EOSC met Big Data at European Big Data Value Forum
European Big Data Value Forum gathered over 500 enthusiasts of big data and artificial intelligence from industry and academia to Helsinki from 14 – 16 October. The event was built of more than one hundred presentations and an exhibition of 20 booths. EOSC secretariat was there to raise awareness of the benefits that the European Open Science Cloud will bring to researchers, companies and society in general. There was a clear interest towards EOSC and we were able to reach potential users from different areas of science and industry.
Data-driven research drives the future of Europe
The importance of Artificial intelligence and data was highlighted in the opening and key note speeches. Jari Partanen, State Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland stressed that AI is a way to improve EU competitiveness and digital economy with respect to global data economy. Roberto Viola, Director General of DG Connect, European Commission said that the angle of data is very important to look at for Europe. Data makes our society better in many ways: greener, healthier and roads safer. There is scientific evidence and data to prove this. In the next political cycle, Horizon Europe framework programme, data-driven research continue to be in the focus and new data infrastructures will be deployed using the funding from Digital Europe. AI without data is nothing: Available data in large scale and powerful computers makes AI attractive for improving our society. Parallel tracks will be working together in the areas of data, robotics, and AI. Federating computing infrastructures and HPC with data, investing in algorithms that can support climate research, data modelling, and human centric AI. The future of Europe is in data and data drives the future of Europe.
Reaping the full benefits of data-driven research for European scientists
In his presentation Yannick Legre, director of EGI, presented EOSC and its role as ensuring that European scientists reap the full benefits of data-driven research. He highlighted that the mission of EOSC-hub project is to mobilize providers of European relevance to offer services, software and data for advanced data-driven research and innovation. These resources are offered via the Hub – the integration and management system of the European Open Science Cloud, acting as a European-level entry point for all stakeholders – researchers, industry and public sector. He highlighted in his speech that industry may benefit of EOSC by using services and data available via the EOSC portal for their own research purposes, and offering their own services and data through the EOSC market place.
Unleashing the full AI potential
In the session “Towards a European Data Sharing Space: enabling Data Exchange to unleash full AI potential”, Yvo Volman, head of Data policy and innovation unit at DG CNET, European Commission, gave a presentation about the EC strategy to enable data sharing spaces. He stated that the data sharing is taken seriously by Member States. Enabling free flow of data and implementation of datamining and copy right directives are the focus of attention. According to Volman, private data, research data and data generated by the public sector should be handled together and be openly available and free of charge. Businesses, governments and research should use this data together to create and find solutions to societal challenges. The target is that high value datasets across EU will be accessible and machine readable for everyone to use- some of them for free, by 2021. The parliament and council have defined that the categories of datasets to be made available are geographic, meteorological, statistics and business registries. There is a support center for data sharing that was established in 2018 and at the moment there are two services available, European data portal and open data portal, targeted for researchers, industry and public sector and containing openly accessible data.
The European Data Sharing Space
In the same session, the Big Data Value Association shared their position in establishing a European Data Sharing Space. The community, including the EOSC ecosystem is invited to provide feedback to their position paper by mid-November. BDVA says the following recommendation should be adopted for successful development, implementation, and adoption of a European Data Sharing Space that will allow new and existing, vertical, cross-sectoral, personal and industrial data spaces to interoperate and offer services and experimentation opportunities to all stakeholders:
- Create conditions for development of a trusted European data sharing network
- Incorporate data sharing at the core of data lifecycle (for greater access to data)
- Support EU businesses to safely embrace new technologies, practices and policies, and
- Assemble EU-wide digital skills strategy to equip workforce for new data economy.
These are very similar to the objectives and activities that are being pursued and promoted by EOSC and related projects. Europe should ensure that there is collaboration and exchange of experience and information in these parallel initiatives also serving the same target groups – researchers, industry and public sector!