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European Commission initiates development of the pan-European Open Data portal: Fraunhofer FOKUS is responsible for the core part 

Release from Thu., February 05, 2015

Fraunhofer FOKUS, a leading Open Data research and development institute, is part of an international consortium which has been awarded by the European Commission to deploy the EU open data platform over the next three years.

The goal of this project is to develop, launch and operate a single large-scale pan-European Open Data Portal, which will bring together public data resources from all over Europe on one portal covering 39 European countries, improving the discoverability and the ability to re-use this data. The data is to be made fully public, so the information will be available for every European resident who has access to the internet.

In this project, Fraunhofer FOKUS will introduce its expertise gained in years of national and international open data and linked data projects. Fraunhofer FOKUS will be one of the key technical partners, responsible for developing the data repository and harvesting datasets from existing open data sources. The data repository bundles all different data entries based on their metadata while the harvesting-tools allow to collect data sets from various sources across all the EU countries. In collaboration with the consortium partners, FOKUS will thus support member states and other European countries in disseminating open data sets at the EU level, checking and enhancing meta data quality and gaining insight into re-user interaction. With the Open Data Portal, the European Commission intends to unlock the untapped economic potential of public data that is estimated of possible gains exceeding 40 billion Euros per year. Its further objective is to improve the governance of countries and empower citizens, to address societal challenges and to accelerate scientific progress.

“The pan-European Data Portal is likely to be the world’s most ambitious Open Data project and it will be a milestone for the cross-border and cross-sector reuse of public datasets across Europe. We are very pleased to contribute our comprehensive technical and scientific Open Data expertise to this project”, said Dr. Matthias Flügge, director of the eGovernment Competence Center ELAN at Fraunhofer FOKUS.

Capgemini Consulting, the global strategy and transformation consulting arm of the Capgemini Group, will lead this three-year engagement and co-ordinating a number of partners and subcontractors. Apart from Fraunhofer FOKUS these are Sogeti, Intrasoft International, the Open Data Institute, con terra, the University of Southampton and time.lex.

In the past Fraunhofer FOKUS has been responsible for the development and operation of several open data platforms. Besides GovData, the national German data portal, FOKUS has implemented open data portals for the cities of Berlin, Hamburg, Amsterdam as well as for the utility provider Vattenfall.

Prof. Dr. Ina Schieferdecker, director of Fraunhofer FOKUS, added: “Data is more and more perceived not only as an economic good but also as a common property. Added value in particular emerges by linking public datasets of various origins. FOKUS is a pioneer in the development of technical Open Data infrastructures and thus will support the EU in generating this added value.”