Written by Frank Schürch, Embassy of Switzerland in Chile
According to Prof. Marcos Sepulveda, from the School of Engineering at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, “Chile has not yet adopted Big Data in a significant manner. Data from the ENTI 2014 (National Study on Information Technology), shows that out of 142 CIO (Chief Information Officer) surveyed, only 4.2% said this technology was in use in their organization. Interest in Big Data is nevertheless confirmed, since 21.8% of respondents revealed they had plans to implement it in the short term.” In this article, two exemples of chilean initiative in Big Data, namely datacenters and Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will be discussed.
Written by Philippe Roesle, Embassy of Switzerland in the United Kingdom
The availability and accessibility of data is by no means an end-point; in fact, it is only the beginning. If data strives to offer an added value to prospective end-users, it must be sorted, analysed, visualised and fully interpreted. The availability of various types of data constitutes a very fertile playing field for nascent startup companies. In order to support the exploitation of big and open data, the UK’s national innovation agency, Innovate UK (together with the Omidyar Network), has invested in an interesting non-profit organisation: the Open Data Institute (ODI). Unique in many ways, the ODI not only advocates the release of more public and private sector data as open datasets, it also actively supports the creation of value with a view to achieve social, environmental, and economic impact. For this, the ODI has built a centre of excellence for open data in the fields of research, learning, advocacy, consulting, and startup incubation.
Written by Ruth Theus Baldassarre, Embassy of Switzerland in Italy
On October 1st 2015, the NRP 75 “Big data”was launced by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), it focuses on the technical and societal issues raised by big data. The five-year programme, funded with 25 Million CHF, will undertake research on computing (data analysis, algorithm, cryptology), data management/security and infrastructure. In this context it appears interesting to highlight the experience of the Italian Academic & Research Network GARR.
Success stories often begin with collaborations of different partners. This is also the case for the Massachusetts Big Data ecosystem. A main pillar for the success of the state’s big data ecosystem was the Massachusetts Big Data Initiative launched by then-Governor Deval Patrick in 2012. The initiative engages collaboratively with industry, academia, government, and nonprofit partners.
The Innovation Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative directs the Mass Big Data Initiative to expand, leverage, and deploy regional big data assets and resources, supporting strategic development of new opportunities that will boost Massachusetts’ comparative advantages, and addressing the ecosystem’s unmet needs and barriers.
written by Jacquelene Friedenthal, Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa
Even though South Africa used to lag a little behind other countries in developing new technologies, it is now fully committed to catching up in certain areas. As described in this article, the progress in research linked to Big Data has been tremendous thanks to the implementation of appropriate measures. For instance, the government is creating new higher education and training institutions to overcome the lack of qualified personnel for the development of Big Data. Furthermore, the authorities also support the implementation of real policy for opening data gathered by the government. The private sectors has picked up on these trends and has also begun to invest in new tools using big data to develop predictive models. However, the government is making sure that privacy is preserved thanks to the Protection of the Personal Information Act. Read more about these subjects in this article.
Courtesy of ATA, a SETI Institute. Photos taken by Seth Shostak
written by Andrey Melnikov – Embassy of Switzerland in Russia
Mega-grants are considerable funding provided on a tender basis by the Government of the Russian Federation to offer state support to the scientific research led by world-famous scientists in Russian universities, research institutes and centers. This program was started back in 2010. Very often such grants are awarded to former Russian/Soviet scientists working currently abroad, S. Smirnov for example, and foreign top-notch researchers like Osamu Shimomura and George F. Smoot. One of the program’s goals is to create research laboratories capable of competing with the world leading institutions, thus creating conditions required to improve the professional quality of the faculty and research specialists of Russian institutions and encourage young people to pursue professional development. In 2014-2016 the research carried out in 23 Russian universities will be supported by such mega-grants.
written by Dieter Cavalleri, Embassy of Switzerland in Argentina
Data-driven strategies in the market – The big data and analytics market is growing fast in Argentina. After an education phase in 2013, big data is gaining increasing attention from the industry and the Government, which consider it to be an important opportunity for business and research. (more…)
Written by Léonard Mouny, State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation
On 1 July 2015, the association Opendata.ch held its annual conference in Bern. On this occasion the major actors from the Swiss and international open data scene were present. The conference lasted a whole day and was divided into three parts; it started with keynotes on different aspects of Open Data, followed by workshops dedicated to specific themes and was concluded by a panel debate about the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the Swiss legal framework for Open Data. In this article, the essence of this conference will be summarised.
Written by Sunwoo Lee, Science & Technology Office Seoul, Embassy of Switzerland in South Korea
South Korea, a world leader in information technology (IT) infrastructure, has been taking big data to the next level over the past years. So far, Korea excelled in engaging big data in service delivery in the public sector, policy making, and building foundations for the future by effectively utilizing its solid IT infrastructure. Of the big data developments yet, one that especially stands out from a global standpoint is the advancement of big data in Korea’s medical system.
Written by Gabriel Rey, Embassy of Switzerland in Spain
Spain suffered a harsh economic crisis the past few years, resulting in less public investment in cutting-edge technologies. Thus, innovations related to Big Data had to come from the private sector and individual initiatives, although a few cases were supported by the central or regional government.
Now, macroeconomic indicators show the Spanish economy is on the road to recovery. Nevertheless, the high rate of unemployment, in particular among young people, could seriously jeopardize the genuine value of the macroeconomic progress. Part of a solution could be increasing the creation of companies in sectors that have a high potential to generate quality jobs. Big Data is, with no doubt, one such sector. Those are the reasons why I choose to present Incubio here, a Barcelona-based company whose aim is to transform ideas based on the use of Big Data into concrete entrepreneurial projects.
Barcelona’s technology district 22@Barcelona, Picture by 22atbarcelona