The INSPIRE Directive 2007/2/EC, , establishes an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe, requiring large amounts of environmental digital content to be made accessible across Europe, resulting in a data pool that is expected to be of huge value for a myriad of value-added applications. The INSPIRE Implementing Rules Legal Acts outlines these data pools, but more work is needed.

Making data available according to the INSPIRE standards in 30 countries using 22 languages requires specific skill sets that few public authorities have. The management of this content represents an opportunity for SMEs active in this sector.

SMEs can enable countries to fulfil the Directive, creating new market opportunities with increased potential for innovation and new jobs. Due to the legal requirements, the INSPIRE implementation becomes the entry-point for crucial business opportunities, opening new, or reinforcing existing perspectives (including Linked Open Data, Sensor Web, cloud computing and other e-environment application domains).

SmeSpire’s purpose is to encourage and enable the participation of SMEs in the mechanisms of harmonising and making large scale environmental content available.


smeSpire 4 main expected results:
  1. Assessment of market potential for SMEs in relation to INSPIRE as an integral component of the Digital Agenda for Europe, describing obstacles for SMEs to enter this market in terms of knowledge gaps.
  2. Collation, translation and exploitation of a Best Practice Catalogue in the management of environmental content.
  3. Development of a multilingual package to train environmental data analysts in the maintenance and exploitation of environmental data commons.
  4. Creation of a network capable of transferring result-driven knowledge throughout Europe with research centres, environmental agencies, progressive technology providers and digital content providers.


8 concrete outputs:
  1. Assessment, in 12 EU Member States, of the market potential for geo-ICT SMEs in relation to INSPIRE as an integral component of the DAE, to characterise the obstacles for geo-ICT companies to enter this market in terms of knowledge gaps and training needs as defined in WP1.
  2. A training package based on vocational training curricula, designed to train environmental data analysis professionals, expert in the maintenance and exploitation of environmental data commons. The training package, including a catalogue translated in all the official languages of the participating Member States, will be made available on an e-learning training platform.
  3. A Best Practice catalogue, including lessons learned and unsuccessful outcomes, in the field of the management of environmental digital content across Europe.
  4. Dissemination events, in the form of smeSpire days, which will include training workshops, to be organised in the 12 participating countries , potentially organised as ePractice workshops.
  5. A network of SMEs and other institutional stakeholders aiming at bridging the gap between the INSPIRE driven demand of environmental digital data and the industry-driven offer of geo-ICT solutions, stimulating, encouraging and facilitating the participation of SMEs.
  6. A business model aiming at enabling already established and new geo-ICT SMEs in Europe to convert technological innovation which is inside the INSPIRE implementation process into economic value.
  7. A database containing information about the geo-ICT SMEs in Europe, enabling complex business intelligence studies and analysis, even beyond the project lifetime, useful to extract real indicators and to map competences from SMEs across Europe.
  8. General awareness about the importance of interoperability, about the EIS/EIF, and about relevant results from the ISA programme.