Neelie KROES
Vice-President of the European Commission

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Data Protection Day


Today, 28 January, is Data Protection Day. Commemorating the signing of a Convention 33 years ago today, the day aims to promote awareness and education of privacy issues.

EU unlocks a great new source of online innovation

Today the European Parliament voted to formally agree new rules on open data - effectively making a reality of the proposal which I first put forward just over 18 months ago, and making it easier to open up huge amounts of public sector data.  This is about the data that public authorities can lawfully put out there – a huge wealth of information about your public services, how administrations are spending your tax euros, geographical or cultural information, and the like. There's a huge benefit to opening up. Once information is out there, there is so much you can do with it. Today many of you are familiar with apps that tell you where you are and where you need to go – based on public data from Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites. But it goes beyond that: the boost from easier access is of the order tens of billions of euros. In short, this is an amazing raw material for innovation; we're basically sitting on a goldmine.

European Month of the Brain: the EU and US putting our grey matter together

To kick off European Month of the Brain (#brainmonth), a blog about the exciting brain research initiatives being led from both sides of the Atlantic. You may have seen our recent announcement about the human brain project (HBP). The deserved joint winner of our Future and Emerging Technology scheme; and hence recipient of around €1 billion euros in funding over 10 years. Separately you may also have seen President Obama's initiative on Brain Activity Mapping (BAM), worth $100 million in the first year.
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