About this toolkit


Data plays a major role in the European economy, and building a European data economy is one of the strategic goals of the European Commission. Through the increase of data science techniques, not least Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), the value and role of data as an asset becomes ever more crucial. This has made it more important for data to be accessible. However, much of the data that many solutions require are held within private organisations – and are only available if they are shared. Data sharing in this sense means allowing third parties specifically permissioned access to datasets to generate value.

This toolkit has been developed to help organisations that want to generate value by sharing data or facilitating data sharing. We explain the concept, challenges, and processes to enable successful data sharing, and provide resources and recommendations. It is derived from experience collected in the Data Pitch programme and related national and international initiatives, such as the Smart Cities Innovation Framework Implementation (SciFi), the European Data Incubator (EDI), as well as several recent pilots for data trusts in the UK.

The document is structured in three main sections:

  1. An introduction to the fundamental notions of data and data sharing, including a discussion of the benefits of data sharing;
  2. An introduction to Data Pitch, the three year data sharing programme that commissioned this research;
  3. Recommendations and resources for data sharing, leveraging feedback and experiences from interviews and case studies carried out in the context of Data Pitch and other related works.

The toolkit offers practical advice and guidance to:

  • Organisations which have data that they want to share in order to investigate its value, such as corporations;
  • Organisations which wish to facilitate data sharing, such as data marketplaces;
  • Organisations which use artificial intelligence and machine learning and wish to enter data sharing agreements with data holding organisations; and,
  • Individuals who want to enable data sharing on a practical level, such as innovation managers.

Most research on which this toolkit was focused on open innovation for new products and services in the commercial market. However the toolkit can be equally used to guide data sharing for social good, knowledge development or a multitude of other aims.

How to use this toolkit

  1. Learn about data sharing in section one, to understand the relevant concepts.
  2. Read about an example in section two, to see how these concepts can be applied.
  3. Follow the steps and use the resources in section three, to help you implement your own data sharing.