Report of the Online Workshop on the Role of Data Innovation Spaces and Data Driven Innovation Hubs in the European digital transformation


The concept of Data Innovation Spaces (in short BDVA i-Spaces) was coined in 2014 by the Big Data Value Association and included in the first version of its Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) as a key instrument (together with lighthouse...

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The concept of Data Innovation Spaces (in short BDVA i-Spaces) was coined in 2014 by the Big Data Value Association and included in the first version of its Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) as a key instrument (together with lighthouse projects, technical projects and cooperation and coordination projects) to foster data driven innovation in Europe. An i-Space provides an experimentation environment where industry and society actors of its ecosystem could have their data driven solutions quickly tested, piloted and pre-exploited before going to the market.

During the last years, many other instruments have appeared in the European landscape with the objective of fully unleashing the value of the data economy, and some others are planned in the framework of the new Horizon Europe and Digital Europe programmes

The objective of this workshop was to discuss about the role of Data Innovation Spaces in the European landscape, and identify their alignment with present and future instruments. The discussion explored the triple dimension of Data Innovation Spaces as instruments to bring data driven innovation to the regional ecosystems, to mobilize and capitalize data and to provide testing and experimentation environments. To this end, the workshop’s panel included relevant representatives from the European Commission and European initiatives and projects.

  • Anne- Marie Sassen (EC DG-CNECT, A.2: Technologies and Systems for Digitising Industry) presented the role that Digital Innovation Hubs will play in the new Digital Europe Programme. She explained DIHs will be crucial to support the digital transformation of the European society by building essential digital capacities. She also mentioned the network of European Digital Innovation Hubs that will be created under the umbrella of the Digital Europe Programme, and the role that data will play in this context (download the presentation here).
  • Kimmo Rossi (EC DG-CNECT, G.1: Data Policy and Innovation) presented the Common European Data Spaces that will be implemented in 9 sectors of the European economy to foster the free flow of data across sector and countries. He explained how those Data Spaces will not be built from scratch but rely on some of the projects already funded by the BDV PPP and more specifically the Data Platforms (ICT13). He also mentioned the new Data Driven Innovation Hubs projects that will start in September, and more specifically the project EUHubs4Data (driven by BDVA i-Spaces) as crucial contributor to the creation of those Common European Data Spaces (download the presentation here).
  • Cecile Huet (EC DG-CNECT A.1: Robotics & Artificial Intelligence) presented the Testing Experimentation Facilities (TEFs) on Artificial Intelligence which will represent world class reference sites for experimentation and testing in real setting, focusing on the applications of AI. She also emphasized the connections and differences between DIHs (as channels to make results from TEFs available to regional ecosystems) and Data Spaces (which will be enriched by users feedback and contributions from TEFs) (download the presentation here).
  • Reinhard Lafrenz (euRobotics Secretary General, DIHNET & RODIN projects) proposed a way to align new and existing DIH networks based on his knowledge and experience with the DIHNET and RODIN projects. He also emphasized the importance of collaborations (such as the agreement established between BDVA and EuRobotics) in order to address new challenges (download the presentation here).
  • Daniel Saez (ITI, BDVA BoD, EUHubs4Data project) presented the concept of iSpaces, and provided a regional perspective from a recognized DIH on Big Data and AI. He also introduced main aspects of EUHubs4Data project, whose main goal is to establish a European federation of Data Driven Innovation Hubs (download the presentation here).

If you have questions or comments on this event, please contact BDVA at: