What is Data Pitch?
Data Pitch is a EU-funded open innovation programme bringing together corporate and public-sector organisations that have data with startups and SMEs that work with data.
It is centred around a competition with several tracks, which describe challenges set by the data-provisioning organisations, and an accelerator programme (6 months) to help startups and SMEs develop solutions to meet these challenges.
The startups and SMEs will put forward proposals for creating high impact, innovative products and services in response to the challenges defined by Data Pitch.
Successful applicants will receive an important financial and advisory boost to their idea, with support to develop a concept into a robust and sustainable data business.
Which organisations are partners of Data Pitch?
Why is data so important for business growth?
What is the potential impact of Data Pitch?
Similar projects run by Data Pitch partners have delivered high impact results.
Open Data Incubator for Europe (ODINE)
A 6 month incubator for open data entrepreneurs across Europe, ODINE supports the next generation of digital businesses to fast-track the development of their products.
- 1176 SME and startup applications
- 57 successful projects
- 18 countries
- 268 jobs created
- 22.5m value unlocked
Open Data Challenge Series
A series of 7 challenges over tracks including food, energy and education to generate innovative and sustainable solutions to social challenges.
- 84 team applications
- 21 shortlisted solutions
- 75 -141 jobs predicted
- £5.3 – £10.8 gross value added for each £1 invested in the challenge
Is Data Pitch focused on a particular domain or sector?
How much funding is available in total?
Startups and SMEs
What is this competition about?
The Data Pitch competition consists of two calls. The first call opens at 12 noon on the 1st July 2017 and closes at 12 noon on the 1st of October 2017. The second call is expected to open in summer 2018.
Each call consists of a series of tracks that refer to challenges which can be addressed by applicants. Watch this video to find out more about the existing tracks.
Each challenge can be addressed via the use of one or more datasets, open, shared or closed. Each challenge is accompanied by examples of expected outcomes and impacts. Applications must target one challenge only, and explain how it will address it.
Winners receive support and up to €100k equity free funding in the Data Pitch accelerator.
When does the 1st call open?
When does the 1st call close?
How many projects will be funded?
How many winners will be selected per challenge?
Do you have a target acceptance rate?
How do I apply?
Can I apply?
Yes, if your company and your idea comply with these criteria as follows:
- The applicant must be an SME.
- The applicant must be legally established and working in the EU-28 countries or in the Horizon 2020 associated countries.
- The applicant must be registered with the European Commission as an SME at the time of submission.
- The applicant must be working as an individual company – no consortia will be permitted.
- The applicant must target one track and challenge, and propose a solution to that challenge, following the instructions laid out in the challenge text.
- The application must be complete and fulfill all criteria explained in the guide for applicants.
Please consult the guide for applicants for specific details on each of these points.
How do I know if I am an eligible SME?
Applicants must register as an SME with the European Commission prior to applying to Data Pitch.
Please complete this registration prior to submitting your Data Pitch application – in the application you will be asked for a “PIC”, this is an identifier you will abe allocated by the European Commission when you register with them. The registration process should be straightforward; however, please understand that your registering with the European Commission is not under the control of Data Pitch and we cannot help with any queries you might have about the process.
There is a user guide for the self assessment tool and you can also find the latest definition of SME in this document. If you have troubles locating the SME self assessment tool, please read the instructions on pages 16 to 18 of the user guide).
Can individuals apply to Data Pitch?
I have troubles registering as an SME. Can Data Pitch help?
Can I apply to more than one challenge?
Is there a maximum number of applications I can submit to the call?
My idea does not fit into any challenge. Can I still apply?
My idea fits into more than one challenge. What do I do?
I am a technology company and can apply my products on any type of data. What challenge do I pick?
First and foremost, Data Pitch is about creating value through open innovation and data sharing. While technology is important, the data you apply it to is equally important. You will need to convince us that you are building something of impact by providing a data-driven solution to a Data Pitch challenge.
