The aim of the nventory project was to carry out a design study that will set the grounds towards the European e·Infrastructures Observatory; through the collection and utilisation of appropriate indicators, the European e·Infrastructures Observatory is able to monitor žInfrastructures development and through an intuitive, interactive and user-friendly interface, communicates all findings to related stakeholders and to the public-at-large, in a seamless and impartial way.

The nventory project responds to the need of Infrastructure stakeholders by delivering a prototype tool to aid impact assessment of related Infrastructure initiatives and programmes. In that respect, the user communities that will effectively use the European Infrastructures Observatory as a yardstick tool and translate the project outputs into a real influence on Infrastructure policy, are the e·Infrastructure stakeholders themselves, including:

  • the European Parliament, the European Commission and National Governments that are sponsoring Infrastructure initiatives and place a high value in their policy agenda on the impact assessment, post-mortem analysis and ex-ante evaluation, to help design better and more successful future Infrastructure programmes;
  • research funding bodies that plan the development of strategies to address the digital divide and digital opportunity issues and need to utilise and assess the impact of Infrastructures contributing to this goal;
  • e·Infrastructure policy bodies that have a clear mandate of supporting the development and the sustainability of Infrastructures and need an impact assessment tool to monitor the progress of achieving their objectives;
  • Infrastructure projects that carry out specific e·Infrastructure activities and need to monitor their impact during deployment as well as retrospectively;
  • scientific/research communities that are empowered by e·Infrastructures and are eager to comprehend their strengths and weaknesses that influence their everyday work.

High utilisation of the European e·Infrastructures Observatory from the broad Infrastructure community is of key importance in defining the project's impact therefore, the entire project workplan has been designed to maximize stakeholders' engagement and awareness.

It is expected that, in a similar fashion to other observatories, besides its core function of providing indicators and graphical representations, the European Infrastructures Observatory could also become, after appropriate time for maturity, a kind of an "Infrastructure library", a registry of Infrastructure-related components and an online collaboration platform where the Infrastructure stakeholders from all over the world are mapped and profiled, thus becoming a reference point for those who provide the e·Infrastructure resources and those who are using them: the targeted scientific communities and the general public.