EURACTIV: Unleashing the data revolution in Europe

04/01/2015

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By: VICTORIA ESPINEL | Published: 4/1/15 – 14:48 – Updated: 4/1/15 – 14:52 | Source: EURACTIV

Unleashing the data revolution in Europe

The Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) is an opportunity to craft trade rules that would prevent barriers to trade in software and services and combat “digital protectionism”, argues Victoria Espinel.

Espinel is President & CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance, the global trade association representing the software industry. She was formerly the intellectual property enforcement coordinator for theObama White House.

Progress in data innovation will transform every sector of the European economy. Building trust in digital technologies, and smart policymaking on key issues being considered now by EU policymakers, are required to ensure the data economy continues to be a key driver of job creation and growth in Europe.

Indeed, for thousands of years, people have been using data to solve problems. From farming to marine navigation to medicine, our ability to collect and interpret data has been a key driver of economic and human progress.

Today, the combination of an abundance of data, innovative software and human ingenuity have put us at the start of a data revolution in how we work and live.

Already, data is changing how business is done. It is saving energy, producing better healthcare outcomes at lower costs, and transforming product design.

Take the example of medicine. A patient’s blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, test results, and hundreds of other data points are today being collected far more quickly than a doctor could read and internalise them. Decision support systems – driven by machine learning – are able to absorb this information – and alert doctors to important changes.

In engineering, virtual wind tunnels are allowing aircraft manufacturers to design and test new planes faster and with greater accuracy. The same technology that models airflow over a wing is being used to model the flow of groundwater and pollutants, helping make our planet cleaner.

Data innovation is occurring across every sector of the modern economy, and the cumulative impact will be enormous.

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