This report shows how Data Worlds has developed in terms of its organisation, content, and finances and gives a brief overview of the activities that are planned for the current year.
Data Worlds plans its activities based on four initiatives:
Events, X-Labs, project sponsorship, and internal network.
Allocating the activities to the various initiatives serves a dual purpose:
- Make Data Worlds offers available for use in a wide range of formats and fields, and
- Enable the various initiatives to become integrated into the respective departments on a stand-alone basis.
All four initiatives were launched successfully in 2016, and Big Data Seminars, Meetup events, and X-Labs now take place regularly. Already 41 projects have been started since the launch of Data Worlds in October 2015.
In 2017, two further initiatives will be added to the original four: The Master’s in Data Analytics course is set to become part of a programme with national and international reach. Participation in the data+service National Thematic Network aims to make Data Worlds accessible also to participants outside of the University.
Allocating the Data Worlds projects by topic has shown that the most frequently sponsored projects are those where data as a resource provides clear societal, cultural, and environmental benefits. Data Worlds’ second most frequent contributions were to its strategic initiatives (events, X-Labs, internal network, National Thematic Network, development of the Master's course). On the other hand, the least attention so far has been paid to the topic of “Conditions of the data society.”
Figure 2: Financing mix as part of the project initiation, submission, and approval process, status Dec. 2016.
Planned activities for 2017
The “Events” initiative includes plans for a number of formats:
- OpenData.ch annual conference: International conference and annual meeting of OpenData.ch with a various lectures and workshops (26/27 June 2017);
- Leader talks at the Swiss Leadership Forum: Presentation on Customer Centricity, together with Swisscom and the sales force (April/May 2017);
- Fourth and fifth Big Data Seminar: Topics have not been finalised. Discussions include topics such as smart cities and health (Q2/Q4 2017);
- Smart City Hackathon: Hackathon together with OpenData.ch and Swisscom (Q3 2017);
- Hackathon development cooperation: Hackathon together with OpenData.ch, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the State Secretary for Economic Affairs (SECO), and non-profit organisations in the field of development cooperation (Q4 2017);
- Tourism Hackathon: tbd (Q3/Q4 2017).
In addition, two or three Meetup events for researchers will take place. They are intended to promote networking internally by enabling potential project partners to connect and by developing the concept of interdisciplinarity further.
The data+service National Thematic Network provides researchers at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts with access to virtually all notable research institutions in Switzerland and to approximately 20 leading companies that are looking for new ways of adding value through data use.
Figure 1: Distribution of Data Worlds projects by topic, status Dec. 2016. (Note: Projects with ambiguous content were allocated to multiple fields.)
When sponsoring projects, Data Worlds pursues a ‘start and develop’ strategy that invests in proposals already before any third-party funding has been obtained. This allows a relatively large number of researchers to develop project ideas and prepare them for the application phase.