The Data Harvest Report – sharing data for knowledge, jobs and growth

You are here

The Data Harvest Report – sharing data for knowledge, jobs and growth
03 Dec 2014

The Data Harvest Report – sharing data for knowledge, jobs and growth

From small seeds great things can grow. Take the invention of the World Wide Web, which scientists kick-started by sharing information. 

Now a new seed is germinating. Once again it’s the scientific community that has planted it, and again, sharing is the mother of ingenuity – specifically, the need to share and exploit the vast new data sets of the 21st century science.

Data scientists are helping us build the global, virtual, digital libraries of the future, preserving all the outputs of research so they can be re-used by anyone, anywhere, anytime. 

This is the future of science - a virtual science library spanning the world, where the vital catalyst is the ability to share data, in huge volumes, over vast distances, across disciplines and institutions. And then analyse, re-interpret, re-use and re-think it. And the future also belongs to small businesses creating new data products. 

What we are planting now is the seed corn for new knowledge. 

Wise policies are needed to make sure the data is accessible across disciplines and countries, to have the right skill sets, to develop new software and hardware, and, perhaps most importantly of all, foster institutional change. 

Why should we care? The data harvest is for every one of us, whether you’re a scientist or not. New developments will create jobs, revenues and economic growth. While there is a cost involved in the short term, there is compelling evidence that economic return is significant – however it is measured. 

Data can and must become a recipe for a competitive Europe.

European leaders, including its new Commissioners and Parliamentarians, must act now to be the politicians who committed to the Next Big Thing. 

We, European members of the Research Data Alliance, an international effort to stimulate and coordinate work on data, propose seven key Do’s and Don’ts:

1. Do require a data plan, and show it is being implemented. 

2. Do promote data literacy across society, from researcher to citizen.

3. Do develop incentives and grants for data sharing, and use Horizon2020 also for this.

4. Do develop tools and policies to build trust and data-sharing. 

5. Do support international collaboration.

6. Don’t regulate what we don’t yet understand.

7. Don’t stop what has begun well – continue to support the effort, expense and brainpower that will make the harvest abundant for all to enjoy.

Download the report  here -

The report was officially launched at the Research Data Alliance and global Data and Computing e-Infrastructure challenges event, Rome 11 December 2014  and many of the topics covered in the report were part of the agenda.  

The Data Harvest: How sharing research data can yield knowledge, jobs and growth. An RDA Europe  report December 2014. In October 2010, the High Level Group on Scientific Data presented the "Riding the Wave,” report to the European Commission outlining a series of policy recommendations on how Europe could gain from the rising tide of scientific data. Over 4 years later, a team of European experts have generated this new report to outline how Europe must act now to secure it’s standing in future data markets. It offers recommendations to European policy makers while outlining the benefits and challenges. The seeds have been sown. Now is the time to plan the harvest. For more information:


PDF icon The Data Harvest Final.pdf3.22 MB