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Building Data Bridges

The second opinion piece in our public sector open data series discusses why data ecosystems can be the next public infrastructure.

We’re all familiar with open data nowadays. Governments have been at the forefront of setting up open data initiatives and building portals that have liberated treasure troves of valuable data. But this is just the start of an open data journey that must now be accelerated.

This is the viewpoint put forward in Building Data Bridges — Why data ecosystems can be the next public infrastructureIt is the second of two thought leadership pieces examining open data and the creation of enabling ecosystems.

Why the need for acceleration? Failure to move to the next level and foster new forms of collaboration will prevent public sector bodies seizing the open data opportunity to dramatically improve health, transportation, communications, education, and the economy.

Building Data Bridges describes the unique position governments are in to to facilitate and incentivize the creation of legal, ethical, and sustainable spaces where data can be shared between citizens, businesses, and the public sector. It covers:

  • Why a shift in culture and mindsets is needed to deliver the benefit of sharing data
  • The hurdles that must be navigated, including regulations, education and business models
  • Europe’s ambition to encourage data altruism
  • The three goals shaping a roadmap to European open data

It argues that having led the early surge towards open data, the public sector now risks being left behind as private industry pushes more aggressively into collaborative data ecosystems.

The creation of multiple and interoperable collaborative data ecosystems — or data spaces — built on mature technology and legal frameworks should be viewed as similar to how public bodies contribute to public infrastructure by building motorways or developing the power network.