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IMPACT continues to advance the development of the European information market

Following the favourable opinion of the IMPACT Committee, the European Commission adopted, on 1 July 1994, a number of measures which will contribute to the further development of the European information market. The measures include: - Expanded national awareness partners ne...

Following the favourable opinion of the IMPACT Committee, the European Commission adopted, on 1 July 1994, a number of measures which will contribute to the further development of the European information market. The measures include: - Expanded national awareness partners network (NAPs): A network of NAPs was created to extend awareness of electronic information services and the benefits of using such services throughout the Member States of the European Union. This network became operational in September 1993 and currently includes 17 organizations which operate in close cooperation with other community networks (e.g. Euro Info Centres, VALUE Relay Centres) which cover complimentary fields of activity. The success of the decentralized activities performed by the NAPs is indicated by the 100% increase in the awareness events in 1993 compared with 1992. The organizations carry out a range of activities such as seminars, workshops and participation in conferences and exhibitions. In line with the recommendations of the IMPACT mid-term evaluation report, the IMPACT II work programme for 1994 recognizes the need to expand the awareness activities to include a larger number of partners. In addition, the Commission has decided to extend the network to the countries of the European Economic Area (EEA). Additional NAPs have been appointed in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Spain. From the EEA countries, new NAPs have been appointed in Austria, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. - GIS projects: Following a call for proposals for shared-cost projects to develop information services based on geographical information systems (GIS) technology, 28 projects were selected for funding during a six-month definition phase. Eight projects were assessed as being eligible for funding for a further 18-month implementation phase which brings the products nearer to the market. The subject areas addressed by these pan-European projects include data collection and provision, education, tourism, urban planning and real estate. The projects use readily available technology platforms. - EUROGI: Now that a European Umbrella Organization for Geographical Information (EUROGI) has been established, the Commission is providing an initial start-up grant of 50% of the total budget for the first year's activities, up to a maximum of ECU 50,000. The aim of this organization is to support and represent all geographical information (GI) groups at the European level and to support the development and use of geographical information. The first General Assembly of EUROGI, which took place in Luxembourg on 19-20 May 1994, agreed the work programme for the first year of operation. The next executive committee will take place on 22 July 1994.

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