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INSPIRATION - INtegrated Spatial PlannIng, land use and soil management Research AcTION

The main aim of INSPIRATION is to develop a Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) to inform environmentally friendly, socially acceptable and economically affordable soil and land use management that meets societal needs and challenges. A SRA built on end-user knowledge needs is more likely to be enthusiastically adopted by funders in order to promote the knowledge creation, transfer and implementation agenda. SPECTRA Centre of Excellence EU at the STU in Bratislava acts as the National Focus Point for INSPIRATION Project in the frame of WP2, supported by the Catholic University in Ruzomberok, Institute of Landscape Ecology and Institute of Forest Ecology of the Slovak Academy of Science.


How we use and manage land does impact nature and the ability to sustain biodiversity and provide ecosystem services. Land management needs to focus on sustainable use of natural capital and resources. The underlying premise of INSPIRATION is that land and soil services are fundamental for:

  • Meeting societal needs (food, drinking water, energy production, shelter, infrastructure)
  • Overcoming societal challenges (climate change mitigation and adaptation, increasing demands on non-renewable natural resources, environmental justice).

INSPIRATION tackles the following questions:

  • How can land management contribute to balancing the demand for and supply of resources and natural capital (including ecosystem services, the services of the Soil Sediment Water system)?
  • What research is needed to widen the extent to which land management can contribute to reducing the ecological footprint and to optimising the desired quality and availability of resources at different scales?
  • What EU-knowledge creation and transfer on soil, land use and land management are therefore needed?
  • What are the priority research demands of different stakeholders in the Member States?
  • Which networks and coalitions of funders and other stakeholders are most suitable to deal with these knowledge gaps (matchmaking)?
  • What are strengths and weaknesses of various possible funding models for executing the SRA?

How INSPIRATION will achieve the overall aim?

INSPIRATION has set the following specific objectives as steps to enable the achievement of the project aim:

  1. Establish the state-of-the-art in balancing supply and demand in resources and natural capital by land management and the way soil, sediments and water (SSW) contribute at the national and European level.
  2. Identify and prioritise key knowledge, technology, policy and understanding gaps in current activities in meeting soil and land use related societal needs and challenges across Europe and beyond.
  3. Develop a needs & challenges focused strategic research agenda (SRA) that can be tackled on a national and European level.
  4. Identify relevant existing and new funding and delivery models for implementing the SRA.
  5. Bring together European public and private research funders willing to collaboratively and synergistically invest in delivering the SRA, or parts thereof, at local, regional, national and transnational scales.


The consortium comprises 21 European partners. To comply with the objectives of INSPIRATION, the consortium was built to mobilize a maximum of relevant actors in the Member States, increase policy coherence, resolve trade-offs, manage conflicting interests, increase participation of citizens through NGO involvement in decision-making and improve public awareness and business uptake of research results.

The 21 INSPIRATION partners:

  • have substantial experience in soil, land use and land management issues and bring in the needed experience and knowledge gained in other relevant projects and networks
  • represent a wide range of public and private stakeholders (funders, researchers and end users of research results)
  • represent 15 of 28 EU Member States ( Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, United Kingdom) plus Switzerland
  • which represents 70 % of the EU population and 75 % of the total area of the EU (without Switzerland).

Additional information about INSPIRATION project




INSPIRATION is built on very close interaction with relevant actors in the soil, land use and land management fields. They are involved in formulating the Strategic Research Agenda and its implementation models throughout by participating in the national “demand identification” workshops. The stakeholders involved in INSPIRATION workshops will be encouraged to act as ambassadors for Strategic Research Agenda dissemination and implementation – that after all reflects the needs and demands expressed by the stakeholders themselves.