Open data: major business opportunity for the growth of SMEs in Europe
Pamplona (Spain) has this morning turned into the European capital of ICT entrepreneurship, where 180 entrepreneurs from across Europe have been able to see first hand some real success stories from SMEs who have used FIWARE technologies as part of their products or services. The attendees have also been able to witness the strengthening link between European entrepreneurship and Open Data.
The event has been organised by the FIWARE accelerator FINODEX project led by Zabala Innovation Consulting, with support from the European Commission.
The main objective of this event was to promote the use of Open Data and FIWARE as key elements for innovation in enterprises. The participating organisations have all agreed that both are essential for European SMEs’ growth.
According to the Open Knowledge Foundation, Open Data is any content, information or data that people are free to use, re-use and redistribute — without any legal, technological or social restrictions.
In fact, the value of Open Data is an asset on the rise. A study related to this area and conducted by ONTSI in Spain has shown that the associated activities have an estimated return of between 450 and 500 million euros a year.
In recent years, largely driven by public support worldwide, the data has been released for reuse across different local, regional and national web portals, including form instance meteorological data, geographical mapping data from the likes of Open Street Map, scientific publications, city traffic data, noise, pollution or data on economic indicators of interest have been released as Open Data.
Manu Ayerdi, vice President of Economic Development of the Government of Navarra, Ragnar Bermstrong the European Commission representative, and Erik Zabala MD & Lead Consultant at Zabala Innovation Consulting all took part in the discussions at the event. Francisco Marin, the director of the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) took part as well, along with Juanjo Hierro (Telefónica), who presented the FIWARE Foundation. Sonia Castro, from Red.es who announced the "International Open Data Conference 2016".
Alberto Abella (associate director of Brain Trust CS) gave one of the main presentations focused on open data and entrepreneurship. Alberto is in charge of Brain Trust CS of Citizen Experience, Open Government and Open Data associate director of Brain Trust CS.
In addition, Miguel García, FINODEX project coordinator, presented the progress of this first of its kind business accelerator focusing on the use of open data, and which received more than 500 proposals.
Linknovate, Xpressomics and Fruitwatcher are the first three companies selected in the first FINODEX call, where each of them could stand to receive a €170.000 funding to launch their promising projects.
Representatives from the other 16 FIWARE Accelerators funded by the European Commission joined the event as well. They presented the evolution of their business acceleration programmes along with their future plans. Among them, Ingrid Willems (CREATIFI), Jorge Izquierdo (SOULFI), Francisco Buján (FABULOUS) and Rasmus Pedersen (FINODEX) could debate in a panel discussion moderated by Fernando Rico (CDTI).
Finodex, the European accelerator for ICT projects based on Open Data and FIWARE technologies, has already chosen over one hundred projects via (two open calls for proposal. This week, the results of the second call evaluation, which closed last September, have been published, and 52 projects from a total of 297 have been chosen by a panel of experts. These projects will join another 49 projects selected in the first open call.
Finodex focuses on supporting projects of SMEs and entrepreneurs with the aim of generating new ICT-based products and services. To that aim, Finodex has an overall budget of €4.64 million euros to support the selected projects. Each project could reach a direct equity-free funding of between 10,000 and 170,000 euros. Participating companies and entrepreneurs are mentored by the Finodex consortium and the specialists in the FIWARE ecosystem. After passing different phases of the acceleration, the companies will present their business ideas to potential investors.
Finodex accelerator is supported and funded by the European Commission. Led by ZABALA Innovation Consulting, the consortium also brings together Trento RISE, Copenhagen Business School, Engineering, ASOLIF, Europe Unlimited and Konsulentfirmaet Ivan Häuser.
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