Newsletter - Issue 6

Sense4Us Newsleter Issue 6 | June 2015

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Editorial     Project news     Interesting news     Upcoming events     Publications



Dear readers,
SENSE4US project is about to complete successfully its 2nd year of implementation this September.
The previous months witnessed various developments and internal preparations regarding the simulation tool.

Moreover, project partners continued and intensified their networking by attending various conferences and events related to the project’s thematic area, as well as by meeting with interested stakeholders, like Mr. Max Andersson, MEP in Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance from Stockholm, Sweden.

Interest was shown about project’s vision and developments during its presentation at meetings, while there was also some paper writing. A paper was presented at “ICPPSS 2015: the 17th International conference on Public policy and Social Sciences” on 25th-26th June 2015 in Paris and another paper will be presented at the upcoming “14th IFIP EGOV and 7th ePart Conference 2015” which will take place on 30th August - 2nd September 2015 in Thessaloniki.

In this summer issue, you will find some interesting publications as well as interesting events and conferences taking place during the next months!

If you have any comments or suggestions, we will be more than glad to receive them, so please feel free to contact us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Enjoy the reading and we send you our best wishes for a relaxing summertime!

The Sense4us Dissemination and Communication Team



Project news


UI Workshop: SENSE4US Design team met in Stockholm on June 17th, 2015


SENSE4US Design Team during the workshop in Stockholm

The SENSE4US toolkit’s User Interface (UI) has to communicate complex concepts to users, who are not experts in the research fields of the project. What emerges from this is a genuine need to present SENSE4US results to end users in an intuitive manner. Towards this end, Stockholm University hosted a workshop on 17 June 2015, bringing together developers and users of the SENSE4US project with creative and media specialists from Hyper Island with the aim of generating new ideas for the Sense4us toolkit’s front end and making it more usable. A specific objective of the workshop was to get input from specialists in the fields of gaming and human-computer interaction, who had no previous knowledge of the project, so as to bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to the project’s developers. This intention was fulfilled in that the workshop generated some very useful ideas that the project partners had not previously imagined, and these ideas are likely to be developed and incorporated into the next version of the Sense4us toolkit.


GESIS started the dialogue with one of the eleven State Ministries in North Rhine-Westphalia

The Ministry which is responsible for the policy issues regarding families, children, youth, culture and sports, supports the digital strategy “Open.NRW”, which was initiated by the Government in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). The digital hub for this strategy located at and is the data and information portal which addresses (a) open data, (b) dialogue, and (c) collaboration for all actors (ministries, local authorities, citizens, etc.) in NRW. This means the State together with the Ministries, cities and local authorities needs to "make sense" of the data in the portal. The aforementioned Ministry has already started the process of publishing Open Data, but this publishing is one important step. External actors can find scenarios where the data is beneficial, and one example of a useful application is a mobile app where families can find the nearest day-care facility for their children in Düsseldorf using geo-location data. In May, GESIS began a dialogue with this State Ministry looking at potential scenarios how SENSE4US can provide benefit in the areas of information retrieval and decision-making.

eGovLab introduces SENSE4US project to Mr. Max Andersson, MEP in Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance


Mr. Max Andersson, MEP in Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, from Miljöpartiet

Mr. Max Andersson, MEP in Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, from Miljöpartiet, visited eGovlab in Stockholm University on May 29th, 2015. He was accompanied with his political advisor and met by our partner, Dr. Somya Joshi from eGovlab. An enthusiastic proponent of open source, transparency and advanced decision support within the EP, Mr. Andersson was curious about the tools being developed within the SENSE4US Project. He was given a brief introduction on the initiative, as well as a hands-on introduction to the prototype being developed. The response of Mr. Andersson and his support team was a very positive one and they are keen to be in touch with us during the second leg of our end user engagement as well as prototype development.

