How it worked: Selecting solution providers

Having defined the challenges and signed contracts with data providers, the call was launched. European small to medium enterprises (SMEs) applied through F6S,27 a platform designed to connect tech founders and startup programmes. Eligible proposals were assessed by two reviewers who shortlisted candidates for interview. Data Pitch evaluated proposals, shortlisted and selected the most suitable data users through an assessment of their idea, team and budget, and the anticipated impact of the proposed solution.

SMEs who passed the interview stage then entered a negotiation phase to become solution providers, where a team of advisors worked with them to develop detailed work plans. At the end of this phase the solution providers gained access to the shared data, received 100,000€ of funding, and commenced working on their challenge for a period of 6 months. At the end of the 6 months, the data reverted to the data providers, while the intellectual property of the innovation remained with the solution providers, who granted a one year, non-commercial, non-exclusive licence on the results of the innovation to the data provider.

While not all of the solution providers’ ambitious goals were achieved, this did not mean a lack of success. To the contrary, often the results were more useful to data providers than originally intended.

Where simpler solutions were delivered, these were successful not despite but because of their simplicity, and simultaneously more marketable and easier to maintain for the solution providers. Along the way, data providers also gained more insight, knowledge and process improvement. Examples of this included: awareness that knowledge about GDPR was not simply restricted to the legal team and that the technical staff should also receive training; the automation of a difficult data merge (with no common identifiers) that previously had to be completed manually by skilled staff; identification of the documentation necessary to use the data effectively, and codification of the staff experience that was required for the data to be used.

Key resources:

Data Pitch reports: All the processes in Data Pitch are documented in a series of reports, which are publicly available. This includes how challenges were defined, how data was managed and the development of the data catalogue.

All resources can be accessed at