About Data Pitch

Data Pitch was a Horizon 2020 Big Data Value Association Public Private Partnership open innovation programme, bringing together data holders – corporate and public-sector organisations that have data – with data users – startups and SMEs that use data.

It was funded by the European Commission, in order to nurture the data ecosystem in Europe. At the heart of Data Pitch lay the concept of data sharing: organisations made their otherwise closed data available for the development of new products or services.

The programme provided a supportive environment in which both data holders and users could learn and experiment. It facilitated data sharing through a competitive call mechanism, using challenges in sectors that were of particular importance for the EU, such as finance, transport, and energy. Two types of challenges were defined, in collaboration with industry experts and data holders:

  • Data holder challenges: Data Pitch sought out organisations who were willing to formulate a challenge based on business problems or data they wanted to explore for potential use. They agreed on a purpose and suitable terms under which they would share data, and supplied sample data through a dedicated platform. Since these challenges were tailored to the business needs of the data providers, data users had to use the data that these providers were willing to share, and responded to the challenge with potential solutions they could develop based on this data.
  • Sectoral challenges: Data Pitch defined broad challenges in a wider range of sectors, based on desk research and industry expertise, and focused on the BDVA key verticals, but did not contract with data holders to provide data. Data users submitted proposals that addressed those challenges, confirming that they would complete them using data that is provided by someone else, that is not open, and to which they had access, for example via a license or any other type of agreement. As Data Pitch did not need to manage these relationships directly, it allowed the programme to scale.

Data holders benefited from exploring their data, introductions to the machine learning ecosystem, open innovation, experience and guidance in the process of data sharing, and a time bound licence to the results which could address a company problem.

Data users benefited from access to data, 100,000€ of funding for their solution, and a 6-month accelerator with dedicated support. Though the financial support was certainly a major incentive for them to join the program, the access to data was valued even higher.

The Data Pitch journey