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Euronews - "Knowledge is power: how Big Data is transforming education"

"There are things we can do with a large body of data that we simply cannot do when we are only working with smaller amounts."

Big Data is a big idea circulating in the worlds of government, business and academia which, its supporters say, promises to revolutionise the way we use information. In very broad terms it centres on the collection and analysis of large volumes of data. In this edition of Learning World Maha Barada presents three stories illustrating how it is being used in the field of education.

Read the full article in Euronews

Commission publishes reports on eGovernment and Standards public consultations

The consultation on the eGovernment Action Plan 2016-2020 collected EU citizens' and businesses' needs and expectations from eGovernment services in the EU, and what public administrative bodies can or plan to deliver. The responses support the approach taken in the roadmap for the new eGovernment Action Plan.

The majority of the respondents to the consultation on standardisation in the Digital Single Market supported the Commission’s initial problem analysis on ICT standardisation, in particular the need to define clearer priorities for core ICT related technologies. These recommendations to the Commission, along with the advice of the European Multi-Stakeholder Platform on ICT standardisation will form the basis for the Communication setting up priorities on ICT standardisation for the Digital Single Market. 

Building on today's results of the public consultations, the Commission proposed measures on the digitisation of European industry on the 19 April. 

Full report EU eGovernment Action Plan 2016-2020 consultation

Full report on the public consultation "Standards in the Digital Single Market: setting priorities and ensuring delivery" 



Open data could turn Europe’s digital desert into a digital rainforest – Prof. Dirk Helbing

Europe needs to pursue a different strategy from Silicon Valley if it is going to reap the social and economic benefits of big data, according to Dirk Helbing, Professor of Computational Social Science at ETH Zurich, who aims to create an open, real-time data stream from the Internet of Things.

What opportunities does big data present for Europe?
‘I’d say it’s impossible to catch up with companies like Amazon or Twitter or Facebook, 10 or more years later, with the same business model, given the incredible pace at which information technology is developing. Processing power is doubling every 18 months and data volume is doubling every 12 months, which means that in just a year we are producing literally as much data as in all the years before. It’s just unimaginable.

‘If we want to be competitive, Europe needs to find its own way. How can we differentiate ourselves and make things better? I believe Europe should not engage in the locked data strategy that we see in all these huge IT giants. Instead, Europe should engage in open data, open innovation, and value-sensitive design, particularly approaches that support informational self-determination. So everyone can use this data, generate new kinds of data, and build applications on top. This is going to create ever more possibilities for everyone else, so in a sense that will turn a digital desert into a digital rainforest full of opportunities for everyone, with a rich information ecosystem.’

Read the full article in the Horizon magazine

The Parliament Magazine: EU Commission outlines new tech plans for business

The European Commission has outlined ambitious plans on how businesses across the EU can get better access to the technologies that will help them to modernise.

The package, unveiled on Tuesday, includes improving access to cloud computing and services, data analytics and the so-called 'Internet of Things'.

Under the plans, the Commission will set up a European cloud that is designed to give Europe's 1.7 million researchers and 70 million science and technology professionals a virtual environment to store, manage, analyse and re-use a large amount of research data.

The strategy is designed to improve the way member states do business in research, technology and industrial sectors and enable European companies compete globally.

The package also aims to help business and research communities make the most of EU research and development in high technology areas.

The actions will in part be funded by Horizon 2020, the biggest ever EU research and innovation programme with €80bn of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020), alongside private investment.

Read the full article in the Parliament Magazine