The Netherlands: National Initiative

On the 28 June 2016 as part of a two-track all day event at the Amsterdam Science Park called "Be Prepared for Big Data in the Cloud" EDISON ran an afternoon session focused on the idea of initiating national action plans for accelerating and coordinating activity in the area of Data Science professional trainign and education taking advantage of the EDISON Data Science Framework. 

Workshop organization and experiences

Summary of the event:

  • The University of Amsterdam designed the workshop organization. However, the task benefitted from the involvement of another stakeholder in order to broaden th impact  and privide help with organisation and publicity for such a national workshop. In the Netherlands such support and organizational assistance came from Neth-ER, the Dutch scientific and educational representation in ‘Brussels’.
  • The workshop was on ‘invitation only’ in order to promote exclusivity and thus ensure potential commitment. An additional pro was that the resulting group was small enough to have strong engagement in the discussions from all participants.
  • The workshop agenda started with a few appetizing introductions, followed by a panel discussion with key stakeholders. This followed our workshop agenda:
    • General introduction by Paul Timmers, a DG-CNECT director (in other countries any good speaker can act as such to attract the people you want attending)
    • Setting the scene by private entrepreneur, with our ELG member Jasper de Vries presenting a strong story about the impact of data called “This is Why”.
    • Landscape overview by the representative of the recent established Data Science Platform Netherlands, currently a cooperation of the universities running or starting a data science Masters curriculum together with the national research council.
    • Panel discussion with representatives from EDISON, another relevant EU project, the Data Science Platform Netherlands, the Ministry, and from the business sector.
  • The discussions revealed that many initiatives were quite young and participants didn't know each other. In this respect it was a crucial workshop to bring them together with a common agenda as proposed by EDISON. Several suggestions were made from current activities to work for example together with targeted networks, with city initiatives, with research infrastructures, and so on. Moreover, this assisted in identifying potential leaders to follow up with next actions.
  • From the Dutch perspective, we will follow this up to secure that the heritage of EDISON will be taken up by national organisations, bodies, and persons in order to realize the EDISON ambitions nationally.