If you are member of BDVA since long time ago, you probably know that the implementation of the PPP depends on the activities of this association, the investments of its members in their areas of competence and very prominently on the work performed by the project portfolio. In the last years cooperation with projects has been reinforced. They do not only participate in our events, but they are many times invited to contribute to task forces and attend BDVA meetings. They are essential to generate knowledge and progress, as you can confirm by reading their contributions in the annual monitoring reports (find the last version here).

Following that collaboration spirit, the BDVe project (CSA that is supporting the Big Data Value PPP) organized on July 6-7 an innovative steering committee with the projects (old and new waves) and the contribution of many BDVA task forces. The meeting was held virtually due to COVID-19 but counted on relevant participation of projects. The program was based on several plenary sessions and specific parallel encounters on very specific topics that you find in the following list:

European Big Data Value Forum. Edition 2020

The 2020 edition of the European Big Data Value Forum (EBDVF) will be held on November 3-5 following an hybrid format that will combine physical presence in Berlin, for those that can travel or live in Germany and virtual presence for the rest. Because of the new nature of the event, obviously motivated by the crisis of coronavirus, we expect even a higher constituency than previous years. It will therefore be the perfect occasion to share with the world the amazing results of the Big Data Value PPP, including outcomes by BDVA members through their working structures and also those generated by the projects. It will also be a perfect timing to share the plans for the future, with the many initiatives BDVA is pushing forward, and notably the AI, Data and Robotics Partnership (you can check info about this partnership and its status here).

In this session we shared with the projects the status of preparations for the event, the features of the platform that will support EBDVF, called “Whova” and the opportunities in terms of sponsorship, which are one of the vehicles for projects to get fully engaged into the event.

At the time of publishing this newsletter, preparations have evolved, as well as the information available on the event (with respect to beginning of July, when this session took place). For the event, including the program description and tracks, you can visit: https://www.european-big-data-value-forum.eu/.

There you will also find details on the sponsorship packages, with links to the booklet specifically designed to make sponsors’ task easy and the registration form to trigger the process.

Projects can select from a number of options (that also include the possibility to negotiate a customized package), but to avoid negotiations with all projects individually we have created a package that could suit projects needs. It is called on purpose “project package”. Besides normal visibility and communication features, the most relevant aspect is that allows projects to set up a virtual space/site on the platform. This site can be designed as they want and it could host different formats of files, allowing consortia to share documents and videos with the audience. The platform also provides collaboration tools. This is essential to create networking opportunities in the “virtual framework”. They will be able to set up meet-ups, demo sessions and communicate directly with the participants to the event.

The project package has two modalities: with or without talk. The first one is perfect if they want to combine the virtual site with presence in the program, since it gives access to a sponsor (non-commercial) talk, which could be part of a session of one of the pre-defined tracks or a new session (still aligned with those tracks). This is work in progress and we encourage projects to contact us as early as possible so that we can find the best possible options in the program.

Members of BDVA and organizations within the projects can also check the other packages and select the one that fits better with their needs as a complementary support to the event. This year we are all touched by the terrible situation with COVID-19 and we think supporting EBDVF (content and financial wise) is a great way to help the whole team behind the Big Data PPP to make our flagship event sustainable.

The preliminary conclusions extracted from the discussion with the projects in this session makes us feel optimistic, since we want to do the best for their visibility and they had less dissemination opportunities in 2020. So, all interests seem aligned.

E-Book of the Big Data Value PPP

Investing effort in marketing material is always worth because it increases the possibility of sharing knowledge with the wider community. The project portfolio of the Big Data Value PPP has more than 40 projects and that means a source of many innovations, technologies and pilots. Projects help to progress the knowledge we have on the baseline technologies, but are also a vehicle to adapt generic platforms to specific sectors and test the impact of big data in different operational environments (that is for example the case of our large scale pilots, also known as lighthouse projects in bioeconomy, transport and logistics, manufacturing and e-health). Results of PPP projects along 2017 were captured in a yearbook that you can find here. Since then we have worked extensively in our social network channels, the website -where you can also find easy-to-read project descriptions and links to their corresponding webpages- and other materials. We have also looked at what other initiatives do, and all this has led to the idea of creating an e-book that goes beyond the compilation of project fiches. What we want to achieve is an appealing, visual, attractive book that summarizes major achievements, successes and lessons learned by the projects. It can not be extensive because we want it to be understood by general audiences and policy makers (and we do not want to bore them) but it has to present relevant information in the right format. With all these ideas in mind, we organized this session to exchanged views with the projects on how this e-book should be and the work plan to materialize the plan.

