The University of Southampton

Southampton aims to help realize Europe’s Open Data potential

Published: 27 November 2015

The University of Southampton is part of the new European Data Portal, launched last week to help realize the potential of Europe’s Open Data.

Addressing the whole Data Value Chain from data publishing to data re-use, the new Portal (launched last week in beta) references 240,000 data sets, and includes 34 European countries. It offers seamless access to public data across Europe, with over 13 content categories, ranging from health and education to transport, science and justice.

The full data collection can be accessed, searched and re-used by all European citizens. The data available covers such wide-ranging topics as crime records in Helsinki, labor mobility in the Netherlands, forestry maps in France, and the impact of digitization in Poland.

The deployment of the European Data Portal is led by Capgemini Consulting in association with the Open Data Institute (ODI), Intrasoft International, Time.lex, Sogeti, the University of Southampton, con terra and Fraunhofer Fokus, on behalf of the European Commission.

During last week’s launch event, two reports published by Capgemini for the European Commission demonstrated the huge potential of open data. For the period 2016-20, the direct market size for Open Data is estimated at €325 billion for Europe. Open Data can create economic value in multiple ways including increased market transactions, job creation from producing services and products based on Open Data, as well as cost savings and efficiency gains. The accumulated cost savings for public administrations making use of Open Data across the EU28+ in 2020 are predicted to equal €1.7 bn.

However, further studies show that the EU28+ have completed just 44 per cent of the journey towards achieving full Open Data Maturity and that there are large discrepancies across countries. One-third of European countries (32 per cent) are leading the way with solid policies, licensing norms, good portal traffic and many local initiatives and events to promote Open Data and its reuse.

Dr Elena Simperl, Associate Professor at the University of Southampton’s Department of Electronics and Computer Science and Director of ODINE, the Open Data Incubator for Europe, commented: “The launch of the European Open Data Portal is a very significant step in ensuring that Europea takes advantage of the huge quantities of open data being produced and used across the Continent. At Southampton we are working together with Capgemini and the rest of the consortium to strengthen the European open data ecosystem by producing white papers, studying the impact of open data, and developing a database of European stakeholders.

“On the technology side, we bring in expertise and open source software that was used to create the first EU-wide dashboard of open data publishing, which monitors more than 200 open data repositories all over Europe.

“In collaboration with the Open Data Incubator for Europe (ODINE), we are offering support to digital innovators interested in exploring the commercial potential of the wealth of data to which the portal provides access.”

For more information and to view the Capgemini reports visit:

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