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Tuesday, 08 January 2019 17:10

VALENCIA.DATA digital ecosystem empowers citizens in the use of their data and allows them to become potential entrepreneurs

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We are living in moments of change and transformation. The term digital transformation is a wide concept that affects the way in which technologies provoke changes in the relationships between people, robots, machines, objects, etc. VALENCIA.DATA aims to improve the people’s wellbeing and life-quality through this digital transformation, while increasing the competitiveness of products and services offered by the Valencian business sector.

To reach these goals, the future Valencian digital ecosystem, VALENCIA.DATA, must be capable of incorporating, as its main asset, relevant personal information, making it available to industrial and service companies, public services, government and mainly to the citizens themselves as potential entrepreneurs.

The creation of a digital ecosystem that empowers citizens in the use of their data will turn into a competitive advantage for the Valencian Community. It will allow the development of innovative companies in digital technologies and services, counting on qualified professionals, which will provide solutions to other local and international companies. These innovative businesses will have to lean on universities and research organizations to turn this plentiful information from people, objects and environments into valuable information for other companies and entities, even for end users. Following global trends, the concepts of big data and IoT will change to smart data and Internet of very important things.

People will become active main characters needed in this digital transformation, obtaining benefits for its life quality while creating value to public and private productive and service sectors. VALENCIA.DATA is a responsible and social committed project with a high business impact facilitating the birth of new companies and the innovation in products and services offered by the existing ones.


The digital era is bringing us a series of procedures of data “creation” and gathering about people. This data is a very valuable resource in order to obtain a more detailed knowledge of specific habits, preferences and needs of people to improve the selling strategy. According to World Economic Forum, personal data is becoming in a new type of economic asset, with great value and impact in society[i].

Companies and organizations are investing in big data technology more every day as a consequence and effect, the data volume being created grow exponentially, as seen in Figure 1. This is done in order to gather huge and complex datasets which, exploited by statistics and mathematics professionals, have shown to be very useful and valuable to detect trends and extract behavioural patterns related to buying and profitability.

Figure 1 Volume of information created worldwide. Source: STATISTA[i]

Companies, for example, to know how to focus their campaigns or how to design its coming product collection, appreciate this information. Even, a new actor has been created and it is based on the exploitation of private personal data obtained through their internet trail. Data brokers sell data to companies and organizations. However, people have little or no control on how their personal data is created and used by companies, governments or data brokers. Recently a new European regulation has entered into force on privacy and personal data protection, stricter than the previous legislation[i]. It is expected to improve the control of the citizens over their data, given that companies are now forced to inform the user about the cession of their data to third parties, amongst others.  

From the different initiatives, which use different personal data, fluxes, to turn them into valuable sources of information for the decision-making process focused on the wellbeing improvement, some examples are:

♦ Mydata[ii]: A Nordic model (Finish), whose central principle is that people must have an easier way to watch where their data is going, to specify who can use them and modify these decisions through time. It is an “Open Data” network, formed by businessmen, activists, academicians, companies, public agencies and developers with one common objective: empower people with their personal data, helping them and their communities to develop knowledge, making informed decisions and interacting in a more conscious and efficient way between organizations and them.

♦ CitizenDataLab[iii]: Research laboratory from Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Digital Media and Creative Industries, whose purpose is the resolution of social problematics through participative data practices: methods, focuses and co-creation tools to learn through personal data. In this laboratory, they share tools and results to boost the initiatives upstream and fairly. It is a common space where researchers, designers, developers, companies, students and citizens co-create to solve social problems.

♦ OpenIDEO[iv]: “Open Innovation” platform in which people from all over the world face in a collaborative way some of the most difficult global problems launching challenges, programmes and other customized experiences. This platform is based on the Design Thinking methodology from IDEO.

The mentioned platforms are oriented in three common principles as the basis of their conception:

♦ The digitalization must change the way of designing and developing products and services

♦ The digital transformation must include the entire society

♦ The generated products and services must integrate digital information from people

The work methodology is shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2 Citizen-focused work methodology of digital transformation

In our vision for the future platform, these principles only constitutes the third of the total requirements:

♦ Empowerment of the people. This is the only one related to the equivalent mentioned platforms. Their model can be seen in Figure 3[i]. This means an improvement in the control and management of the personal data (according to the compliance of the GDPR), while being participants on the design of products and services.

♦ Data usability. This is a reference for the standardization and processing of data for them to be compatible and interchangeable between applications and sectors.

♦ Data economy: It boosts the creation of innovative products and services based on the biometric characterization of people. It will stimulate new business models and the economic growth.

Figure 3 Generic model conception of the equivalent platforms. Source: Antti Poikola, Kai Kuikkaniemi, and
Ossi Kuitinen: My data – A Nordic Model for human-centered personal data management and processing


The main expected result from the project is the definition and launch of a digital ecosystem VALENCIA.DATA of management and use of relevant personal information that contributes to social wellbeing, which can be observed in the Figure 4. The project claims that the citizen can give access to different innovative agents included in the ecosystem (industrial companies, service companies, public services, government and above all citizens themselves as potential entrepreneurs).

Figure 4 VALENCIA.DATA: digital ecosystem person-oriented


It includes the gathering, classification and storing of personal data structure, as well as all the interfaces that the citizen, companies and other innovation agents need to access to the system. The platform will be compliant with the legal frame stablished in the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).


Another result of the project will be the launch of a laboratory of co-creation of products and services that allows the development of collective and collaborative dynamics with users of VALENCIA.DATA, as a part of the service and product catalogue of the entire system. It will be some common space where researchers, designers, developers, companies, students and citizens will co-create in order to solve social and business problems.


The innovation as a key factor of competitiveness is determining to maintain and increase the market share from the companies that, as product manufacturers or service provider of high benefit, will generate qualified work in those regions in which they are being implemented.

The relationships generated between companies, organizations and users in the process of digital transformation will provoke an increment of that competitiveness before mentioned.

All these intangible outcomes have consequences in society that will be materialised as detailed next:

♦ In terms of citizenship, the ecosystem will bring the opportunity to turn them in managers of their individual and personal data, with the possibility of exploiting them. This is beginning of a society where people could find more customized products and services focused on them, according to the data they are generating and sharing.

♦ In terms of regional entrepreneurial framework, the ecosystem will prepare them to design and develop business models based on the advanced exploitation of individual and personal data. Consequently, they will generate added value goods and services for customers. Besides, they will be able to know in which particular situation their organizational structure is, in order to plan some possible changes and adjustments necessaries for their imminent connection to the 4.0 industry sector. VALENCIA.DATA ecosystem will also give them the opportunity to acquire flexibility to their productive structures.

This is only the first initial and local display; however, the ecosystem aims to grow to a global range, as users data can be collected through omnipresent or delocalized systems, according to the different cases. So the scalability is evident, existing the possibility of replicate the models in other interesting final markets, helping the companies to open new starting points of commercialization and improving their exterior stats.








[vii] Anti Poikola, Kai Kuikkaniemi, and Ossi Kuitinen: My data – A Nordic Model for human-centered personal data management and processing

Read 24152 times Last modified on Wednesday, 09 January 2019 09:32




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