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Supporting the European data market providing free support services to data-centric SMEs and start-ups

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Data Market Services / DMS Accelerator (Supporting the European data market providing free support services to data-centric SMEs and start-ups)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2020-06-30

The European data market has been analysed in the past years by several studies and reports. This has shed light on interesting figures and gaps reflecting the reality of a market which has not stopped growing.

Staring at the positive aspects, according to the European Data Market study final report the estimate of the overall value of the data market in EU-28 had a growth rate of a 9.5% between 2015 and 2016, with a value of over €54b in 2016. Despite of this growing bottom-line market, there are some barriers and gaps, that justify the existence of a project like Data Market Services:

• Europe has been slow to adopt big data compared to the United States;
• Data skills gap. Between demand and supply of data workers, almost 400k jobs go unfilled;
• Standardization. Increasing complexity and variety on standards can slow innovation.
• Privacy and data protection. A reliable legal framework, like GDPR, is complex but can guarantee success of the companies.
• Reaching all sorts of SMEs and start-ups. Companies emerging from entrepreneurial ecosystems like accelerators or incubators are usually not so linked to EU initiatives.

Data Market Services (DMS Accelerator) is born to overcome the barriers of data-based SMEs and start-ups in Europe in data skills, entrepreneurial opportunities, legal issues and standardisation, thanks to the provision of free support services for them. To achieve this a 100-data-based companies’ portfolio in 3 different cohorts from 2019 to 2021 will be built. 12 free support services, in 5 categories, will be offered to them.
The first period of the DMS Accelerator project was ended successfully with all general objectives accomplished. Here is the overview of activities carried out by work packages in the first period:

WP1 Project management – The main focus was on administrative and financial management, quality and risk management. In the first period, twenty deliverables were submitted, one amendment made to the DoA and more than 20 meetings held with the consortium. In addition, three interim payments were done.

WP2 SME engagement – The main objective in this WP is to define, plan and execute open calls for data-centric SMEs and startups in order to reach a mass of 150 companies interested in DMS services. Within this WP, two open calls have been successfully planned and executed in the first period, with the following results: First open call = 149 Applicants, 14 Business Sectors, 30 EU Countries represented; Second open call = 206 Applicants (+38%), 14 Business Sectors, 32 EU Countries represented.

Results also include 5 deliverables: D2.1 Database of potential candidates; D2.2 Form for engagement with companies in Index.co cohort 1; D2.3 Form for engagement with companies in cohort 2; D2.5 Companies portfolio cohort 1; D2.6 Companies portfolio cohort 2.

WP3 Services provision - The main goal of this WP is to plan and execute a set of defined services oriented to data SMEs and start-ups in a variety of domains. During the first period, the first edition of the DMS Accelerator programme was carried out. The services provided were sorted out among 5 different categories which are: (1) Fundraising; (2) Acceleration; (3) Standards & Legal; (4) Data skills and (5) Promotion. Within this categories, the following activities were performed by the consortium: more than 25 webinars, 3 different business related guidelines, mentoring and coaching sessions, 1to1 matchmaking with investors activities, 4 mobility programmes, 3 data-related courses, attendance to +10 international events and a final bootcamp in Leipzig (Germany). Moreover, thanks to the feedback received from Y1 startups, and the analysis and monitoring of the services, the consortium has been able to update and plan the services for the second edition of the DMS programme.

Results also include 4 deliverables: 3.1 Services planning for data-centric SMEs and startups v1; D3.2 Services planning for data-centric SMEs and startups v2; D3.4 Current findings and needs by data-centric companies in Europe v1; D3.6 Services outcomes v1.

WP4 Monitoring and analysing – WP4 was entirely focused on monitoring the outcomes of all the provided services with dedicated metrics and analyse the status of the data-market SMEs and start-ups in Europe, ensuring the successful implementation of the project and collecting feedback about activities executed in the project.

Results of this WP are gathered in 2 deliverables: D4.1 Framework v1; D4.3 Workshop report v1.

WP5 Dissemination and communication - The aim of this WP in the first period was to demonstrate, communicate and disseminate how start-up companies and SMEs are incorporated into the Data Market as a result of our services offer while leveraging the reinforcement of the community thanks to the engagement with other existing initiatives. In addition to the day-to-day activities supporting project implementation, 7 success stories were created (https://www.datamarketservices.eu/success-stories-2019/) and widely disseminated in several activities. In addition, the project has actively participated in different online/offline events and activities in collaboration with more than 15 EU existing initiatives.

Results of WP5 includes the following deliverables: D5.1 Marketing Strategy v1; D5.2 Marketing Strategy v2; D5.3 Success Stories: SMEs in the Data Universe v1; Annual Communication; D5.4 Dissemination Report v1
The expected impacts generated from the services provided by the consortium are to facilitate the achievement of the following:
• 150 data-centric startups and SMEs accelerated through the DMS Accelerator programme.
• New rounds of private capital reaching €5,000,000 for the companies of the portfolio. This will be obtained if engaging our companies in Series A and minor rounds from Business Angels are obtained from the validating or scaling companies.
• Additional public funds reaching €1,000,000. This will be obtained through grants in programmes like the SME Instrument (phase 1 and phase 2), participation in new consortia, etc.
• Increasing sales capacity of our portfolio by 15%. Thanks to our training we estimate our companies will be able to increase their sales capacity by a 15% within the time framework of the programme.
• Based on prior experiences in the incubation programmes the consortium has run, supporting services can be an important aid to consolidate jobs and create new ones. At least 200 new jobs requiring data skills will be created in the portfolio of companies.