Initial chapters proposed to the projects to trigger the discussion were: Introduction; The PPP Program; European needs: the market (& pilots); Overview of working areas; Development of capacities

  • Major impact for Europe; The future; Annex. Project descriptions.
  • Some reactions emerged from them as conclusions of this session:
  • A clear storyline is needed where projects can fit in their contributions
  • There is a high complexity associated to the huge project portfolio (+40 projects); this requires hard work to structure the information
  • The eBook will target a general audience
  • The eBook will feature all the projects (including those that have finished)
  • It should make clear major results and contributions, including TRLs (revise structure)
  • Reference to the contributions of the PPP to the SDG of the UN may be considered

Elaborating an e-book is a lengthy process: work should happen in parallel tracks, one of them being the visual design (that we will assign to our communications agency Ogilvy, partner of BDVe)

Next months are crucial to make it happen. A reference that can be consulted and that has served as inspiration for this discussion is the e-book created for the IoT Large Scale Pilots Program.

Skills

The following topics were covered:

  • BDVe WP4 T4.1 “Network of National BDV Centres of Excellence” led by INSIGHT, where the Big Data Value Centre of Excellence (CoE) best practice guide was presented that has derived by surveys and interviews on practices and success stories of existing CoEs and it has been tested on the GATE project, the first CoE in Bulgaria. In the end the attendees were asked to contact INSIGHT if they needed support in establishing a CoE.
  • BDVe WP4 T4.2 “Big Data Value Education Hub” led by UDE, where the EduHub was presented that contains more than 350 programmes of Master, PhD and on-site/online professional training. In the end the attendees were asked to contact UDE if they needed to upload or update their programme to the EduHub.
  • BDVe WP4 T4.3 “The Recognition of Skills for Big Data Professionals” led by the UPM, where the Data Science Analytics Badge for recognising skills in formal education was presented (currently used in two universities) along with the BDV Data Science Training Labels for non-formal education (in progress). In the end the attendees were asked to contact UPM if they needed to apply for the Badge program.
  • BDVe WP4 T4.4 “Data Scientist Mobility Programme” led by EIT DIGITAL, where the internship portal was presented. In the end the attendees were asked to contact EIT DIGITAL if they offered any internship positions that could be included in the portal for advertisement.

Interaction:

  • What are the attendees’ projects about?
    • Data sharing, like data markets from the storage, to data lake, to analytics. Our aim is to develop models and techniques to have secure storage and ownership of data.
    • Healthcare regarding histopathology imaging and trying to integrate and extract information for decision making for healthcare in hospitals.
  • Are there any Skills-specific contributions from your projects?
    • We have knowledge transfer (e.g. dissemination, from industry to universities like master students, training etc.)
  • What are the emerging challenges you are encountering in your organisations and projects?
    • Data management: 80% of the time goes to data management, preparation and storage and not the actual analysis.
    • Privacy & data protection:
      • Technical (e.g. protection models, integrate the solution to the hospital’s information system, so there will be no transfer of data to other systems).
      • Data Governance framework (e.g. regulations, laws, non-technical users etc.).
    • Ethical treatment of data:
      • Personal medical data pass through an ethical commission and are stored in a secure way.
      • The ethical challenges that non-technical people see, but technical people do not see. We need to look on how to educate ourselves more broadly towards ethics.
Big Data Innovation Marketplace

The features of the Innovation marketplace with the objectives were well explained and have attracted the attention of the participants. Many of them have promised to disseminate the use of the tool to their partners and come back with concrete solutions/challenges that could be published on the platform.  They have also understood that the maturity level of the solutions vary from low to very high and there is no need to wait until the end of the project as they could have an approach that is more also micro-service-oriented.

At the closure, it was highlighted that the active participation of all stakeholders in uploading solutions or challenges is very crucial to significantly advance the needed collaboration and the only way for success stories to emerge.