If you apply to a data provider challenge, your product will have to solve the business problem of that organisation and be suitable to handle their data.
If you apply to one of the other challenges, you will have to bring in shared data resources from your business network, relevant for the challenge you choose. More details about the data requirements in Data Pitch applications can be found in the Data section.
Does Data Pitch offer a pre-proposal check?
I am interested in data provider challenge. Will I be able to view the dataset before submitting the application?
Basic information about the datasets is available in our catalog. You can find links to it on the Web page of the challenge you have chosen. The catalog refers to corporate datasets that have commercial value for the data provider and contains as much information as it can be disclosed without signing a legal agreement.
In some cases we have secured samples from the corporates defining the challenge. We will also organise webinars to answer questions about the datasets.
Can I submit an application if I’m already receiving funds from another European accelerator program or European project?
Can I submit documents that are not in English?
What data can I use?
Our ultimate aim is encourage the flow of data between organisations and explore the commercial opportunities created by unlocking and sharing data in an innovation ecosystem. In line with this mission, we are going to consider only applications that show us a convincing business case built around shared data. This is not data you own or generate yourself. That is data that is not open, that is provided by someone else, to which you have access, for example via a license or any other type of agreement. This applies to all challenges.
In addition, if you go for a data-provider challenge, we have specified some of the shared datasets to use. Those challenges are tailored to the business needs of the data provider and your application must use the data they are willing to share with us.
Our principal dataset is generated by our own users, can we still apply?
Unfortunately not. The main source of data that you use needs to be generated by a third party organisation as we want to see the data sharing aspect in your application. You are, however, welcome to use user generated data in your solution providing this is not your main dataset and your principal dataset is shared by a third party.
Data Pitch has a specific mandate from the European Union: we are not looking to fund any amazing tech; we are primarily looking to convince organisations to explore the benefits of sharing their data in a trusted environment,
The way we want to convince these organisations to let their data flow more freely is by bringing them together with startups and SMEs that can demonstrate, through their ideas, how that data could be exploited.
So, in a way, the ultimate aim of Data Pitch is not primarily to run an accelerator. It is to support the European Union in implementing their free flow of data vision (see also https://ec.europa.eu/
I have my own data that I have collected from users. Can I use this in addition to other data?
Yes, as long as you are also using data from a third party, such as from one of our data providers or another source of your choice, in the challenge. Please remember, all proposed reusage of personal data is subject to having the appropriate consents from data subjects and/or agreement to anonymise/pseudonymise such data, as well as confirmation of your understanding that you may be subject to data protection rules arising under the new EU GDPR. For more help, you can review our Legal and Privacy Toolkit here.
I have collected data from my customers. Can I use this to apply to Data Pitch?
Yes, you can use data that belongs to your customers (i.e. that has been created and will be provided directly to you by them) if you have the appropriate consent from them to use it (e.g. a license to use any intellectual property rights arising in relation to such data) and can provide written evidence of this. For more help, you can review our Legal and Privacy Toolkit here.
I am interested in a data provider challenge. When will the data be made available?
If you are selected into the programme, you will be granted access to the data close to the start of the accelerator. Your application will be based only on the information we provide in the data catalog (basic metadata information about attributes, size, scope, upgrade frequency etc.) and not on the full dataset. The full dataset can only be disclosed after a legal agreement was signed.
Note also, that upon joining Data Pitch, you will not have access to all data shared by all data providers across all challenges. You will only have access to the data from the challenge you address.
I am interested in a data provider challenge and need more details about the datasets. What do I do?
I am interested in a data provider challenge. Will there be restrictions on the usage of this data?
You will be expected to tell us in your application what datasets you plan to use in addition to the challenge dataset, whether you have identified such legal or ethical issues, and how you plan to solve them?
Will I be able to share the challenge data with external partners or affiliates?
Can I use multiple datasets?
