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European Commission forms €2.5bn big data partnership

Says mastering data will lead to better health outcomes
digi-blog

The European Commission is to start working with firms such as Nokia, SAP and Siemens as part of a €2.5bn public-private big data partnership.

The Commission says the partnership, which it expects to be up and running next year, will help focus public, private and academic research efforts in areas including health – where it could underpin new services in personalised medicine.

The European Commission's vice president of the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes said "Data is the motor and foundation of the future economy. Every kind of organisation needs the building blocks to boost their performance, from farm to factory, from the lab to the shop floor."

Big data has been gaining traction in healthcare for some time and recent years have seen IBM investigate healthcare applications for its supercomputer Watson - for which its partners include Belgium pharma firm UCB.

Another company looking to harness big data is GlaxoSmithKline, which has been with the UK's Hartree Centre on 'disease mapping' by looking at a wide array of source data from journals and other records to identify correlations between genes, biological processes and known diseases.

The Commission said that mastering data will lead to, among other things, better health outcomes by helping doctors make the right choices more quickly, on the basis of information collected by other medical staff. It also expect further benefits for patients in terms of helping them be better informed about health care providers.

The public-private partnership will see the Commission put in more than €500m of investment over the five years to 2020, with its private partners expected to put in over €2bn.

As well as helping lay the foundations for the thriving data-driven economy of the future, the Commission says the partnership will also support 'Innovation Spaces' offering secure environments for experimenting with both private and open data. These will also act as business incubators and hubs for the development of skills and best practices.

11th November 2014

From: Healthcare

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