Lots of companies are pouring huge sums of money into areas connected to Big Data. But you’d have a tough time finding one that made a bigger bet in 2014 on Big Data than the European Union.
Yes, the EU. The continent where bureaucrats and politicians worry about privacy and the power of some tech companies. But rather than running away from Big Data, they are diving right in.
The EU has established an ambitious public-private partnership with European data companies and is backing it up with $3.04 billion in funding. About 20% of that will come from the EU, and the remainder will come from a group of European tech companies that belong to the Big Data Value Association.
According to the EU Commission announcement, the money will go toward “public, private and academic research efforts to support research and innovation in game-changing big data ideas in fields such as energy, manufacturing and health to deliver services like personalised medicine, food logistics and predictive analytics.”
The EU justified the investment with some incredible numbers:
- The world generates 1.7 billion bytes of data every minute
- That’s 6 megabytes per person, every day.
- Data-related industries are growing 40% annually, 7 times faster than the rest of the tech industry.
- Big Data tech and services will “create hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the coming years.”
For a region like the EU, which has seen relatively weak job growth in recent years, grabbing hold of one of the fastest growing sectors make sense. What will be interesting to watch is whether a strong role and investment by government, coupled by private backing, will help accelerate the EU’s Big Data industry and become a model for others to follow — or a cautionary tale.
Image credit: Dennis Skley
Posted in Big Data by Lisa PetrucciLisa Petrucci is Vice President of Dun & Bradstreet Global Alliances and Partnerships.