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European Union opts for data technology from Fraunhofer FOKUS to continue the development of the European Data Portal

News from Feb. 22, 2021

Today, the Publications Office of the European Union has awarded a six-year framework contract to a consortium made up of eleven partners to develop a new service: Data.Europa.EU. It will combine the two European data portals, and their efforts towards facilitating open data publication and re-use in Europe. The new portal Data.Europa.EU will be based on the technological data solutions from Fraunhofer FOKUS.

The new Data.Europa.EU, to be launched in spring of 2021, will integrate the pre-existing European Data Portal and European Union Open Data Portal into a single, coherent core component of the public sector data infrastructure that has been set up by the European Union, its institutions and Member States. Like its predecessors, it will offer three key pillars:

  • Access to public data resources across Europe via the single point of contact, which is the portal itself, offering over 1 million datasets across 36 countries, 6 EU institutions and 79 other EU bodies and agencies;
  • Support to EU institutions and Member States via the set-up of communities of practice of national open data portal and policy owners, training and consultancy to improve, sustain and document data publishing practices;
  • Evidence of the socio-economic benefits of re-using public data resources and various stimuli to foster and showcase uptake and value creation.

The goal of Data.Europa.EU is to leverage this three-pillar approach to support the creation and improvement of processes, products and services re-using public data resources to create economical, societal, political, and environmental impact. The more this impact is documented and understood, the further access, discoverability and data uptake will increase. The latest Capgemini Invent study published in 2020 as part of the European Data Portal estimated a value between 199 (baseline scenario) and 334 (high growth scenario) billion EUR in market size for open data in Europe in 2025.

“Fraunhofer FOKUS has a long track record of designing and implementing national and international data portals. As a world-leading technology provider, we rely on cutting-edge solutions based on our advanced linked data technologies, which form the technological heart of the European Data Portal. Data.Europa.EU is the new single point of contact for high-quality European data. This is a big step forward in the direction of data harmonisation in the European community. Data.Europa.EU sets standards for public data and offers real benefits for all European countries.” says Prof. Dr. Manfred Hauswirth, executive director of Fraunhofer FOKUS.

Beyond delivering improvements to the pre-existing two services, the agreement will continue including the measurement of open data maturity in Europe and the socio-economic impact of open and shared data in Europe in light of the current and planned developments. Assistance will be given equally to European countries where specific attention should be paid to improving the discoverability of data and improving data portals to foster re-use of public data resources within each respective country and community.

Dr. Jens Klessmann, director of the business unit Digital Public Services, whose team will implement the data portal, adds: “As a technical enabler for public institutions, we are very pleased that the Publications Office of the European Union has decided to rely on our sophisticated technological data solutions in the fields of data harvesting, quality and provision for the development of Data.Europa.EU. I am proud of my team, which has been involved in setting up the European Data Portal from the very beginning.”

Dr. Yury Glikman, group leader at business unit Digital Public Services, emphasises with regard to the upcoming work: “The decision of the Publications Office of the European Union shows, that we are on the right track. We look forward to the technical migration and are proud that we can support the development of the new merged portal with our knowledge.” The framework contract award highlights Fraunhofer FOKUS’ strategic position in the field of insights and data to drive innovation across Europe.

Capgemini Invent leads the project’s Consortium, in partnership with INTRASOFT International, including Fraunhofer FOKUS, OMMAX, con terra, 52°North, agiledrop, Timelex, the Lisbon Council, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, and Capgemini’s global design leader Idean and the Cybersecurity Services.