Harnessing the full power of data-driven innovation


Challenge identifier: OC1-2018


Provided by

Data Pitch believes in an open approach to data-driven innovation. While most of our challenges are focusing on a particular sector, business problem or dataset, this one is meant to offer a platform for groundbreaking, impactful ideas which do not fit elsewhere in the 2018 call.   



Data, in particular when available in very large quantities, makes things possible that were not possible before: spot customer trends, prevent diseases, combat crime, save costs, or become more accountable for one’s actions. This phenomenon is often referred to as ‘Big Data’. The original idea in the IT industry was that the volume of data had grown so much that analysing it exceeded the capabilities of common data processing software; this has led to a whole new range of data-crunching technologies, including Hadoop, NoSQL databases, and predictive analytics. With Big Data has come ‘Big Value’; unlike more traditional assets, data creates new forms of value chains and almost unlimited opportunities, as these include not just its current, internal use, but, more importantly, all its potential, unknown uses in a global network of business partners and customers.  This feature of data is, however, not yet well understood and explored. Sometimes, what data is worth is most evident to the ones who control it, and perhaps to their competitors and collaborators. In most cases, however, as the technical limitations of data collection, storage and access disappear, organisations are yet to unleash its real potential. What is clear, however, is what it takes to do so: enabling reuse and integration with other data assets to build so-called Big Data value chains, in which open, shared, and closed data are used in combination.


While applicants can use any combination of datasets, their idea must be fundamentally enabled by the integral utilisation of at least one closed third party dataset, which will be used during the six-months accelerator. The core of the idea submitted to address the challenge must be built around the availability of this critical data asset to the applicant. The data must be available to the SME at the time of submission and applicants will be asked to provide proof of access.

Expected outcomes

Any data-driven innovation outcomes, including software, hardware, wearables, data exchange formats, registries and ledgers etc. Applications must include details on how these outcomes will be tested and evaluated during the six-months acceleration programme.

Expected impacts

This is not a challenge for incremental ideas. Instead, it provides an opportunity for SMEs that are working on something truly transformative; that can be applied over a wide range of industries; and has the potential to totally reinvent a process or find a solution for a previously unsolvable problem.  This means that we will consider only those applications that are real game changers, with high impact, that clearly unlock unrealised value in data and can articulate that value in a meaningful way.