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Innovative Data Environment @ Styria: Styria is developing an efficient and safe data infrastructure.

The Austrian region of Styria will organise a roundtable entitled “The Innovative Data Environment @ Styria”, which will take place at 10 AM CEST on Wednesday, 25 May 2022, at the Permanent Mission of Austria in Brussels. The meeting will present how the Austrian region of Styria is developing an infrastructure that enables efficient, safe and sustainable use of all kinds of data, particularly data held by relevant public institutions such as universities, healthcare providers and administrations.

The efficiency and competitiveness of public institutions, such as universities, health care providers, administration and private companies, increasingly depend on the availability of an infrastructure that enables the efficient, safe and sustainable use of all kinds of data. This need is currently being met in Styria through several initiatives, but only a few actors are involved. As a result of this fragmented approach, Styria, like most other EU regions, faces far-reaching problems. Among other things, similar issues are dealt with in parallel so that valuable synergies cannot be exploited and insular solutions are developed, enabling data interoperability and thus further cooperation only to a minimal extent.

Despite the emergence of many interested stakeholders, the advantage of „economies of scale“, which is particularly important for data infrastructures, cannot be used with current approaches. Another aspect is the high infrastructure expenditure for individual initiatives, which means that EU funding can only be raised to a limited extent, as technical performance in the region cannot be adequately guaranteed. To make matters worse, most initiatives focus on constructing a technical infrastructure and ignore the „human/social“ infrastructure. These include policies, training, support services, knowledge diffusion, governance, etc., within and across institutions across a region. Establishing a solid human/social infrastructure will help an integrated technical infrastructure succeed.

In the discussions of the Big Data Value Association and the High-Performance Computing Association, there has also been a recognition at the European level that, on the one hand, European infrastructures need to be built. Still, these must be complemented in regions with region-specific, domain-specific and agile infrastructures. To this end, regional infrastructures must incorporate the basic principles and standards of the central infrastructures and network them in the registers.

The above-average density of highly innovative companies in Europe, the automotive, Silicon Alps, eco and human technology clusters, the number of competence centres (especially the data-focused Centre Know-Center), universities and universities of applied sciences, as well as the highest R&D investment rate/GDP in the EU makes Styria one of the leading research and innovation locations.

Especially in research data management (RDM), there are already various activities at participating universities (e.g. Digital TU Graz), especially within the joint initiatives BioTechMed, AlpLab, BioBank BBMRI-ERIC, RRBM.at, etc. For example, unique data sets are available in the Medical University of Graz context, which are essential for companies to develop products. Therefore, a common strategy for data, information and knowledge management between universities, industry and public institutions is needed for the successful further development of Styria as a location for science and business.

Therefore a common strategy for data, information and knowledge management between universities, industry and public institutions is needed for the successful further development of Styria as a location for science and business. The overall goal of the Innovative Data Environment Styria Initiative is to increase the attractiveness of Styria as a research and development location. Implementing the Innovative Data Environment Styria project is intended to increase competitiveness for Styrian universities and the economy by establishing a secure, efficient, collaborative data infrastructure for the archiving, communication and processing of large amounts of data. This project also serves as a model for Austria and other innovative European regions.

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