5th eNewsletter

Final conference of the study "Big Data and B2B platforms: the next big opportunity for Europe" completed successfully

Published on: 18/12/2020
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On behalf of the European Commission, the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME), and the consortium for the study “Big Data and B2B platforms: the next big opportunity for Europe”, we would like to thank those of you who participated to our final conference, which took place on 26 November 2020 in an online format. Your contribution was valuable. We would also like to inform about it the rest of you, who did not have the chance to attend it. Its aim was to present the final results of the study and discuss the main lessons learned with policymakers and stakeholders. The conference served as the ultimate dissemination of the study and, next to presenting the final outcomes, also promoted the policy recommendations and action plans identified by the study team.

This study gives particular attention to the opportunities offered by Big Data and B2B platforms for Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs), with the purpose of maximising their innovation potential and contributing to growth and employment in Europe. Over the past two years, the study team has developed two technical pilots to enhance data sharing, and an accompanying analysis of regulatory barriers, market deficiencies and policy recommendations.

The two pilots, one for each sector, were presented and discussed with experts during four rounds of workshops that took place between April 2019 and October 2020. For the healthcare sector, the pilot on a high quality, diabetes-related data repository demonstrates an architecture for the fair and equal sharing of health data from different sources and regions. For the automotive sector, the pilot provides an approach to cooperative, connected and automated mobility with the introduction of a ‘Shared Server solution’[1].

Objectives of the study

The four rounds of workshops were connected to each one of the four different phases of the pilots’ execution, as depicted in the figure below. By the final conference, all the phases of the development of the two pilots had been covered.


The final conference started with a welcome speech by Wavestone followed by two keynote speeches. We would like to take this opportunity and thank our two keynote speakers, Andrea Renda (Senior Research Fellow and Head of Global Governance, Regulation, Innovation & Digital Economy Unit at CEPS) for providing an overview of the importance of data sharing in the new initiatives of the Commission and the challenges related to the digital economy and data spaces, as well as Juergen Imhoff (Senior Digital Adviser at Microsoft) for giving his expert perspective from outside the EU, discussing different approaches for handling data sharing along with their advantages and disadvantages.

After the keynote speeches, the research team from ICCS presented the Shared Server solution in the automotive sector. The “Shared Server solution” is a technical architecture proposed by the study for providing “Access to In-vehicle Data and Resources”. It is based on the concept of a “data server platform” where relevant vehicle data are transferred to an external server and made available to service providers. Then, the research team from TNO presented their final IT infrastructure for a pan-European, high-quality, diabetes-related data repository in the healthcare sector, and the challenges and opportunities of a type 2 diabetes (T2D) health data marketplace. Afterwards, all of you who participated in the conference contributed to the discussion and asked questions that enabled a better understanding of the presented solutions and opened up the discussion for future actions and solutions.

We also had the opportunity to host an expert panel session with five high-level experts, to provide an overall assessment of the study, share their perspectives on general big data and content specific challenges and opportunities in both sectors (eHealth/automotive) and present ideas and recommendations for future actions and research. Therefore, we would like to thank Stephan Dreher (Senior Manager at ERTICO), Jaana Sinipuro (Project Director responsible for the Human-driven data economy focus area at Findata), Jelena Malinina (Digital Health Policy Officer at BEUC), Anastasia Dimou (Post-Doc Researcher in Semantic Web and Linked Open Data technologies at U. Gent) and Prof. Ricardo Jardim-Gonçalves (Professor at the Faculty of Sciences and Technology at the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa) for the very interesting and instructive discussion.

Finally, we would like to thank Andrei Bunis (Policy Officer at DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) at the European Commission) and Raul Zaharie (Project Officer at EASME at the European Commission) for closing this stimulating conference with a discussion on the next steps and the ways these studies can be used for future strategy and policy actions.

You may find the presentations of the final conference on the CEPS event webpage.

Please stay tuned to our study’s webpage for more information about the study and the upcoming reports, in particular:

  • Reports on the design, organisation, rollout, outcomes and impact of the two pilots;
  • Market analysis of the potential of European B2B platforms and unified European diabetes-related data sets;
  • Reports on potential market deficiencies and regulatory barriers, including a common industry-led position;
  • Reports with recommendations for EU and national policymakers and an action plan to (i) create shared EU-wide in-vehicle data platforms, and to (ii) accelerate the creation of unified EU-wide diabetes-related data platform; and
  • A report informing policy actions on skills for the automotive sector.


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[1] https://ec.europa.eu/transport/sites/transport/files/2017-05-access-to-…