The conclusion from the Polls:

  • The matchmaking feature of the Innovation marketplace between solutions and challenges is easy and simple to use.
  • While trying to solve a big data-related problem, getting an idea to solve a challenge would both save time and money.
  • Having a marketplace where solutions and challenges that are specific to Big Data are combined is valuable

You did not access the marketplace yet but would like to do so? Then, click here. In our series of PPP webinars, you will find one specific webinar prepared to guide you through the marketplace. Do not miss it! (webinars accessible through the PPP portal).

Measuring the impact of COVID-19 in your project

The goal of this workshop was to understand the main impacts of the COVID crisis so far on the BDV PPP projects (pulse check) from the projects’ management perspective. We setup a set of questions to tackle the main obvious issues and we did an open session to discuss them and discover potential new issues.

Albeit the number of projects was limited (circa 10), we had a very vivid session; the good news was that projects ‘impact was rated low (29%) to moderate overall (71%). Still, to adjust to the situation, a project extension was requested by one project and was considered by others. The BDVA/BDV PPP activities toward the community since March were appreciated by the participants.  Three main activities particularly suffered:

  • Informal Networking
  • Creativity
  • Pilots

The informal networking gap was especially related to the process of co-innovation (eg. Ideas for new projects), this was also perceived as within projects especially in the creativity area, the usage of tools was perceived as a way to overcome this with GitHub for hard core programmer, Balsamiq or the alternative the Build (SAP) tool for UX design, and Mural for DT and brainstorming.

With respect to pilots, the impact was high for all pilots requiring onsite interactions (a large majority) up to critical when health practitioners are involved: this is clearly a major risk for health related projects.

Less critical risks were perceived with ‘Virtual overloading’ which is real with more projects/webinars meetings than ever, a potential solution may be to involve more junior project  members / to better filter  in order to avoid bottleneck – relay on witter, wide DL to project (alias). It is also perceived that we may have an events ‘traffic Jam’ in October/November or 2021Q1.

To conclude, with dissemination, people were eager to continue our PPP webinar series with a reasonable pace, and to leverage EBDVF to promote BDV PPP result dissemination.

Contributing to Data Policies

This session was devoted to discuss how projects can contribute to policy debates around data and AI. After an introduction into main discussions at high-level around data and AI, covering topics such as digital sovereignty, winner-takes-all business models, AI ethics and data silos that are mainly situated oversees or outside Europe, some insights were presented on how policymakers often look at data (as clean, smooth and readily available) and how data scientists look at data (messy, incomplete, wrongly formatted etc.), and we reflected on how this affects policy ideas and trends. After this generic intro, we presented how the BDVe has so far contributed to these debates, empathizing the bridging role we have between data practices and data policies in mutually informing and steering the debate through panel sessions, webinars, position papers and blogs.

We showed where the new projects can find online resources and how they can contribute on ongoing work in this regard, by for instance contributing via blogs, the TFs of the BDVA or by setting up panels at the EBDVF. We then held a short quiz on what types of regulations were known to the projects (aside from the GDPR, hardly any)  and how as a BDVe we can help them in the best way (mainly by offering case studies on how data policies have influenced actual data practices/pilots).

European Data Sharing Spaces and Data Sharing Practices

The starting point for this session was the revision of position paper of Data Sharing Spaces v2 (Towards a European Data Sharing Space, available here), whose structure is summarized here for your convenience:

How to setup a European-governed safe and trustworthy Data Sharing Space?

  • Actors: Organisations (Business, Research & Academia), Government (EC, Member States)
  • Opportunities for: Industry (B2B),Science (B2S, S2B), Government & Public Bodies (G2B, B2G), Private citizens (C2B)
  • Need for Urgent Action by wide array of Stakeholders

Data Economy Actors

  • Government & Public Bodies
  • Research & Academia
  • Business/Industry
  • (Private Citizens)

Actions Categories

  • ‘Environment Enablers’
  • ‘Infrastructure Development’
  • ‘Technical Innovation’
  • ‘Safeguard Provision’
  • ‘Workforce Upskilling‘

The second part was structured around a series of polls whose outcomes are especially interesting. Get a first overview here.

  1. “Do you need data sharing setups to facilitate exchange between project partners and meet project objectives?” Yes: 7/9 votes
  2. Your Plan is:
    • ‘Reactive’ i.e, you (plan to) re-use/extend an existing solution; 1/11 votes (e.g. AI4EU platform)
    • ‘Proactive’ i.e., you (plan to) develop a solution which could also be considered a ‘blueprint’ that can be extended in your sector?”; 7/11 votes

3. “Are sufficient exemptions or solutions that de-risk the effects of existing legislation, thus allowing project members to confidently explore innovative cutting-edge technology in a safe experimental environment without fearing serious repercussions?”

