Q&A with: Amsterdam Economic Board
The Data Sharing Coalition is an open and growing, international initiative in which a large variety of organisations collaborate to unlock the value of cross-sectoral data sharing. In our recurring blog section ‘Q&A with’, you learn more about our participants, their thoughts, vision and ideas about data sharing. Willem Koeman, Manager and Lead Digital at Amsterdam Economic Board, shares his thoughts.
1. Could you introduce your organisation?
The Amsterdam Economic Board is a network of organisations working on innovations for the metropolis of tomorrow. Trusted data sharing is crucial to create a greener, smarter, and healthier future. That’s why we initiated the Amsterdam Data Exchange (AMdEX). AMdEX is a collaboration between AMS-IX, University of Amsterdam, SURF, deXes, and Amsterdam Economic Board. It is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the province of Noord-Holland.
To accelerate the transition to a fair data economy, we co-design and co-develop a neutral and independent infrastructure for trusted data sharing. At his moment in time, it is intended for organisations that want to share large(r) amounts of data with other organisations and/or individuals. It is neutral because all data is treated equally – there is no discrimination based on user, content or application. It is also independent, because the infrastructure is not owned by one party. This enables parties to reliably give access to their data. We give data owners and data users control over their data. Users can formally agree on property rights via AMdEX. Think of it as a neutral online notary you’re entering into a contract with regarding how and to whom you want to give access. By realising a trusted data sharing infrastructure, AMdEX enables data-based innovations, for example new treatment methods by sharing medical data or developing sustainable solutions for urban transport.
AMdEX is currently a test lab where initiatives and organisations collaborate. Together, the participants of AMdEX will develop the technology to make a fair data economy possible. The goal is to establish a not-for-profit organisation by 2023 that ensures continued development in the long term. Watch this short video that explains AMdEX.
2. To what extent is your organisation involved in data sharing (within and across sectors)?
The AMdEX initiative is exploring many use cases, for example at the Marineterrein in Amsterdam, where our office is located. The Marineterrein is a testground for experiments with technologies for the city of the future. At the Marineterrein, sensors measure various aspects, e.g. how busy it is, the quality of surface water, sounds that can be heard in the Voorwerf area, and how people deal with camera surveillance. These sensors provide a wealth of data. After analysis, this data can be used for all kinds of useful purposes. However, this is only possible when that data reaches the right people or organisations. That’s where AMdEX comes in. Via AMdEX, you can formally agree on property rights. Think of it as a neutral online notary you’re entering into a contract with regarding who and how you want to give access to your data.
3. Why is or should sharing data be important for your industry or domain?
The Amsterdam Economic Board considers data availability a precondition to work on the big societal issues of our time. Smart application of data will result in new information and insights. This, in turn, will allow early detection of diseases, efficient and responsible use of energy, and more sustainable travel.
Through AMdEX, we’re not just making data available. We’re also addressing power imbalances between data subjects and entities that hold and use the data. AMdEX aims to maximise the societal value of data, instead of simply maximising the volume and intensity of data use.
The Amsterdam Economic Board joined the Data Sharing coalition because we believe collaboration is key to explore, develop, and implement data sharing solutions that align with our European values.
4. What are the most promising data sharing developments and trends you see in your sector?
We believe the Data Act and Data Governance Act are big drivers that help us realise our vision. By harmonising rules on fair access and on the use of data, it will become a lot easier to share data. Such developments will be a powerful engine for innovation and jobs. It’s good that there is more and more attention for this topic, but there is still a lot to be done. We’re looking forward to that.
5. How do you see the future of data sharing, and what steps are you currently taking in that direction?
In about three years, we hope to have a functioning AMdEX exchange infrastructure that can record and enforce digital agreements about data sharing. For AMdEX to start flourishing, we need to collaborate with other data exchanges in Europe. We would therefore very much like to soon see the establishment of connected data exchanges in different countries. This will enable us to become one of the data hubs in Europe.
6. Why are you participating in the Data Sharing Coalition?
The Amsterdam Economic Board joined the Data Sharing coalition because we believe collaboration is key to explore, develop, and implement data sharing solutions that align with our European values. The Data Sharing Coalition has a key position in bringing knowledge and hands-on expertise together. That is why we are looking forward to work with all participants involved.
Do you want to know which organisations are participating in the Data Sharing Coalition? Read more.