About Mr. Andersson’s work in the EP
Follow him on Twitter


Our project partner, GESIS, attended the 21st expert forum hosted by the Federation of German Internet Portals under the topic “Status quo municipal internet portals?”


Many local authorities are hosting websites for providing information for citizens and the local economy. Some websites include tools to engage relevant actors in the decision-making process. However, given the digital change, new requirements (like mobile usage) come up. Hence the key question is: if “traditional” websites of local authorities are obsolete, how to overcome the issue of new requirements? The 21st expert panel “Quo vadis local websites” addressed these issues by comparing different local authority cases of current website releases. The event took place in Berlin and was organized by the Federation of German Internet Portals. Its co-organizers were the German association for cities and local communities and the German association for local districts. The event’s results will be used to learn from local authorities’ workflows and identify potential scenarios within the mentioned field of information research and Open Data. The main outcome of this event was that budgets are too limited and will not increase soon, so local authorities need to find effective strategies for providing state of the art internet portals for citizens and local companies. Concerning the level of decision-making or publishing Open Data, approaches like SENSE4US may add benefit to these strategies.


GESIS joined the 10th Expert Conference for methods and tools for updating the public authorities


The 10th Expert Conference for methods and tools for updating the public authorities ( ) took place in Münster Germany from 8th to 9th of June and was attended by GESIS. Local authorities, companies and scientists from all over Germany had the chance to exchange knowledge on current practices where new methods were applied. A mover for digital change is the E-Government law, which strongly addresses the need for more effective workflows in e-government. This is beneficial for public authorities themselves and finally for the citizens. Another issue is the strategy for Open Data. If local authorities publish their data, it can be used by many other actors for many purposes, but including the decision-making process. This is one of the SENSE4US project’s targets, to support decision-makers during their work of identifying significant data for their policies. Hence the conference was beneficial to get insights in local policy-making. Some of the participants were invited to engage themselves to the upcoming pilots at local level.


SENSE4US publication accepted to the ICPPSS 2015: the 17th International conference on Public policy and Social Sciences, 25th-26th June 2015, Paris, France


Mr. Osama Ibrahim, our partner from Stockholm University, is the co-author of the “Text Analysis to Support Structuring and Modelling a Public Policy Problem-Outline of an Algorithm to Extract Inferences from Textual Data” publication related to the Decision Support work package of the project. The objective behind this study is to support modelling of public policy problem situations, using text analysis of verbal descriptions of the problem. The publication was presented during the ICPPSS 2015 that took place this June in Paris.

The abstract of the publication
About the ICPPSS 2015


SENSE4US will be presented at the 14th IFIP EGOV and 7th ePart Conference 2015, 30th August – 2nd September 2015, Thessaloniki, Greece


The annual international IFIP EGOV conference is the top-2 ranked core conference in the domain of ICT in the public sector and the public sphere. Each year, scholars from all over the globe present the most recent advancements and findings of research and innovations in e-Government, e-Governance and related fields of study. The annual international ePart conference is the top-ranked conference in the domain of electronic participation and the 5th-ranked overall conference dedicated to information technologies in the context of public administration and the public sphere.

In the framework of this dual conference, two papers have been submitted by our partners from Stockholm University on behalf of SENSE4US. The first paper with the title “From transparency to trust: how can social sensors shape multi-level governance?” and written by Dr. Somya Joshi, Timo Wandhöfer, Rasa Uzdavinyte and Vasilis Koulolias has been accepted to the “ongoing research” track of the Conference. The second paper with the title “Modeling for policy formulation: causal mapping, scenario generation, and decision evaluation” was written by Aron Larsson and Osama Ibrahim and has been accepted to the “completed research” track on Policy Modeling of the same conference.

