BDV PPP Meetup 2019: three amazing days in Riga

One more year, the European Big Data community has gathered during three days at the Big Data Value PPP Summit, an event organized by the BDVA and BDVe project, together with the European Commission, and with the threefold objective of giving visibility to the carried out activities of the PPP, attracting new actors to the ecosystem, and strengthening links and collaborations.

The edition of this year has been held in Riga from 24th to 26th of June, in the amazing building of the Latvian National Library, and has counted with the valuable collaboration of Tilde as local organizer.

This edition comes after several weeks of collaboration and intense work of both Big Data and robotics communities that have resulted in the elaboration of a joint SRIDA for a European AI PPP. This collaboration was highlighted by the Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, in her welcoming video, together with the importance of Data for AI, and of moving towards a human centric AI that considers not only innovation but also regulation and ethics.  

The collaboration between countries and communities was also emphasized by Ralfs Nemiro, the Minister of Economics of the Republic of Latvia, and Artūrs Toms Plešs, Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Regional Development.

The first panel of the day gave us the possibility to see different perspectives of how data driven AI could contribute to a prosperous economy and a better society: Latvia as a data-driven nation (Edmunds Beļskis, Deputy State Secretary ICT, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development), challenges from the point of view of the mobile operators (Dr Juris Binde, President and CEO, LMT), technology and privacy (Merce Crosas, Research Data Officer with the Office of Vice Provost for Research, Harvard University), and privacy in smart cities (Dr Sébastien Ziegler, President of the IoT Forum and IoT Lab).

During a second panel, we had the opportunity to learn how AI and Big Data could contribute to improve the transport and logistic sectors, with the experience of TransformingTransport, a lighthouse project of the Big Data Value PPP that, after two years and a half of work, is finishing in June this year.

The collaboration between the BDVA and euRobotics and the publishing of a Common Research Agenda for AI, Data and Robotics were the core of an inspiring of an Artificial Intelligence session, where Kimmo Rossi, from the EC, presented the journey from the European Common Data Space to the Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI. The session finished with an interesting panel where collaboration, cooperation and synergies were the most emphasized concepts.

After an inspiring talk on Quantum Computing and its applicability to Big Data and AI, the day ended with a closing speech from Ms. Dace Melbārde (European Paliament) about how digital can enable better access to culture and the value of language, and the ceremony of the Best Success Story Award. To this contest, 15 BDV PPP projects submitted their best stories. The five finalists (TransformigTransport, BigMedilytics, DataPitch, DataBio, Track&Know) were called to the stage to present their stories, and the first prize went to TransformingTransport.

After a day so full of activities, the attendees had the opportunity to relax, talk, drink and dance during the social event in NOASS, a contemporary culture centre located on river Daugava.

 The next two days of the event were devoted to parallel workshops on four different tracks: Artificial Intelligence, Business, Use Case and Governance and Project Services, where BDVA members, PPP projects and other actors collaborated on bringing together experiences, success stories and results on different topics.

The event was complemented with the exhibition area, an amazing space where BDVA, BDVe, TransformingTransport, Special, EDI, EW-Shopp and I-BiDaaS had the opportunity to showcase their achievements and results to the whole community.

From BDVA, we would like to thank all the people who have contributed to make the BDV PPP Summit a successful event, specially thanks to Tilde and the European Commission, and all the participants, projects and attendees. We hope you have enjoyed those three intense days in Riga, and look forward to seeing all you again in Helsinki!