BDVA i-Spaces

What are i-Spaces?


i-Spaces are cross-sectorial and cross-organisatioal innovation hubs that bring together data sources, AI technologies, competences and all the technical and non-technical aspects needed to allow SMEs and start-ups to get their data-driven and AI-related services, products and applications quickly tested, piloted, and exploited. i-Spaces aim at accelerating the take up of data-driven innovation in commercial sectors such as Manufacturing 4.0, Logistics, e Commerce, Media, Aerospace, Automobile, Energy, Agriculture and Agroindustry, Pharmacy; as well as in non-profit sectors such as e-Government, Environment, Public Health, Smart Cities).

i-Spaces rely and build upon existing national and regional initiatives that play a central role in a European Data and AI ecosystem. They offer secure accelerator-style environments for running experiments in both private data and open data, bringing technology and application development together. I-Spaces act as incubators for new businesses in the development of skills, competences, and best practices. They also contribute to the building of a community, providing a catalyst for community engagement and acting as incubators and accelerators of data-driven innovation.  Expected value includes Economical, Societal as well as Environmental dimensions. These platforms host Closed as well as Open Data from Business and Public sources (language resources, geospatial data, healthcare data, economic statistics, transport data, weather data…).

The basis of i-Spaces is an existing infrastructure that can be based on a geographic, sectorial or company ground, or a combination of them. i-Spaces entities are pre-competitive and non-profit, though proposing a sustainable business model.

The European added value of i-Spaces is that they federate, complement and leverage activities of similar national incubators/environments, research and innovation projects and other national or European initiatives. I-Spaces are federating efforts and expanding through the EUHubs4Data project that aims to build a long term and sustainable Federation. Read more about the Federation here

The BDVA i-Space Label

To ensure the quality of the European Data Innovation Spaces and connect existing initiatives under one umbrella, the BDVA set up the BDVA i-Space label. On a yearly basis, candidates from all over Europe are invited to apply for this label. A set of criteria are tested by way of a survey to collect the relevant information. A committee appointed by the BDVA Board of Directors (BoD) carefully examines individual candidates and recommends the appropriate quality ranking (bronze, silver, gold, platinum) to the BoD, which ultimately grants the label. These activities have led to the establishment of a European Federation of i-Spaces that ensure easy access for industrial partners to foster the development and testing of precompetitive solutions on high-quality platforms offering certified services and training.

By this labelling process, the BDVA recognizes the quality of existing data experimentation and innovation hubs in Europe and guarantees that the innovation environments provided by those initiatives meet the necessary requirements to boost data-driven and AI-based innovation at local level, but also the collaboration with similar initiatives to foster the adoption at European level.

The label is a well-recognized brand, offers a quality reference and provides visibility to national initiatives on Big Data and Artificial Intelligence.

The labelling process is described here
Call for i-Space labels 2023:  It closed! Information about the call 2024 will be posted soon