGCE's Management Advisory Board.Any European organisation can qualify for EVPool. However, active involvement ultimately requires membership in OGC. Non-members who respond to the ITQ are encouraged to submit a membership application at the same time. OGC member organisations with a European address and experience with OGC's Interoperability Program are automatically qualified and may register to participate in EVPool at the EVPool website.EVPool supports OGCE's mission to promote the development and use of advanced open systems standards and techniques to enable the full integration of geospatial data and geoprocessing resources into mainstream computing and widespread use of interoperable, commercial geoprocessing software throughout the global information infrastructure.The Open GIS Consortium (Europe) Limited (OGCE) is organised and operated as a non-stock, not-for-profit company limited by guarantee under The Companies Act 1985 of England and Wales, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC). OGC is an international industry consortium of more than 250 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available interface specifications. OpenGIS Specifications support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. The specifications empower technology developers to make complex spatial information and services accessible and useful with all kinds of applications. Visit the OGC website at .– end –OpenGIS® is a registered trademark of Open GIS Consortium, Inc.”