Commercial sector products and services based on Earth observations provide important public and private benefits, foster scientific and technological innovation and spur economic development.
GEO welcomes mutually-beneficial engagement from commercial sector organizations in support of its mission and vision. In turn, GEO provides them with the opportunity to connect with and learn from its expansive Earth observation expert and user communities, including scientific and technical experts from universities, government agencies, research institutions and international organizations. In return for helping to build the open resources and services used by the GEO community, engaged commercial sector organizations gain knowledge and experience that can guide the development of their business.
Avenues of engagement include participation in and sponsorship of GEO events, contributions to the GEO Work Programme and providing open data or free software and services to the GEO community.
Terms of collaboration between the commercial sector and GEO are set out in Annex C, Rules of Engagement with the Commercial Sector in the GEO Rules of Procedure.
The GEO Associates category enables commercial and non-governmental, not-for-profit and civil society organizations to join governments and international organizations as official GEO collaborators. GEO Associates are important partners in enabling the application and use of GEO’s global solutions at regional and local scales.
GEO welcomes, as GEO Associates, commercial organizations and national associations of commercial firms, as well as non-governmental, not-for-profit and civil society organizations with a national or sub-national mandate or scope of operations related to Earth Observations. GEO Associates must be registered in the territory of a GEO member country.
Successful candidates for GEO Associate status will demonstrate two or more years of substantive involvement with GEO, and identify their self-funded and sustained contribution to GEO.
While GEO Associates do not participate in the governance of GEO, they will join the GEO Member governments and Participating Organizations in informing the development and implementation of the GEO Work Programme, and may be invited to participate in GEO Plenaries to inform the strategic planning for GEO to meet its key objectives.
Guidance for Recognition of GEO Associates are set out in Annex A.3 of the GEO Rules of Procedure.