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

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Data Market Services / DMS Accelerator (Supporting the European data market providing free support services to data-centric SMEs and start-ups)

Periodo di rendicontazione: 2020-07-01 al 2021-12-31

The European data market has been analysed in the past years by several studies and reports that have shed light on interesting figures and shortcomings of a market which has not stopped growing. According to the European Data Market study final report, 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 its growth, there are some barriers and gaps, that justify the existence of Data Market Services:
• Europe has been slow to adopt big data;
• Data skills gap. Between demand and supply of data workers, almost 400k jobs go unfilled;
• Standardization. Increasing complexity and variety of standards can slow innovation.
• Privacy and data protection. A reliable legal framework, like GDPR, is complex but can guarantee success of the companies.
• Reaching SMEs and start-ups. Companies emerging from entrepreneurial ecosystems like accelerators or incubators are usually not so linked to EU initiatives.

Data Market Services Accelerator was created to overcome the barriers of data-centric SMEs and start-ups in Europe in data skills, entrepreneurial opportunities, legal issues, and standardisation, through the provision of free support services. To achieve this, a portfolio of 150 startups and SMEs has been accelerated between 2019 and 2021. More than 12 free support services, in 5 categories have been offered to them.
DMS Accelerator ended successfully with all general objectives and milestones accomplished. Here is the overview of activities and main results achieved by WP:

WP1 Project management – WP1 aimed at ensuring a successful management and execution of the Data Market Services project. The main achievement in WP1 has been the successful coordination of the project and a good adaptation to changes in services provision caused by COVID-19 pandemic. Besides, DMS Accelerator has actively collaborated with the Big Data Value PPP and FIWARE Foundation, as well as with +23 EU-funded projects and +15 entities.

WP2 SME engagement – The main objective in this WP was to define, plan and execute open calls for data-centric SMEs and startups to reach 150 companies interested in DMS services. Within WP2, three Open Calls have been successfully planned and executed, with the following results achieved in 2019-2021: 3,515 startups contacted; 581 applications received; 18.50% response rate; and 150 data-centric SMEs and startups from 28 countries selected to participate in DMS Accelerator (45 Scaling companies, 90 Validating companies, and 15 Establishing companies).

WP3 Services provision - The main goal of this WP was to plan and deliver a set of services oriented to data-centric SMEs and start-ups in a variety of domains. During the execution of project (2019-2021), we provided services to three different cohorts of startups (150 startups). The services provided were sorted into 5 different categories: Fundraising; Acceleration; Standards & Legal; Data skills and Promotion. Within these categories, the following services were provided:
- +90 Webinars
- +8 Data-skills online courses
- 10 Business-related and marketing guidelines
- Attendance to +30 international startup-related events
- +200 Mentoring sessions delivered
- 40 coached startups
- +90 meetings with investors facilitated
- 8 Partnerships with startup-related programmes
- 4 Mobility programmes
- 2 DMS Investors Weeks and 3 DMS Bootcamps organised
- 4 Video pills with external experts
- Promotion opportunities and marketing
Moreover, thanks to the feedback received from participating startups, and the analysis and monitoring of the services, the consortium was able to continuously update and plan new services for each of the editions of the DMS programme.

WP4 Monitoring and analysis – WP4 was focused on monitoring the outcomes the provided services, on the analysis of both the needs of the data-centric SMEs and startups in Europe the impact of the programme. For this purpose, WP4 activities included the collection of feedback about the activities executed in the project, with the monitoring data revealing a substantial improvement in startups’ engagement with all DMS services between RP1 and RP2. The monitoring and analysis methods of DMS have been shared with other data-centric innovation programmes, researchers, and policy makers by means of whitepapers.

WP5 Dissemination and communication - The aim of this WP was to demonstrate, communicate and disseminate how startups 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, 28 success stories were created and widely disseminated. In addition, the project has actively participated in different online/offline events and activities in collaboration with more than 25 existing initiatives including EU funded projects and other entities.

The different results have been disseminated across our social media channels. The whitepapers have been shared in Open Access Repositories, and part of the acceleration material including the video pills are available on the DMS YouTube channel. Likewise, several podcasts created for DMS startups are open to the public on DMS website.

DMS has been constantly promoting the project and the startups involved in the programme, with initiatives such as “Meet the startup”, where we invited the startups to record short videos introducing their companies. We fostered the participation of the startups at different international startup-related events and pitching contests.
The expected impacts at the beginning of the programme and the obtained results are:
• To accelerate 150 data-centric startups and SMEs
• New rounds of private capital reaching €5,000,000 for the companies of the portfolio.
• Additional public funds reaching €1,000,000.
• Increasing sales capacity of our portfolio by 15%.
• Consolidate jobs and create new ones.

At the end of the project:
• 150 data-centric startups and SMEs have been accelerated
• New rounds of private capital reaching €88,000,000 for the companies of the portfolio.
• Additional public funds reaching €3,900,000.
• Increasing sales capacity of our portfolio by 36%.
• 78 new jobs were reported in the DMS impact survey (n=47 startups), with approximately 52% of the reported roles being in technical and data-related fields
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