Alessandro Annoni is the Head of the Digital Economy Unit at the European Commission – Joint Research Centre. His unit provides techno-socio-economic research in support to the Digital Economy and ensure the technical coordination of the INSPIRE Directive developing a European Spatial Data Infrastructure. Alessandro graduated in Physics from the University of Milan and before joining the EC, he worked for several years in the private sector and managed companies specialises in Remote Sensing, Geomatics, Software and Information Systems development. He is member of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Program Board and has been awarded the 2013 Ian McHarg Medal of the European Geosciences Union reserved for distinguished research in Information Technology applied to Earth and space sciences. In 2016 he received the Digital Earth Science and Technology Contribution Award from Chinese Academy of Science for outstanding contribution to advancing the development of Digital Earth.