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Accelerating data to market

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Data Pitch (Accelerating data to market)

Reporting period: 2018-07-01 to 2019-12-31

Information technology is so established in the European economy that it has driven, directly or indirectly, much of the region’s economic and social growth during the last decades (for instance, through digital transformation and the upheaval of modern financial trading). The increasing ubiquity of computing devices, empowered and connected to each other via high-bandwidth Internet - recording every aspect of life, from private households to multi-national corporations and government - is driving a new industrial revolution. This revolution is centred around the availability of, and access to, ever increasing amounts of data.
Handling digital data in all its forms (textual, geographical, financial, photographic/video, etc.) is now a core competence for any modern organisation. This is because data, in particular when available in very large quantities, makes things possible that could not be done before: improving supply chains,  improving patient treatment, identifying emerging businesses, enabling multi-modal transport - all challenges companies accelerated by Data Pitch are working on.
To do this, we are enabling reuse of data by  re-thinking access and creating opportunities for data owners to work together with other organisations (in particular startups and SMEs as engine of growth and creativity) to explore new, data-driven business models, products, and services. As the time to market accelerates, rapid disruptive changes are unlikely to come solely from within, but from collaboration and coordination with a diverse range of actors.
Data Pitch has addressed this critical gap by creating a transnational, Europe-wide data innovation ecosystem that brings together data owners with startups and SMEs with fresh ideas for data-driven products and services, in particular those that solve crucial challenges for both the data providers and for Europe. Open innovation  and sustainable business is therefore at the heart of Data Pitch.
Established an open innovation platform;
Set up online presence of the project (website, social networks) and design of project's branding and marketing materials;
Negotiated data sharing agreements with 13 data providers;
Defined and developed 27 key European data-driven innovation challenges with data providers, experts and SMEs;
Development of multiple legal documents to support data sharing between data providers and SMEs;
Opened a Europe-wide call for applications to identify promising digital innovators and data-empowered solutions;
Developed promotional material and programmes for the call including webinars, placement in media and presence at hackathons;
Set up and managed a workflow for receiving, evaluating  and selecting applications to join the program and its associated documentation. We have received 144 applications from SMEs selected 18 companies to join the programme in Call 1 and interviewed 50 of these in person;
Developed a Legal and Privacy Toolkit that describes the guidelines for data sharing and innovation. The first version documented this and the second created an interactive application;
Development of an acceleration portfolio defining the tracking, training and showcasing activities for SMEs in the programme, including mentoring;
Provided technological infrastructure and support (eg cloud services);
Set up a Data Innovators Board to capture feedback and input from data providers;

Delivered training for accelerated SMEs in the form of workshops, webinars, presentations and a portfolio of business and data science options;
Defined the exploitation strategy in terms of commercial, community and knowledge;
Defined the sustainability strategy;
Reviewed the 18 companies so far accelerated twice;
Held a gala launch event for data providers, SMEs, press and other data innovators
Data Pitch has created awareness of the legal and technical possibility of sharing commercially valuable closed data sharing via an open innovation platform;

By engaging with far more data providers than we eventually brought onboard we have shared knowledge, documentation and support with many corporates throughout Europe;

Data Pitch has enabled multiple start-ups and SMEs to engage with corporates with whom they would not previously have been able to approach, which has been reported as equally valuable as funding;

By establishing the sectoral challenges that encouraged applications from SMEs already in data-sharing agreements with data owners, we have emerged a better overview of the types of data-sharing occuring in Europe;

We have supported SMEs to create 40 jobs and attract a further €1,111,060 of funding before the end of the first accelerator;

We have defined a process for open innovation that is now being used across other European projects, including Interreg 2Seas project SCIFI;