Cost of data sharing
The European Commission funded the Data Pitch consortium with 2.5 million Euros. Roughly half of this budget was spent on finding and onboarding data holders, running the competitive call, and the selection and onboarding of SMEs.
The cost accrued for running the Data Pitch programme must be considered together with the intended scale of the programme. Data Pitch sought to identify and on-board up to 50 data holders across 15 sectors, and select at least 50 SMEs to work with them, all in a period of three years.
Discussions were initiated with three data holders for each data holder that was successfully on-boarded. For the 13 data holders that joined the programme, a team of business, technology and legal experts in both organisations worked through the challenge that should be addressed, the data that could be used, and the legal framework, to ensure that all parties’ requirements were met.
For each of the 47 SMEs that joined the programme, five times that many applications were reviewed. Every successful SME went through a negotiation period to confirm their work plan and budget, which was then assessed at three milestone reviews over the course of the acceleration phase.
Some parts of Data Pitch scaled well, such as the governance process, which was defined at the beginning and then re-used – contract templates, once developed, needed hardly any changes; the challenges, once defined, needed only minor tweaks and some ongoing support for applicants.
Other parts, such as the identification and preparation of data with data holders, pushed the limits of capacity, as they needed to be completed individually for each data holder, sometimes more than once.
The workload for Data Pitch as the intermediary increased with both the number of data holders and users engaged in the programme, especially as Data Pitch was part of all data provider-solution provider relationships for those challenges. Our data providers on the other hand worked with one to five SMEs simultaneously, and their resource commitment increased with both the number of datasets they shared, and the startups/SMEs they engaged with.