The Met Office, Konica Minolta and Greiner International Packaging are among a host of internationally renowned organisations to agree to share their data with European start-ups for Data Pitch, an accelerator funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme.
Other data providers include Netherlands-based multinational telecoms company Altice, the University of Dundee’s GROW Observatory, Portuguese healthcare company Jose de Mello Saude pan-European travel community MASAI and a global financial services provider.
From this week, start-ups will be able to apply for a place on the accelerator, which provides business support and up to €100,000 (£88,000) non-equity funding to companies which can propose data-driven solutions to a series of challenges, using combinations of open, closed and shared data.
Successful applicants chosen after the closing date in October 2018 will be able to join the six-month programme which offers the funding as well as expert mentoring; investment opportunities; access to data from established businesses and the public sector; and webinars, training sessions and networking opportunities.
Eighteen startups are already participating in the programme, working with data providers including Deutsche Bahn, the largest railway operator and infrastructure owner in Europe, and Portuguese retail giant Sonae.
The current startups are addressing a range of challenges - from improving efficiency in transport and retail supply chain systems, to predicting male fertility, analysing broken bones and devising the perfect, individually tailored holiday experience.
So far, these businesses have attracted over €830,000 in sales and investment, and have created 30 additional jobs. Furthermore, their final products and services are expected to create significant value from sales, investments and efficiencies and result in powerful new data-enabled business models.
The new data providers that have signed up have each helped set challenges to explore the potential of their data and gather new ideas for tackling tricky business problems.
Open Data Institute chief executive Jeni Tennison said: “At the ODI, we want data to work for everyone and believe in facilitating simple and safe access to appropriate data to enable innovation to thrive. Better access to data, coupled with understanding of the real challenges faced by a sector, can help to drive innovation and wide benefits.
“Data Pitch is creating social and economic opportunities by giving small, innovative businesses access to datasets from major corporates that might previously have been out of reach. In doing so, it’s building a framework for better and easier co-operation, strengthening the EU data economy and generating growth.”