The UK-EOF Data Initiative programme has been set up to develop the knowledge base of environmental observations and tackle issues surrounding data sharing and reuse. The work investigates who is collecting what data, data policy development and data suitability so that:
"People/organisations in "UK plc" actually share and reuse environmental observation data to inform policy decisions, expand knowledge, contribute to international activities, stimulate markets for innovation, improve operational capabilities and improve their responses to the changing environment."
The UK-EOF began by articulating the issues and produced a paper, Sharing Environmental Observation Data - the Issues, which outlined the legal, institutional, cultural and technical aspects of data sharing. In September 2008, the paper was presented at a Think Tank with Bob Watson and senior government officials to highlight the issues and agree a vision. Following consultation at a Data Solutions Workshop and the establishment of a Data Advisory Group, the UK-EOF Data Initiative project was created.