OGC Innovation Program


Reduced Risk – Lower Cost – More Innovation – Agile Process


The OGC Innovation Program (IP), previously known as the Interoperability Program, is an essential part of OGC’s fast, effective, inclusive user-driven process to develop, evolve, test, demonstrate and promote OGC Standards.

Beginning in 1999, OGC’s Innovation Program has conducted 85 initiatives (as of 2014), that build and exercise public-private  partnerships designed to accelerate the development of emerging concepts and drive global trends in interoperability through rapid prototyping of new capabilities.


The OGC IP initiatives provide a fast-paced setting for geospatial technology users nd providers to work collaboratively in an agile development environment to develop, evolve, test, demonstrate and validate candidate geospatial standards under marketplace conditions. Such initiatives have proven to:

  • Reduce technology risk through accelerating development, testing and acceptance of interoperability standards with the refinement of standards and best practices
  • Expand the market and improve choice by encouraging industry adoption of new standards and best practices, ensuring market availability of interoperable solutions
  • Mobilize new technologies through providing participants with real world experience and a platform to innovate while driving early adoption of standards
  • Provide cost effective method for sponsors and participants to share expertise and development while gaining early marketplace insight and advantage

In no other setting can major users of geospatial technology share the costs of developing well-crafted interfaces and encodings that provide a concrete foundation for future enterprise architectures. Not only is the cost lower, but also sponsors and participants gain unprecedented insight into these evolving standards that provide technical interoperability across IT enterprises.


Governed by a set of proven policies, processes and procedures, the OGC IP initiatives fall under one of the following categories

  • Test beds are fast-paced, multi-vendor collaborative efforts to define, design, develop, and test candidate interface and encoding specifications. These draft specifications then move into the OGC Standards Program where they are reviewed, revised and potentially approved as new international standards.
  • Pilot projects apply and test OGC standards in real world applications using Standards Based Commercial Off-The-Shelf (SCOTS) products that implement OGC standards. Pilot projects are an opportunity for users to understand how to best address their requirements using standards-based architectures.
  • OGC Engineering Services are designed to help organizations with open, standards-based architectures.
  • Interoperability Experiments are brief, low-overhead, formally structured and approved initiatives led and executed by OGC members to achieve specific technical objectives that further the OGC Technical Baseline.
  • Concept Development studies assess emerging technologies and architectures capable of supporting eventual Interoperability Initiatives and Standards activities. They may examine alternative mechanisms that enable commercial technology to interoperate to meet sponsor requirements.
  • OGC Network™ is a window onto the dynamic, constantly changing geospatial web as described by the OGC Reference Model (ORM). Multiple communities of interest for research in geospatial interoperability are supported, and persistent demonstration capability is provided.

IP Pool

To best support the technical architecture and management of these initiatives, the OGC Innovation Program maintains an IP Pool - a set of organizations and independent consultants who have pre-qualified to support future OGC IP initiatives. The OGC Innovation Program conducts its mission by selecting expertise from the IP Pool to form project teams that conduct IP Initiatives. 


If you have an idea for an initiative, are interested in participating or simply have a question or comment, contact Luiz BermudezOGC Interoperability Director at lbermudez [at] opengeospatial.org.