SFI’s Insight centre joins ‘game-changing’ European data project

14 Oct 2022

Image: DSSC

The Data Spaces Support Centre aims to create the right conditions for an open data ecosystem, by facilitating ‘next-generation data spaces’.

Insight, the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research centre for data analytics, has announced it is a core partner in a new European data initiative.

Insight has partnered with the Data Spaces Support Centre (DSSC), which aims to create an interoperable data sharing environment by facilitating common data spaces in different sectors.

The DSSC is funded by the European Commission as part of the Digital Europe Programme, which aims to drive digital transformation across Europe.

The centre will be set up and run by a consortium of leading associations and knowledge centres in the data spaces domain.

Prof Edward Curry, director of the Insight centre at the University of Galway, said the DSSC is a “game-changing endeavour”. Curry said Insight will contribute to design principles for the creation of “next-generation data spaces”.

“Data spaces will be the disruption that will drive the digital transformation of Europe,” Curry said. “The DSSC will be the heartbeat of the digital transition of all parts of our society, from health and culture to energy and mobility.”

The new project will explore the needs of data space initiatives, such as common requirements and best practices. The DSSC delivers the “Data Spaces Blueprint”, which is composed of common building blocks that encompass the business, legal, operational, technical and societal aspects of data spaces.

Through stakeholder engagement, the support centre said this blueprint will continuously evolve. The DSSC also offers support activities, a platform for knowledge and asset sharing, a help desk and toolboxes.

There are a total of 12 consortium members currently, along with 16 associated and collaboration partners. Some of the members include TNO, VTT, the Big Data Value Association and Sitra.

The DSSC aims to create the right conditions for an open data ecosystem, characterised by interoperability and mutual trust between participants to create more value out of data.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to further develop and support the creation of sectoral data spaces which will improve data sharing at national and European levels,” Insight CEO Prof Noel O’Connor said.

In September, Insight invested in new collaborations with Ireland’s institutes of technology and technological universities. The research centre funded seven data projects from a total pot of €350,000.

These projects cover a range of areas including energy-efficient scheduling for industry, lifestyle predictors for dementia, and safe AI for medical devices.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic