Big data presents great opportunities as they help us develop new creative products and services, for example apps on mobile phones or business intelligence products for companies. It can boost growth and jobs in Europe, but also improve the quality of life of Europeans.

Here are some examples of research projects that have an impact on society and economy:

Healthcare: enhancing diagnosis and treatment while preserving privacy

Big data offers solutions for improved efficiency in healthcare information processing which in turn creates value for businesses, public sector and citizens. The analysis of large clinical datasets can result in the optimisation of the clinical and cost effectiveness of new drugs and treatments and patients can benefit from more timely and appropriate care. Data interoperability is of utmost importance since the data is derived from diverse and heterogeneous sources such as bio-signal streams, health records, genomics and clinical lab tests. Privacy-preserving technologies aim at providing access to health data for patients, healthcare professionals and clinical researchers in a uniform way and in an anonymized and aggregated form to develop better prevention or treatment options.

Projects:

  • Reducing cost, improving patient outcomes and delivering better access to healthcare facilities: BigMedilytics - Big data for medical analytics
  • Clinical decision support and integrated care: AEGLE
  • Anonymisation and blockchain technology solution for healthcare: My Health My Data
  • Multilingual medical text analysis, search and machine translation: KConnect
  • Evidence-based actionable information provision for public health policies: MIDAS

Data Markets

Information technology has driven, directly or indirectly, much of Europe’s economic growth during the last decades as the role of data transitioned from the support of business decisions to becoming a good in itself. An open approach towards data value creation has become critical in the new networked economy, with Europe well placed to nurture this new revolution.

Projects:

  • TRUSTS: aims to create a federated platform of data marketplaces and address the issues of platform regulation, standardisation and interoperability.

  • i3-MARKET innovates on marketplace platforms and implements industrial demonstrators by using technologies and solutions to achieve a trusted, interoperable and decentralised infrastructure. It enables interoperability of existing and emerging data spaces and marketplaces and ensures the required levels of privacy and confidentiality for sharing data among relevant systems and services, and develops the necessary security and access control measures for secure trading of data. The industrial pilot demonstrators include automotive, manufacturing and healthcare pilots.

  • DataPorts develops a Cognitive Ports Data Platform addressing ports transportation and logistics domain. The platform connects to the different digital infrastructures currently existing in digital seaports; sets the policies for a trusted and reliable data sharing and trading; and leverages on the data collected, to provide advanced data analytic services based on which the different actors in the port value chain can develop novel AI and cognitive applications. The platform will be rolled out in the operational environment of two major ports in Europe.

  • Automotive Big Data Marketplace for Innovative Cross-sectorial Vehicle Data Services: AutoMat. The AutoMat project established a novel and open ecosystem in the form of a cross-border Vehicle Big Data Marketplace that leverages currently unused information gathered from connected vehicles.
  • Accelerating data to market: DataPitch is a business incubator that supports European entrepreneurs make business with industrial data. DataPitch aims at making the European data economy stronger and support innovation through digital transformation.

Transport: fewer accidents and traffic jams

The transport sector can clearly benefit from big data collected through sensors, GPS data and social media in particular. A smart use of big data supports governments in optimising multimodal transport and managing traffic flows, making our cities smarter. Citizens and companies can save time through the use of route planning support systems.

Projects:

  • Increase operational efficiency, deliver improved customer experience and foster new business models - TransformingTransport (TT)
  • Making fleet management cheap and easy for SMEs (SimpleFleet)

Environment: reduced energy consumption

The big data revolution brings about novel ways of understanding and addressing environmental challenges. A better use of globally available national and local datasets helps scientists in their research and enables policy-makers to make informed and evidence-based decisions related to natural disasters like flooding, to fight against climate change and reduce costs. Smart cities also host data centres adapting the power consumption of public buildings to the availability of renewable energy and other useful indicators. At the same time, our mobiles devices become smarter by integrating analytical tools to reduce our energy consumption and save money.

Projects:

  • Environmentally-friendly data centres DC4Cities
  • Cloud based analysis of big geospatial data for the simulation of events like flooding IQmulus

Open Data

Open Data refers to the information collected, produced or paid for by the public bodies and made freely available for re-use for any purpose. Public sector information is information held by the public sector. The Directive on the re-use of public sector information provides a common legal framework for a European market for government-held data. It is built around the key pillars of the internal market: free flow of data, transparency and fair competition.

The "European Data Portal" was set up by the Commission to improve accessibility and increase the value of Open Data published by European Public Administrations at all levels of government. Watch the video on open data for more details.

