Innovation through data

DataPitch is a data innovation lab that will accelerate the growth of the European digital economy. It will help businesses - from sector leaders to new startups - unlock the commercial value of data. It is an EU Horizon 2020 bid led by the Open Data Institute, University of Southampton, Telecom Italia and Beta-I.

The lab will give startups and SMEs from across Europe access to data made available by providers from different sectors. They will use the data to solve a series of challenges starting in early 2017. Alongside the data, DataPitch will supply world-class support including financial awards (of up to €100k), expert mentoring, media partnerships, and access to venture capital.

DataPitch is based in part on the successful Open Data Incubator for Europe (ODINE) and the Open Data Challenge Series - this time with a broader focus on the data spectrum, from closed to open.

Competitive Call

The Competitive call is the instrument we will use to stimulate the innovation process. The call will be advertised continuously through our online presence channel (website, social networks) and pushed through our networks of entrepreneurs and SMEs.

It will have two rounds, the first at the beginning of Q3 in the Year 1 and the second at the beginning of Q3 in the Year 2, each of them lasting 3 months. Each round will have multiple “tracks”. Each track is driven by a cross-border, cross-sector challenge considered significant for the advancement of the industry, that will be determined based on the datasets provided by our industrial and commercial partners, and on interviews conducted with several stakeholders of different economic sectors.


To achieve maximum impact in terms of scale and engagement, we will capitalise on our immediate partner network. The Data Pitch consortium, which together adds up to hundreds of thousands of organisations and millions of individuals; and on professional help in managing and advertising the Data Innovation Lab from the awarded PR and marketing team of the ODI and the Guardian. We will work together with trusted third parties such as 5by5 and the Waag Society to expand our service portfolio and reach in areas that augment our core mission. All this will ensure that the competitive call reaches a critical mass of startups and SMEs looking for support and investment for their data venture.

Data Pitch will raise awareness of the most important trends in big data and computing infrastructure, particularly in areas such as data analytics, Linked Data, NoSQL, and data governance in startup and SME Information Technology circles.



A successful data innovation ecosystem will significantly help Europe re-gain leadership in digital entrepreneurship, balanced with the responsible treatment of data for which the public are crying out, and to create a new wave of skilled jobs that can make the Digital Single Market the competitive, productive, and creative space businesses, communities, citizens, and the politicians they voted into office, are longing for.

This innovation pipeline is built on the following pillars: Data hosting and experimentation facilities, High value data and challenges, Competitive call, Business incubation, Outreach, Exploitation and sustainability


Data Pitch will offer a wide array of support measures to startups and SMEs that presented the most promising and sustainable solutions to the challenges identified by the competitive call. In particular, the aim is to help the most promising data innovators that graduate from the incubator to build a successful business by connecting them with potential partners, advisors, business angels, and investors. To achieve this objective, we will liaise with accelerator programs run by Beta-i and Telecom Italia, as well as with investors, regional and international startup communities, and business schools, including SeedCamp, TechCity and the Founders Institute, with which we already collaborate. The engagement of corporate data owners in the ecosystem creates new opportunities for growth for the fledgling enterprises; data owners will guide and mentor experiments every step of the way, from selection and interview to agreeing on deliverables and KPIs and carrying out the experiments.