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Data Forum: Highlights from the First annual EUH4D event


The EUH4D consortium successfully held its first Data Forum (online format) on the 30th of March 2021.

The Data Forum is an annual gathering to raise awareness, share results and recommendations, and get feedback about strategies and policies from, among others, European Commission, Member States and European companies.

This first edition presented and discussed how EUHubs4Data and other initiatives are addressing the challenges to cross-border data sharing and how to foster innovation on cross-border data services and products in Europe.

Some key take-aways:

  • From the policy perspective, major investments are being put in place not only from a funding point of view (through Horizon Europe and Digital Europe programmes), but also from a regulation point of view, aiming at making data work and make sure European organisations generate value from data.
  • There are many technical challenges along the whole data value chain related to the heterogeneous nature of data, to security and privacy needs among others. Some of the main challenges identified during the event include the need to avoid misuse of data when giving other IDSA connectors access to it, but also the importance of understanding how European organisations can provide trust to all the actors willing to use data (through certification, standardization) and what would be the right mechanism to be put in place.
  • Data is very important for business especially for digital companies as enablers of the digital economy. Today more and more SMEs are becoming digital and data stand behind this transition. Geographic differences (national, regional) and access to talent are only some of the challenges businesses face in this context. More clarity on regulation, standardization would be beneficial to companies willing to know more about opportunities deriving from digitalization.
  • Within the legal challenges to data-driven innovation, the IPR area looks like one of the most problematic, because it is well established and rigid environment. Some calibrations are expected in the Data Act, but it seems that there is still a gap between formulating some solutions and put them into practice. From an ethical point of view, there is a massive amount of evidence showing the positive correlation between running activities ethically versus non ethically also from the financial point of view. Behaving ethically gives positive results and this could be the final incentive for companies to take the ethical topic more seriously.

Did you miss the event? Do not worry! All the presentations and the event recording are available here

The event had around 80 participants and was chaired by the project coordinator Daniel Alonso (ITI). The next Data Forum will take place in spring 2022.