The Scientific Platform and analytical Tools represent a core element in a European territorial knowledge base of ESPON that can support the preparation of effective territorial policies from the regional/local level to the European level.

Building the ESPON Scientific Platform is a long term exercise. In this sense it is important to maintain, develop and expand existing scientific output and analytical tools resulting from the ESPON 2006 Programme.

New actions shall be undertaken to maintain and develop current achievements and make use of the indicators, data and tools provided by ESPON. In particular, the further development and improvement of the ESPON Database, innovative work on territorial indicators/indices and on a territorial monitoring and reporting system are among the challenges. In addition, further development of mapping tools, models and methodologies will take place as well as updates of data allowing for trend analyses of themes already covered by prior applied research.

In the work on improving the ESPON Scientific Platform efforts shall be made to relate to the growing number of spatial observatories set-up for national and cross-border territories. Moreover, it is crucial to ensure compliance with European standards for spatially referenced data and maps.

The internal consistency of ESPON results is also dependent on the availability of a common Scientific Platform and Tools, and it will be made available in support of Applied Research and Targeted Analysis under Priority 1 and 2.