Sufficient: 4/8 votes, Insufficient 2/8, Somewhat sufficient/insufficient: 1 each

So, once the need for sharing spaces is recognized it seems that baseline solutions do not exist or are not enough to fulfill requirements, meaning that companies think about developing specific sectorial solutions. The question on existing measures to face current legislation when it comes to innovation is less obvious, but still the number of companies who think that there are such solutions is doubled than those who think the opposite. As you know, sandboxes is one of the hot topics explored in the last months as a way to experiment with innovative solutions when they do not fit withing current legal frameworks.

Big Data Value ecosystem: BDVA i-Spaces and Data driven DIHs

Presenter: Daniel Alonso (BDVe, ITI)

Duration: 1 hour

Objectives:

  • Present the BDVA i-Spaces concept and vision
  • Inform about the i-Spaces labelling process, value of collaboration, and how to engage
  • Discuss about the alignment of i-Spaces and data driven DIHs with existing and future European instruments
  • Explore ways of collaboration of i-Spaces / Hubs / EUHubs4Data project with PPP projects

Attendants: BOOST4.0, Lexis, BigDataStack, BDVe

Content: This session was focused on providing detailed information about the concept of BDVA i-Spaces, and how it has evolved during the last years after it was initially included in the first version of BDVA SRIDA. We also presented the process of how to become a recognized BDVA i-Space, and the current group of i-Spaces formed by 15 recognized European DIHs on Big Data and AI.

We also explored the similarities and differences between an iSpace and a Digital Innovation Hub (and Competence Center), and the complementarity with other European instruments as Data Spaces and Data Platforms. From that, we jumped to the new instruments foreseen by the EC in the new Framework Programme (EDIHs, European Common Data Spaces and TEFs), and reminded the audience about the workshop organized by the iSpaces group together with EC DGCNECT where those aspects were addressed (material available in BDVA webpage and PPP).

The accessibility to data as a main barrier for European projects and industry, and how all those initiatives should contribute to grant this access, was one of the points of discussion.

It was also emphasized the non-profit nature of those initiatives, and how it has to be combined with a sustainability plan to guarantee their continuity.

Finally, to consider the sectorial dimensions of these instruments is also crucial in order to address specific aspects about data sharing on each specific sector.

Big Data Value dissemination channels

Presenter: Daniel Alonso (BDVe, ITI)

Duration: 1 hour

Objectives:

  • Present the several dissemination and communication channels and tools of the BDV PPP
  • Ensure all projects know how to get engaged and contribute
  • Collect feedback on how to improve processes, make tools more valuable, and define new potential ways of collaboration

Attendants: BigMedilytics, BD4OPEM, BodyPass, DataBench, ExtremeEarth, Lexis, PIMCity, DataPorts, OpertusMundi, INFORE, DeepHealth, Synergy, ExaMode, SmartDataLake

Content: First part of the session was devoted to present an overview of the different tools and channes that the BDV PPP brings to the project to support them in the communication and dissemination activities (webpages, newsletter, social media, webinars, mailing lists and events). It was emphasized the importance of collaboration to create synergies and increase the impact of our respective activities, and projects were encouraged to use the tools of the BDV PPP and benefit from the critical mass gained during the more than 3 years of life of BDVe. This approach was confirmed by some projects with experience in collaboration with BDVe project.

It was also highlighted that projects could get involved in the different activities that BDVe proposes periodically (reactive way), but that they can also ask BDVe for support in specific dissemination activities at any time (proactive way).

It was mentioned that it would be interesting that BDVe project support PPP projects in the identification of common areas to collaborate, organize activities together, etc … not only around vertical sectors, but identifying other synergies. This activity was carried out in the past, but has become more difficult as the PPP portfolio has increased.

A last point was to mention the good material available at BDV PPP YouTube channel, but the need to improve accessibility by mean of playlists or similar.

Feel free to click on some of them to check major conclusions and summaries of the sessions. Missing ones will be available very soon after the holiday period.

For those interested in the content without access to the corresponding JAM folders, get in touch with nuria.delama#arroba#atos.net