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EU Open Data Strategy to Boost Economy by Us$52b Yearly
Source: http://www.futuregov.asia/articles/2011/dec/21/new-eu-open-data-strategy-boost-economy-us52-bil-y/
Source Date: Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Focus: Internet Governance
Country: Europe
Created: Dec 22, 2011

The European Commission (EC) has released an open data strategy to harness the power of raw data collected by various national and international governmental agencies, with US$131 million to be invested in research on data-handling technologies. 

The directive will be implemented from 2011-2013, which will see the EC release its own data for free through its own portal, which is currently in the testing phase and will be launched sometime in early 2012.

In the official press release, EC Vice President Neelie Kroes remarked: “We are sending a strong signal to administrations today. Your data is worth more if you give it away. So start releasing it now: use this framework to join the other smart leaders who are already gaining from embracing open data.”

Taxpayers have already paid for this information, the least we can do is give it back to those who want to use it in new ways that help people and create jobs and growth.”

The official statement said that the EC is updating the 2003 Directive on the re-use of public sector information by:

  • Making it a general rule that all documents made accessible by public sector bodies can be re-used for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, unless protected by third party copyright;
  • Establishing the principle that public bodies should not be allowed to charge more than costs triggered by the individual request for data (marginal costs); in practice this means most data will be offered for free or virtually for free, unless duly justified.
  • Making it compulsory to provide data in commonly-used, machine-readable formats, to ensure data can be effectively re-used.
  • Introducing regulatory oversight to enforce these principles;
  • Massively expanding the reach of the Directive to include libraries, museums and archives for the first time; the existing 2003 rules will apply to data from such institutions.

The implementation is expected to benefit a wide range of industries and jobs, particularly those related to smart phone app development, mapping, real-time traffic and weather information providers and others, as well as content creators and analysts.

In its ‘Digital Agenda for Europe’ the Commission identified the re-use of public sector information, alongside fast and ultra fast internet access, as key to delivering a Digital Single Market. Subsequently, it proposed a US$12 billion plan from 2014 to 2020 that will see it invest in broadband infrastructure to bring high-speed internet access to all EU citizens and businesses.

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