I am interested in a sector challenge or in the open innovation challenge. Can I use open data?
I am interested in the open innovation challenge. Isn’t this about open data?
I am interested in a sector challenge/the open innovation challenge. What sort of data do I need?
Data Pitch is all about open innovation, in particular about data-driven innovation. In data-driven innovation, an organisation shares some of their data with partners to create value. This is the scenario we target with the sector challenges and with the open innovation challenge. In this scenario, you are not the data owner or provider, sharing data with others. You are doing something useful, or plan to do something useful with someone else’s data. Crucially, you already have access to that data when you submit the application.
While there are no restrictions on the choice of data providers, we will give precedence to applications that foster the European ecosystem. This means, for example, that applications should address a problem relevant for the European economy, using data shared by an organisation whose main HQ is in the EU.
I am interested in a sector challenge/the open innovation challenge. Do I need to ask my data provider for approval to apply to Data Pitch?
I am interested in a sector challenge/the open innovation challenge. Will my data provider join Data Pitch?
I am interested in a sector challenge/the open innovation challenge. My data provider owns shares in my company, is this a problem?
What is a data value chain?
Data value chains describe the series of activities needed to generate value and useful insights from data.
Data Pitch is about encouraging the flow of data in business and innovation ecosystems. We want to see applications based on data value chains that involve data created and shared by one organisation being used by others in their ecosystem. Here’s a recent article that offers an example of data value chains in IoT.
What is the process of evaluation?
Applications will be reviewed in two steps:
- a review, based on predefined criteria (see also Annex 6). The result of the review will be a list of companies to be invited to a face-to-face interview in London early November.
- an interview (approx. 45 minutes) with an expert panel.
More details are available in the guide for applicants.
Where will the interviews be held?
When will I know if I have been shortlisted?
Will I know the name of the interviewers?
Do you provide travel expenses for interview?
What if I am unable to attend the interview?
Do you offer options to join the interview remotely?
No. All members of your team whom you think would be helpful to pass the interview stage need to be present.
Will we receive feedback?
Can I apply again in 2018?
Costs, payments, and legal
What is the maximum funding per project?
What are the eligible costs for the project?
A cost is eligible for the project if it complies with each of the following rules:
- incurred by your company in connection with your project
- incurred by your company during the project
- identifiable and verifiable in your accounts
- compliant with national law
- reasonable, justified, in accordance with sound financial management (economy & efficiency)
- indicated in the budget you submit with your application
The budget may include indirect costs (also known as overhead) for items such as rent, admin staff, printing and photocopying, heating, electricity etc., calculated as a flat rate of 25% of the total direct cost.
How are the payments scheduled?
Projects officially start with the contract’s signature and have three milestones at month 2, 4 and 6. The sixth month marks the end of the project. Payments are scheduled as follows:
- 30% at contract’s signature
- All declared and accepted costs after successful completion of the milestone agreed for the 4th month
- All declared and accepted costs after the completion of the milestone agreed for the 6th month (i.e., project ends successfully).
Does Data Pitch take any equity or owns the intellectual property as a return to fund my project?
Is sub-contracting allowed?
Who verifies the completion of milestones?
Will you share any information about a rejected proposal?
We do not publish or share information about rejected proposals. Some aggregate Information regarding rejected proposals including number of submissions, acceptance rates, country of origin, sectors, etc will be published, but not the names of the companies.
Details about how we use the application data are in the basic information form on F6S.
Will you share any information about an accepted proposal?
How do I work with Data Pitch?
Working together with Data Pitch is straightforward:
- Define challenge and select datasets First, we help you define a challenge that you would like explored with your data, or select a dataset that you believe may have substantial value for you.
- Data sharing agreement We agree on which datasets will be shared with Data Pitch and how. Our legal team can offer guidance on best practices around data protection and the ethics of data sharing, while our technical team will ensure you are comfortable with the the hosting options. We sign a contract to formalise our partnership.
