DIGITAL SME Live Workshop

What does the new Data Governance Act mean for SMEs?

Discussion with the DIGITAL SME Focus Group on Artificial Intelligence (AI)

20 January 2021, 9.00 – 10.30 CET

Access to data is one of the key hurdles to AI adoption and development. This was a key finding of the first survey among the SMEs in the DIGITAL SME Focus Group on AI – Data is a key ingredient for many AI models and technologies, but especially SMEs lack access to this data to develop innovative solutions.

The European Commission has published a Proposal for a regulation on European data governance (Data Governance Act). With the Data Governance Act, the EU Commission wants to create a framework that will allow Europe to become a leading data economy, especially for industrial data. The aim is to create a “smooth market for data”, explained the Vice President responsible for digital. The Data Governance Act is part of a wider European Data Strategy, which will be complemented by a Data Act that will govern access to data in B2B relationships. However, the Data Governance Act already sets the ground for re-use in particular of public sector data and the sharing of personal and non-personal data. Here, the proposal aims at lowering transaction costs linked to B2B and C2B data sharing by implementing a framework to establish data intermediaries. Further, it introduces and promotes the notion of “Data altruism”: allowing data use by individuals or companies for the common good. Executive Vice President Vestager stated that it “is all about providing a safe environment for those who wish to share data”. The Act also plans for the creation of an expert group, the ‘European Data Innovation Board’ which will work on best practices by Member States’ authorities. This Board will also advise the Commission on the governance of cross-sectoral standardisation.

Against this background, this workshop will allow AI-developing SMEs and the wider DIGITAL SME network to better understand the proposed piece of legislation and the EU’s strategy for data. In an informal exchange, members of the SME Focus Group on AI and of DIGITAL SME, can ask for clarifications about the proposal and bring their critical feedback to the attention of the European Commission.


9.00 – 9.10 Welcome
9.10 – 9.30 Outline of the EU’s Data Governance Act

Malte Beyer-Katzenberger, Policy Officer at European Commission, DG CNECT

9.30 – 10.15 Discussion with the SME Focus Group on AI

 Moderated by DIGITAL SME

10.15 – 10.30 Closing remarks

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