More information about the conference


Interesting news


“Billions” of records at risk from mobile app data flaw

Security researchers have uncovered a flaw in the way thousands of popular mobile applications store data online, leaving users’ personal information, including passwords, addresses, door codes and location data, vulnerable to hackers. The team of German researchers found 56 million items of unprotected data in the applications it studied in detail, which included games, social networks, messaging, medical and bank transfer apps.
Read more


Montenegrin to develop the “Ask for Data” mobile app

The Montenegrin Centre for Democratic Transition (CDT) is to develop a mobile app that citizens can use to ask government agencies for data of public interest. The Centre is one of four winners of the Technology for Citizen Engagement competition, organised by the Cyprus office of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Mahallae, a “digital neighbourhood for civic engagement developed by Cypriot civil society and innovators from the Euro-Mediterranean region”.

The “Ask for Data” app will contain a list of agencies, a form for the contact information of the submitter, and a template that submitters can use to formulate their requests. The pilot version is expected to be released at the end of this year. It connects to central government, ministries and local governments through e-mail.
Read more


Gathering of experts on core data in Riga, May 6th 2015

On May 6, 2015 the ISA Programme of the European Commission hosted the 2nd workshop on core data models for public administrations. The workshop was held in Riga, back-to-back with the 5th conference on Semantic Interoperability for e-Government.

The workshop brought together more than 30 experts- members of the Community of Practice, from 14 countries, next to representatives from European Commission Institutions, to share their experiences with the development, management and applications of core data modes, i.e. foundation data models that capture the fundamental characteristics of data entities in a context-neutral fashion.

View more details about the workshop, the presentations and access the agenda


Upcoming events









11th International Conference on Semantic Systems, 15-17 September 2015, Vienna, Austria

European Researchers' Night, 25 September 2015

This is a mega event which takes place every year simultaneously in several hundred cities all over Europe and beyond. It takes place each year on the last Friday in September. More than 30 countries and over 300 cities are involved. It gives you, your family, friends, as well as your school, to explore science in engaging ways. Discover what researchers really do and why it matters for your daily life. You will enjoy behind-the-scenes guided tours of research labs that are normally closed to the public, interactive science shows, hands-on experiments or workshops. Further information about how to associate your event to the NIGHT.




OECD Report: Overcoming Barriers to International Investment in Clean Energy


As demonstrated in the OECD report, evidence-based analysis is needed to help policy makers design efficient clean-energy policies. Policy makers should reconsider measures in favour of domestic manufacturers for enhancing job and value creation in the clean energy sector if, as the OECD study suggests, the overall result is less investment and probably fewer opportunities for the very sector protectionism is supposed to help. Co-operation at a multilateral level is needed to address barriers to international trade and investment in clean energy.
Read the full article
Get the OECD report


The European Union explained: Research and Innovation “Pushing boundaries and improving the quality of life”


Research and innovation contribute directly to prosperity in Europe and the well-being of its citizens and society. This publication is a part of a series that explains what the EU does in different policy areas, why the EU is involved and what the results are. Read the publication


Collaborative research-grade software for crowd-sourced data exploration


The scope and focus of the research reported in this document is to implement a collaborative high-level research-grade application software platform for scientific experimentation and data analysis. By doing so, the document aims at exploring, extracting value from, and making sense of massive, interconnected datasets. Namely, the software is designed as an application layer that makes use of suitable statistical, exploratory or descriptive techniques, as well as visualisation tools, in order to produce reasonable interpretations of data – e.g. consisting in crowd sourced data from social media, as well as other domain-orientated data, like sensor-based and geospatial data – that are logical but not definitive in their claims. Download the publication


Mastering Structured Data on the Semantic Web


The “Semantic Web”' is one of the key differentiators of Web 3.0, but few developers really understand what it is or how they can use it to enhance their websites. Mastering Structured Data On The Semantic Web explains the practical aspects and the theory behind the semantic web and how structured data, such as Microformats, can be used to boost the efficiency of data processing and data transfer on your sites. The book is available here


research*eu results magazine: click on the issues to view


Issue No.42, May 2015 Issue No.41, April 2015



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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 611242