In February the European Commission released the European Strategy for Data, a document centred on the creation of nine Common European data spaces which will address specific sectors.
Such spaces aim at overcoming legal and technical barriers to data sharing across organisations, by combining the necessary tools and infrastructures and addressing issues of trust, for example by way of common rules developed for each space. They will be developed in full compliance with data protection rules and according to the highest standards for cyber-security. The spaces will include: the deployment of data-sharing tools and platforms; the creation of data governance frameworks; improving the availability, quality and interoperability of data.
There will be nine initial Common European data spaces, building on the experience of the European Open Science Cloud:
- Industry & Manufacturing
- Green Deal
- Public Administrations
Why is this relevant to Blue-Cloud?
Although there is no separate Ocean Science data space (yet), the Green Deal data space in particular will play a key role in the field of Earth and environmental science, in the framework of the Commission's goal for Europe to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The Commission’s Communication clearly underlines the importance of data for meeting this target. A European green data space can exploit the major potential of data in support of priority actions on climate change, circular economy, zero-pollution, biodiversity, deforestation and compliance assurance. Many of these topics are highly relevant to the Blue-Cloud mission, as also shown by our pilot demonstrators.
In this context, over the course of the next two years, the Commission will:
- Launch a GreenData4All initiative, which will evaluate and possibly review the INSPIRE Directive, together with the Access to Environment Information Directive. It will modernise the regime in line with technological and innovation opportunities, making it easier for EU public authorities, businesses and citizens to support the transition to a greener and carbon-neutral economy, and reducing administrative burden.
- Roll out re-usable data-services on a large scale to assist in collecting, sharing, processing and analysing large volumes of data relevant for assuring compliance with environmental legislation and rules related to the priority actions set in the Green Deal.
- Establish a common European data space for smart circular applications making available the most relevant data for enabling circular value creation along supply chains. A particular focus will be concentrated at the outset on the sectors targeted by the Circular Economy Action Plan, such as packaging, textiles, electronics, ICT and especially plastics.
- Initiate a pilot for early implementation of the data strategy in the context of the 'zero pollution ambition' to harvest the potential of a data-rich policy domain with data on aspects such as chemicals, air, water and soil emissions, hazardous substances in consumer products.
A high precision model of the Earth
In addition to these, the Commission has also launched the ‘Destination Earth’ initiative, which we had the chance to introduce during our 5th of February Workshop in Brussels (under its previous name 'Mission Earth'), thanks to Kay Binder from the Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG Connect).
The 'Destination Earth' initiative will bring together European scientific and industrial excellence to develop a high precision digital model of the Earth. This ground-breaking initiative will offer a digital modelling platform to visualise, monitor and forecast natural and human activity on the planet, in support of sustainable development. This will consequently support Europe’s efforts for a better environment as set out in the Green Deal. The digital twin of the Earth will be constructed progressively, starting in 2021.