- Competition Data Pitch organises a Europe-wide competition (‘the call’), reaching out to hundreds of thousands of startups and SMEs, looking for the best ideas on how to solve the challenge you’ve identified.
- Shortlisting and interviews Together with you, we shortlist the best ideas and interview the candidates.
- Define work plan The selected startups and SMEs join the Data Pitch incubator. Based on your aims, we help them to define tangible outcomes and KPIs for six month projects.
- Accelerator Each idea is funded by Data Pitch with up to €100k. Data Pitch also offers successful applicants bespoke technical, business, legal, and marketing support as part of a European accelerator. You receive regular reports to ensure what they produce is truly useful for your organisation.
- New opportunities After six months, the companies graduate the incubation programme. You have the opportunity to continue to collaborate with those companies which have shown greatest promise.
Can I select the startup(s) my company works with?
How does data sharing work?
To create solutions to the challenges you’ve identified, startups and SMEs will need to have access to your data. You can share it with Data Pitch in a way that works for you – legally, technically and organisationally – from your choice of API to high-security hosting facilities with physical authentication. Which option is used will depend on a number of factors such as technical and regulatory constraints and your own preferences.
Data Pitch will assist with discussions and reviewing alternatives, but the final decision is for you, the data owner, to make. The datasets you decide to share will be accessible only to those startups and SMEs that have been accepted into the incubator. You will be part of the panel selecting and interviewing them.
There are no restrictions to the datasets you decide to put forward. They can be in any accessible format, from any domain, big or small, open or not yet disclosed to third parties. We offer a range of data sharing options:
- You host the data. You may wish to use your own infrastructure. This is particularly relevant where it is required that the data has no delegation to third parties or where the data might include personal data. You may also wish to provide an API to the data.
- Data is hosted in a commercial cloud You may decide to offer a copy of the data for experimentation purposes using services such as AWS or Azure. Data Pitch is happy to assist in any way you need to make this happen.
- We host the data for you DataPitch can host your data for you. This option provides multiple levels of security depending on what is required:
- Connection to the public internet through Janet, the UK university network
- Defining a secure zone Data Pitch via a standard proxy – an academic infrastructure hosting all the academic services and laboratories
- As above, but with a further proxy to create an isolated and secure zone for Data Pitch. The infrastructure hosts a limited number of research project servers and it is managed independently
- Hosting on a separate, BIL3 and ISO27001-compliant network. To access this network physical authentication is required.
- Data is hosted by the startup/SME. In some cases, it maybe be more appropriate for the dataset to be stored by the company working with it, especially if they already have strong analytics infrastructure. You, Data Pitch and the applicant decide the terms and conditions for data hosting before the company is admitted to the accelerator.
You retain the rights on and control over your data, which will only be used for the purposes of the experiments accepted for funding. After the incubation, you have the choice to:
- remove the data from the platform (effectively closing it back)
- keep it published as shared data (the Data Pitch infrastructure will be available at least two years after the end of the project for this particular purpose)
- release (parts of) the data in the public domain
Data Pitch has comprehensive expertise in any aspect of data hosting, management, analytics, and governance. To understand your needs we will ask you to complete a short technical questionnaire so that we can suggest the most appropriate options for you.
What paperwork do we need to sign?
Your agreement to join the Data Pitch innovation programme will be with the Data Pitch consortium, represented by its coordinator, the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. The startup will similarly sign an agreement with Data Pitch, governing what they have to deliver and when, their KPIs, and what they are allowed to do with your data. In addition, you can also define a third non-disclosure agreement for the startup to sign to ensure any related commercial knowledge is held in confidence.
We take numerous steps to ensure appropriate legal compliance and protect your rights. We will ask you to complete a short questionnaire that we will review to enable us to put in place the right security, constrictions and licensing to keep your data safe but usable.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under the Grant Agreement 732506. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials created by the Data Pitch consortium are licensed under CC-BY 4.0