The evolution of open data, from pioneering to data governance

Misiunea Apollo 13, lansată în aprilie 1970, s-a transformat imediat într-o luptă pentru supraviețuire.  Rezervoarele de oxigen au explodat, urmând faimoasa misiune de salvare. Lumea întreagă își ținea respirația, în timp ce de la o distanță de 200.000 de mile se căutau soluții pentru problemele tehnice. Inginerii și astronauții au lucrat împreună pentru a-și da seama cum să manevreze și să navigheze o navă spațială grav avariată, să găsească modalități inovatoare de conservare a energiei, oxigenului și apei și, în cele din urmă, să descopere cum să repornească un modul de comandă care nu fusese proiectat pentru a fi oprit în spațiu.

Open data represents a vast field, but with major potential still unexplored, thus limiting the profound transformation of society. But if used effectively, this data can help create more prosperous and stronger societies. The solution lies in adopting and fully capitalizing on these open data opportunities, supported by researchers, policy makers, entrepreneurs and activists.

The origin of the concept of open data can be traced back to the roots of scientific practice, when the idea of ​​freely sharing information for the common benefit was championed by pioneers such as Robert King Merton, a prestigious sociologist who in the 1940s advocated free access to knowledge. The International Geophysical Year of 1957-1958 also emphasized the importance of open access to research results.
Over time, the term “open data” became part of the official vocabulary, reflecting the desire to enable the transparent sharing of scientific information globally.
This evolution was influenced by the convergence of scientific ethics and the principles of free and open-source software.
With the exponential growth of data and the emergence of new and innovative technologies, the need for effective data governance is becoming increasingly crucial. Data governance processes are essential to ensure the responsible and ethical use of these resources, including machine learning algorithms. and other AI tools.

Data-driven innovation

Data innovations are revolutionizing industries from healthcare to entertainment. Organizations are using data in a variety of creative ways, from planning travel and personalizing entertainment to improving agricultural production and monitoring educational progress. From medical record security to supply chain optimization and energy performance monitoring, data is the key to progress in many fields.
Data innovations continue to change the world and will continue to play a critical role in the development of the industry for years to come. For example, health data can improve personalized treatments and help cure rare or chronic diseases, saving significant resources in the health sector and ensuring a more effective response to global health crises, an example being the COVID-19 pandemic.
Science and technological development are currently influenced by four main directions. First, technological advances, including the ability to collect and process large data (Big Data), generate increased needs for high-performance computing and raise challenges related to digital data management. Second, the management of scientific research faces challenges such as managing the large volume and diversity of data, as well as funding and societal demands on solving major problems. Thirdly, society becomes increasingly involved in research, and citizens play an increasingly active role in research activities, especially in data collection, contributing to the achievement of sustainable development goals and increasing the social relevance of science. Finally, businesses adopt innovations to become more competitive, investing in high-risk research and providing products and services that benefit society.
Specialized reports, such as those produced by Data Services or McKinsey Digital, highlight at the same time the critical importance of data quality and governance. With 95% of Fortune 1000 executives citing cultural factors as barriers to big data adoption, only 3% of data processed by companies meeting quality standards, the need for robust governance is evident and 70% of those surveyed saying they spend 10 or more hours per week processing data. data, the data governance market is expected to grow in the coming years, reaching USD 5.28 billion by 2026.
By effectively managing and sharing data, the industry can develop innovative products and services, streamlining many sectors of the economy and making them more sustainable. Data sharing facilitates better policy making in the public sector, leading to more transparent governance and more efficient public services.

Open science in Europe and the world

At the European and international level, there is a strong trend towards the adoption of open science practices, which aims at the deeper integration of scientific results into the development of society through open access to publications and research data and through the involvement of citizens in the process of research and innovation (citizen science). Adaptation of researcher evaluation and reward systems is essential for the implementation of open science specific practices.
These efforts are supported at the European Union level through programs such as Horizon Europe 2021-2027 and are also promoted by international organizations such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The European Union will stimulate the development of reliable data sharing systems, facilitating the re-use of public sector data, supporting data intermediaries, ensuring access to data for citizens and businesses and promoting cross-border data sharing.
The European Data Governance Law, which entered into force on 23 June 2022, is a key pillar of the European Data Strategy. Its aim is to increase trust in data sharing, to strengthen mechanisms for increasing its availability and to overcome technical obstacles to its reuse. The law will contribute to the establishment and development of Common European Data Spaces in strategic areas, involving both private and public actors from all sectors.
In addition to the European initiative, the adoption of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science has resulted in the doubling of the number of countries with open science policies in the last two years. UNESCO’s Open Science Recommendation provides an international framework for open science policy and practice that aims to reduce technology and knowledge divides between and within countries. The Recommendation outlines a common definition and shared values, principles and standards for open science internationally and proposes actions to support fair and equitable open science for all at individual, institutional, national, regional and international levels. The initiative represents the first attempt to assess the state of open science globally. These insights highlight the existing disparities within open science and the need to act to ensure equitable access to knowledge and resources for all actors in the field.

Open science in Romania

Although concrete policies at the national level for free access to research results are lacking, there are national-level support initiatives for the adoption of open science policy through the Open Government Partnership’s National Action Plan. In June 2022, the Romanian Parliament adopted Law no. 179/2022 on open data and the reuse of information in the public sector, which provides for free access to data from publicly funded research, respecting the principles of FAIR and compatibility with the principle “as open as possible, but as closed as necessary”.
Also, the Institutional Development Fund and the National Strategy for Research, Innovation and Smart Specialization 2022-2027 include concrete measures to support the transition to open science, including promoting free access to publications and research data, developing institutional capacity and implementing a national mechanism for support for open science.
In addition, initiatives such as RO-NOSCI and the National Open Science Portal are examples of efforts to strengthen the academic and research community in the open science movement, facilitating access to resources and promoting policies in this regard. Through the Open Science Knowledge Hub Romania (OSKH) group, dialogue and collaboration is promoted at the national and international level to support open science initiatives.

Green eDIH contributes to the creation of an inclusive digital society

In the context of open science and data-driven innovation, Green eDIH plays a crucial role in promoting the sustainability and responsible use of digital technologies. An important aspect of Green eDIH’s activity is encouraging the adoption of environmentally friendly practices and technologies in various fields, such as energy, agriculture, transport and industry. By integrating data and digital technologies in these sectors, Green eDIH contributes to optimizing processes and reducing the negative impact on the environment.
In addition to promoting sustainability, Green eDIH also has an important role in encouraging open research and cross-border collaboration in digital innovation. By organizing events, workshops and collaborative projects, Green eDIH supports the exchange of best practices and expertise between various communities and contributes to the development of a strong and competitive European digital ecosystem, by organizing events, workshops and collaborative projects. Thus, Green eDIH is an essential partner in the efforts to promote an inclusive, sustainable and innovative digital society.

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