We have now selected the candidates for the first round of Data Pitch interviews which will be taking place in the next couple of weeks.  58 applications were successful in this round, and the following numbers have been selected per challenge:

  • Retail – 4
  • Sports and Recreation – 3
  • Data Analysis – 5
  • Transport – 3
  • Data Management – 4
  • Health and Wellness – 12
  • Online Identity – 4
  • Lifelong Learning – 1
  • Living – 1
  • Smart Manufacturing – 8
  • Tourism – 7
  • Open Innovation – 6

As noted in our guide for applicants, Data Pitch evaluates all applications in several steps.


First, we check whether the application is eligible. The aim is to filter out applications which are incomplete or are out of the scope of the programme for formal reasons.  In our guide, we list the following criteria:

  • 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 fulfil all criteria explained in Section How to apply.

Reasons for being ineligible

  • Unfortunately, a share of the applications did not pass this initial step because they did not meet one or several of these criteria.
  • Most applicants did not have any issues matching criteria (1) and (4).
  • Most applications we received were from individual SMEs.
  • A share of the applications came from SMEs established in a country that is neither in the EU-28 nor in the list of associated countries (criterion (2)). Data Pitch cannot fund applications from those parts of the world.
  • Another formal reason to reject an applicant in this step was criterion (3): we had SMEs that did not complete their SME registration with the European Commission, did not have a PIC number (which is granted also by the EC upon registration) or submitted a dummy PIC instead.

Data Pitch is itself funded by Horizon 2020, which is an EU programme – we need to comply with their rules and they include these aspects.

The number one reason for ineligibility

By far the most popular reason why an application was not eligible was that the application was not 100% complete.

This may mean a missing PIC number (criterion (3), but also no video with the team, no pitch deck or no proof of access to data (all criterion (6)). In all these cases, we could not consider the applications further.

Data Pitch is about sharing data

Furthermore, several applications were not in the scope of Data Pitch because they did not solve a relevant challenge using shared data or could not provide relevant evidence that they have access to data shared by a different organisation.

Applications must use shared data

Several applicants told us about the open data they planned to use – Data Pitch is not about open data. While open data may be used, the focus of this programme is on encouraging organisations to share data with SMEs and startups. In other cases, the evidence provided mentioned how the applicant itself plans to collect or to publish or sell data. SMEs and startups may apply to Data Pitch when they solve a challenge using the data of a different organisation. Please check our online FAQ (https://datapitch.eu/faq/), section “Data” for further details.

Applications must prove access to shared data

In some other cases, the applicant understood the scope of the challenge and could show that they are in contact with a data sharing party. However, the evidence submitted did not prove that they actually have access to said data – more often than not, we were provided with emails confirming interest in a potential collaboration rather than a clear proof that access to data has been granted.

Deadlines are deadlines

Finally, some applications were not submitted on time for a range of reasons. We clearly stated the deadlines and our intention to live by these deadlines – the call was open for three months and we could not consider any special circumstances such as computer crashes, lack of Internet access, delays with travels, unpredictable pets, or over commitment issues.

Eligible applications

Applications that passed these basic checks were reviewed in more detail according to the criteria explained in the guide. The applications were scored based on their idea, the impact of their solution as well as team and budget. The full review criteria can be found in the guide for applicants.

Each application has been evaluated by two experts with a data and business background. Applications had to pass a threshold to be considered for interviews. The final interview shortlist was discussed by an executive panel consisting of Data Pitch partners. All applications that achieved the threshold score were invited to interviews. All applications which were below the threshold, but where one of the reviewers rated them above the threshold were reviewed by the executive panel and decisions were made on whether to invite them to interviews or not. Around half of these applications were invited to the interviews.

Data Pitch 2018 Call

The challenges for the Data Pitch second call will be published in the second quarter of next year.