Making the European data economy work for SMEs: Takeaways from DIGITAL SME event ‘Data Markets for Digital Sovereignty’

  • DIGITAL SME gathered key policymakers, experts, and SMEs to discuss the hindered potential of Europe’s data economy

  • Targeted regulatory interventions are essential to ensure fairness in B2B data exchanges

  • On the commercial side, data catalogues can reduce the opacity of data markets and pricing

On 26th of April, DIGITAL SME hosted the event ‘Data Markets for Digital Sovereignty’, in the framework of the i-3 Market project. It gathered high-level policymakers, experts and SME innovators to discuss the future of the European data economy, including SMEs’ participation in data marketplaces and data spaces. The event covered two essential perspectives of the data economy: the regulatory and the commercial.

On the regulatory side, the keynote delivered by Federico Milani (Deputy Head of Unit for Data Policy and Innovation at the European Commission) , provided an overview of the European data strategy, boosting digital sovereignty via a facilitated sharing, access and control over industrial data.

Following his remarks, DIGITAL SME’s Policy Director Antonio Grasso addressed the active role that the association has played in advocating for a fairer and more accessible regulatory environment, facilitating the growth of SMEs in the data economy. Through its position papers and public interventions, DIGITAL SME has defended fair contractual agreements in data sharing, as well as the fair compensation of small businesses.

When it comes to market developments, Prof. Nikos Laoutaris from IMDEA Madrid delivered key insights on data pricing and data marketplaces. Isabella de Michelis, Founder and CEO at ErniApp, remarked the importance of data catalogues to ensure transparency of market prices. Lastly, Pierre Gronlier, Chief Technology Officer at GAIA-X, commented on the creation of a federated data infrastructure to stand for European values and the digital sovereignty of data owners.

The closing remarks were delivered by Senator of the Italian Parliament, Prof. Antonio Nicita and Former Chairman of the European Commission Impact Assessment Board. Senator Nicita spoke about the control that gatekeeping companies hold over the data produced by consumers and small businesses and the critical need to change present status quo.

All in all, the event ‘Data Markets for Digital Sovereignty’ brought crucial SME perspectives on the data economy into the attention of EU policymakers. DIGITAL SME is committed to ensure that both regulation and market-based mechanisms work for the SMEs, which constitute 99% of Europe’s industrial base.


For the highlights and full recording of the event follow this link

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