The private sector, including industry and small medium enterprises (SMEs), represents one of the stakeholders’ categories that must be engaged by EPOS in order to increase exploitation of achievements. The engagement of stakeholders requires the adoption of communication policies and interaction strategies that are appropriate to the diverse stakeholders’ categories. Indeed, the cooperation with the private sector is delicate because does not simply involve scientific and financial issues, but also legal, governance and ethical issues; the latter being particularly relevant for an environmental researche infrastructure as EPOS.
Private sector can be a user of the EPOS platform to utilize data and services for knowledge transfer, research and innovation as well as a supplier of the EPOS RI when they provide access to data, products and facilities through shared data policies for scientific use. In principle, private sector can also be a customer directly contributing to develop infrastructure components as well as building thematic services for solid Earth sciences. The EPOS strategic plan for cooperating with the private sector requires a clear distinction of roles and effective partnerships to fully exploit the technological and human capital already engaged in this publicly funded research infrastructure.