Towards a European Geological Service
Europe is facing major challenges towards the further development of European society. The most important challenges have been prioritized by the European Commission, providing the framework for the Horizon 2020 Research Programme. These include stimulation of economic recovery in a global economy, securing energy, water, food and natural resources, protection against natural hazards and consequences of climate change, and securing a healthy environment. In many of these domains the use of geological knowledge and information is crucial to enable stakeholders from policy, research and industry to contribute to sustainable solutions.
At national and regional levels, the geological survey organizations of Europe play an important role for the long-term (public) management of substantial geological data and knowledge repositories. At European level, the surveys collaborate in many cross-border and EU-projects to develop interoperable, harmonized geoscientific information in multiple domains, based on their national knowledge and databases. This concerns for example the Raw Materials Initiative, the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan), the Soil thematic strategy, the Water Framework Directive and the INSPIRE Directive.
Working towards the European societal challenges, international and European stakeholders are calling for increased coordination and more sustainable accessibility of geological information at EU-level.
To support this, the geological surveys of Europe have joined forces to prepare for a European Geological Data Infrastructure (EGDI), under the framework of the EU-funded EGDI-Scope study. This is an important pillar under their joint strategy towards the development of a European Geological Service.
The EGDI-Scope study is the starting point of EGDI. It assesses relevant use cases, datasets, functional and technical requirements, legal topics and governance framework. The next phase will cover the implementation of a first operational technical and organizational structure, securing the maintenance and further development of datasets, tools and functionalities from prioritized European projects: OneGeologyEurope, Minerals4EU/EuroGeoSource, EMODnet-Geology, PANGEO and GEMAS.
This Infrastructure will enable European geological surveys to serve and maintain INSPIRE-compliant, interoperable geological data and information reflecting our understanding of the subsurface.
After the implementation phase the EGDI will continuously extend towards being the central junction for all relevant pan-European interoperable, harmonised geological information for stakeholders from policy, industry and general public. Subsequent extensions of the EGDI will be based on results from past, current and future EU-projects.
EGDI-Scope Brochure 2014 Brochure EGDI-Scope 2014