Regional and local data-driven innovation through collective intelligence and sandboxing

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ELISE bannerBackground and scope

The study Regional and local data-driven innovation through collective intelligence and sandboxing was launched by the Digital Economy Unit of the Directorate Growth and Innovation of the JRC Ispra in the framework of the ELISE Action of the ISA2 Programme, with the aim to explore the interplay between digital technology and other factors transforming government operations in terms of service delivery, governance processes and policy-making mechanisms.

The objective is to assess the impact of the adoption of regional and local data ecosystems and digital twins, by exploring several governance and business models by taking advantage of a sandboxing approach. Here, sandboxing refers to testing solutions in a safe environment, with a focus on institutional and technical innovations to enable more efficient and effective delivery of public services through data sharing and reuse.

Lot 2 The study focuses on the following activities:

  • Mapping the data ecosystems of various European cities, understanding their strengths and weaknesses
  • Identifying technologies, approaches, models of different uses of data through sandboxes, namely agile and inclusive testing environments.
  • Summarising and disseminating lessons learned to ensure the sustainability of the identified beneficial uses of data. 
  • Validating results, developing policy recommendations and suggesting research topics to spread and scale the creation of value from data

Outcomes of the research

  1. Description and analysis of regional and/or city data ecosystems. Seven local data ecosystems have been analysed – Barcelona (ES), Bordeaux Metropole (FR), Helsinki (FI), Milan (IT), Santander (ES), Poznan (PL) and Rome (IT) – assessing their data governance models, including for instance, the high-level architectures, the data flows, the services provided, the stakeholders involved, the level of maturity, etc.
  2. Overview of the established sandboxes together with a description of their use. Based on the main challenges identified by city authorities for their data ecosystems, four cities, Barcelona (ES), Helsinki (FI), Milan (IT) and Poznan (PL) have co-designed and implemented sandboxing experiments with the project team in order to address the areas for improvements and test innovative solutions.

    The following sandbxoing experiments were conducted:
    • PoznanStarting Out With B2G Data Sharing
    • Milan Bringing New Parties into Data Ecosystems
    • Barcelona - Improving and Automating Data Management
    • Helsinki Learning from Alternative Sandboxing Approaches

  3. Summary of the lessons learned from the application of sandboxing. Key lessons learned from sandboxing activities are going to be drafted soon- Lessons learned will aim at contributing to the debate and scientific research on how data-driven tools, approaches and models can support the creation and strengthening of data ecosystems at local and regional level, also by leveraging on the sandboxing approach. 

The outcomes of the study are going to be collected in a Final Report, which will also outline policy recommendations, suggestions for emerging research topics and provide a common analytical framework for the use of sandboxing.

Data is going to be made available based on the Technical Specifications of the Living-in.EU (LI.EU) joint initiative, which are called “MIMs Plus” and are based on the OASC Minimal Interoperability Mechanisms (MIMs).


The Final Event is coming!

SAVE THE DATE - Friday, 20 May 2022 (10:00 - 12:00 CEST)

Final Policy Lab

How can experimenting using a "sandboxing" approach help contribute to the development of local data ecosystems, and address key urban challenges related to mobility, energy, and housing?

During this Policy Lab, we will present the key findings and recommendations of the project. The session will focus on key results and best practices for how cities can adopt and leverage a sandboxing approach to develop their data ecosystems, with view to the proposed EIF4SCC and upcoming Data Act.

The Policy Lab is open to all stakeholders working on shaping data policies and we strongly encourage representatives from local and regional administrations, particularly policymakers to join the session and connect with their peers.

Registrations open here




2021 European Week of Regions and Cities

The preliminary results of the study were presented and discussed in a Participatory Lab during the European Week of Regions and Cities. Participants discussed the results of the data ecosystems analysis in seven different European cities: Barcelona (ES), Bordeaux Metropole (FR), Helsinki (FI), Milan (IT), Santander (ES), Poznan (PL) and Rome (IT), by sharing best practicies and challenges identified in the different local contexts. 


Workshop on sandboxing results - Thursday, 28 April 2022 (14:00 - 16:00 CEST)

This event presented the activities and results achieved in four cities by applying the sandboxing approach to test innovative solutions in local data ecosystems.