Data Markets for Digital Sovereignty

DIGITAL SME addressed emerging opportunities and challenges from the development of the European data economy, including SMEs’ participation in data market places and data spaces for a sustainable digitalisation in Europe.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the strongest privacy law in the world. Europe has taken over the leadership in privacy and data protection, with over 150 countries modelling their data privacy laws on the GDPR. Following this success, the EU has decided to include ‘data sharing’, ‘data spaces’ and ‘data marketplaces’ as new guiding frameworks for companies. The idea behind it, is to cooperate by sourcing, sharing and allowing data reuse, thus boosting digital value but never at the detriment of privacy and data subjects’ rights.

This strategy is an immense opportunity for companies, especially SMEs. Gaining access and leverage valuable data can indeed improve their business processes, produce competitive advantage, and contribute to single-handed innovation.

To facilitate this, the EU has put forth legislatives initiatives, such as the Data Act and the Data Governance Act, setting a clear path for data sharing and for the development of data marketplaces. On top of that, the e-Privacy Regulation and Digital Services package take into account market asymmetries to curb the influence of ‘gatekeepers’.

Following these regulatory changes, stakeholders are now set in seizing the very same growing and fast pacing opportunities. Understanding these trends and their market’s impact, especially for SMEs, is essential. Identifying early opportunities and participating in data marketplaces initiatives is crucial for a steady company’s growth.

As much as it’s helpful for companies to recognize the potential benefits of participating in data marketplaces, such as increased revenue streams, and enhanced innovation, it’s also important to consider the diversity of business models that can flourish and coexist. Hence, the online event was designed to guide SMEs through the opportunities and challenges of the new data-sharing driven economy, and how their direct involvement can help delivering an exciting new landscape.

The event was organised in a framework of i3-MARKET project, which was presented during the event. The i3-MARKET offers an opensource software that integrates data markets, via APIs, allowing users to access, sell, and buy European data through common interfaces, secure contracts and trusted payments methods.

Highlights and full recording of the event


14:00 – 14:45 Welcome

Justina Bieliauskaite, Projects Director (European DIGITAL SME Alliance)

Keynote speech 

Federico Milani, Deputy Head of the Unit, Data Policy and Innovation (DG CNECT, European Commission)

Prof. Dr. Nikolaos Laoutaris, Director (IMDEA Madrid) & former Director (Telefonica Labs, Barcelona)

14:45 – 15:45 Session 1

Pierre Gronlier, Chief Technology Officer (GAIA-X AISBL)

Isabella De Michelis, CEO & founder ErnieApp Ltd. (Ireland)

Martin Serrano, Project Coordinator (i3-MARKET) & Senior Research Fellow (INSIGHT Centre for Data Analytics)

15:50 – 16:50 Session 2

Ciarán Donohue, Legal and Policy Officer, Data Protection (DG JUST, European Commission)

Maria Papaphilippou, Cybersecurity Officer (European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA))

Dipl.-GeoInf Christian Linder, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR), Gruppenleiter Architekturprinzipien und Plattformsysteme (Germany)

16:50 – 17:00 Conclusions

Take aways: Sen. Prof. Antonio Nicita, Member of the Italian Parliament, former AGCOM Commissioner (Italy) & Former Chairman (European Commission Impact Assessment Board)

What is next: Antonio Grasso, EU Policy Director (European DIGITAL SME Alliance)

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