Projects:

  • The Open Data Incubator for Europe ODINE helps companies in developing their ideas of using open data at the core of their business by giving: expert advice from business mentors, peer networking and support, technology and data sets, high-quality coverage in the Guardian datablog, brokering introductions to business angels and VCs. The Open Data Incubator for Europe has funded 57 start-ups and SMEs, generating already more than EUR 1 million in additional investment, sales, and jobs.
  • TheyBuyForYou: Enabling procurement data value chains for economic development, demand management, competitive markets and vendor intelligence.
  • Lynx: Building the Legal Knowledge Graph for Smart Compliance Services in Multilingual Europe

Personal Data

  • DataVaults aims to develop a framework to securely manage personal data and to guarantee citizens’ control of their data. 
  • KRAKEN creates a marketplace for trading personal data that will allow individuals to have control over shared data and that will improve trust thanks to regulatory compliance and use of crypto technologies. 
  • PIMCITY develops a series of open source components and interfaces backed up by learning materials and an educational community to facilitate the adoption of data-exchange platforms within SMEs and to improve personal data sharing management. The planned use cases include several B2B and B2C scenarios with actual users

Data Science Skills

To make sense out of the increasing amounts of available data, there is a growing demand for data scientists in Europe. This comparatively new profile combines expertise from various domains, e.g. programming skills, analytics skills and statistical expertise, as well as domain knowledge from application domains (e.g. health, agriculture or finance, to name just a few).

European initiatives:

Each of these centers alone can only cover a small part of the whole Big Data picture, but together their competences can define the data-driven Future of Europe. Some of the particular themes discussed were data skills and education needed for Europe's Digital Transformation. This is one of the hottest topics in the big data community. To know more about the Network’s activities, read on i-Know website.

Agriculture: safer food and increased productivity

A smart use of big data in agriculture can increase productivity, food security and farmer incomes at the same time. Through an intelligent and widespread use of data coming from sensors and Earth observations such as the open data from the Copernicus Programme the ways we are farming today can be changed entirely for the better. This can lead to a more efficient use of natural resources (including water or sunlight) in our farming practices. With advanced technologies farmers can have access to data in real time on how their farm machinery is working as well as to historic weather patterns, topography and crop performance.

Projects:

  • TheFSM delivers a data marketplace for sharing agri-food information such as food certification data in a secure way within the agricultural sector, for food safety and inspection purposes, among others. The marketplace will be an open and collaborative virtual environment that will facilitate the exchange and connection of data between different food safety actors interested in sharing information critical to certification.

  • Data-driven bioeconomy - producing best possible raw materials from agriculture, forestry and fishery: DataBio
  • Using an open data standards platform to make agriculture more efficient: AgroIT
  • A platform for sharing agricultural data to make better farming decisions: FOODIE

Industrial impact / Big Data access technologies / Research

Maximally exploiting available data is increasingly critical to industrial competitiveness. Accessing the relevant data is becoming progressively difficult due to the explosion in the size and complexity of data sets. Maximally exploiting data requires flexible access and engineers need to explore the data in ways not supported by current applications. Engineers spend up to 80% of their time on data access problems. Apart from the enormous direct cost, freeing up expert time would lead to even greater value creation through deeper analysis and improved decision making.

Projects:

  • smashHit aims to ensure trusted and secure sharing of data streams from personal and industrial platforms, with the focus on cyber-physical products that generate large amounts of data, such as vehicles. It will be driven by two industrial business cases involving several existing industrial and personal data platforms in three different sectors: automotive, insurance, and smart cities.

  • OpertusMundi will deliver a trusted, secure and highly scalable pan-European industrial geospatial data platform that will act as a single point of entry for the discovery, sharing, trading, remuneration and use of proprietary and commercial geospatial data assets.

  • Big Data for factories: Boost 4.0 aims to lead the construction of the European Industrial Data Space to improve the competitiveness of Industry 4.0 and will guide the European manufacturing industry in the introduction of Big Data in the factory, providing the industrial sector with the necessary tools to obtain the maximum benefit of Big Data.

  • Scalable End-user Access to Big Data: Optique brings a unique combination of technologies to bear on Big Data challenges. The project was extremely successful in bringing research results into commercial fruition.

AI/Machine learning

  • Musketeer - Machine learning to augment sgared knowledge in federated privacy preserving scenarios.
  • Fandango- Fake News discovery and propagation from big data analysis and artificial intelligence operations.