Open Data and data integration for better public service delivery

INNOCAP project's Capacity Building Programme aims to train partners on disruptive technologies to provide enhanced public services.


INNOCAP project partners have virtually met for the second session of their Capacity Building Programme, guided by partners from the Insight Centre - University of Galway (Ireland). This programme aims to prepare the partnership to lead the implementation of four pilots in Västernorrland (Sweden), South Iceland, Donegal (Ireland) and South Savo (Finland), that will engage with 120 users of the services developed.

This second session has focused on the benefits of data integration and open data. During the first part of the virtual workshop, INNOCAP partners have listened to four experts from Ireland who have a big expertise on the field. The session has commenced with Simon Tricker, Urban TIDE Co-Founder, explaining how they link cross-sector data to deliver unique value. Simon has presented their Artificial Intelligence (AI) methodology to help organisations unite data, reduce carbon emissions, develop sustainable transport and decrease energy use. He has highlighted that without a license, the data can't be reused and the partnership needs to ensure the openness according to European directives. 

Afterwards, Fionntan O'Donnell, Derilinx Head of Data Advisory, has shared how they help public bodies to publish high-quality and reusable Open Data. According to the Founder and Director Deirdree Lee, they are "passionate about releasing the potential of data that is currently locked away in government agencies. Public-sector data can, and should, be used to drive decision-making, fuel innovation and inspire change; but this data can also be difficult to source and needs to be of high quality to be useful". Their colleague, Programme Manager Louis Corrigan, shared another good example, the Public Service Data Catalogue, that promotes openness and transparency when managing data held by the Government of Ireland.

"Unstructured data is messy", affirmed Agustin Garcia Pereira, Senior Software Engineer at Galvia. He spoke to the partnership about data challenges, data integration techniques, predictive analytics and data integration for virtual assistant. He explained the process of extracting raw data from a source, standardising it through various transformations and loading it into a centralised database.

Progress on the four INNOCAP pilots
During the second part of the session, the partnership discussed on the definition of their pilots. The review commenced with Elísabet Björney and the 'Waste Data Hub' project that Association of Municipalities of South Iceland is developing through INNOCAP. Icelandic partners are connecting waste service providers to a joint database for municipality based on their billing system.

The discussion continued with Toni Ryynänen from University of Helsinki and their service for the city of Mikkeli using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to develop a social innovation led service for decision-making on digital and green transition.

Partners from Association of Local Authorities in Västernorrland are building a digital innovation platform supporting idea creation processes among the workers from Örnsköldsvik municipality. Osman Saidabdala explained to the partnership the process they have in mind to collect and support development ideas.

Last but not least, Daragh McDonough from Donegal County Council presented their case where they will tackle flooding issues by using IoT technologies for better selection on the application of engineering solutions. 

The session showed a great potential for peer transnational collaboration in specific technologies and areas where some partners hold a significant expertise.