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Today begins the 4th International Open Data Conference

October 6, 2016 by IODC0
  • The fourth edition of IODC16 convenes more than 1,500 guests from a hundred countries that will participate in the most relevant international meeting about open data.
  • The Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Information Society has highlighted the opportunity and recognition that this Conference brings to Spain.
  • The event deepens in the international roadmap started by the Open Data for Development Network in the 2015 Ottawa edition.  
  • The geographic location of Spain and its reputation as a leading country in the open data field have been crucial for its election as the base of this year’s edition.

Thursday, October 6, 2016. Víctor Calvo-Sotelo, Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Information Society, opened the 4th International Open Data Conference, IODC16, which will close tomorrow Friday, October 7, at the IFEMA Convention Center (Madrid, Spain). During his intervention, Mr. Calvo-Sotelo, highlighted the opportunity and recognition that the celebration of this internationally recognized gathering of the global open data community brings to Spain. IODC16, under the motto ‘Global goals, local impact,’ has been organized by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, along with the World Bank, the International Development and Research Centre (IDRC) and the Open Data for Development Network (OD4D).

The Secretary of State was accompanied onstage by the Councilman of Citizen Participation, Transparency and Open Government at the Madrid Town Council, Pablo Soto; the Director of Technology and Innovation at the International Development and Research Centre (IDRC), Naser Faruqui; the Director of the World Bank’s Development Data Group, Haishan Fu, and the Acting Director of the European Commission, Javier Hernández-Ros.

During his intervention, the Secretary of State insisted on the need for a thorough learning during the course of the Conference so as to promote the data-opening concept and data reuse as determining elements for the economic development and as a high-value service for the citizen. In this line, Mr. Calvo-Sotelo indicated that the open data sector has a direct impact on the Spanish economy of about 1,600 million Euros. 700 million of these plus 5,000 job positions were directly related with public databases in 2015.

He also highlighted the improvement of public services, estimating that data reuse allows saving 7,000 lives per year, as it improves health response, reducing the waiting-time for finding a parking spot by 2,549 hours, or reducing energy consumption by 16%, among many other purposes.

The other authorities intervening in the opening ceremony have also addressed the role of public administrations in the release of information, which helps creating a large number of opportunities to generate new business models and provides the citizen with added value, such as the mapping of areas prone to flooding; where public money goes; the destination of donations during a natural disaster; the visualization of market prices for medicines; the offer of local information, such as the quantity of available parking spots; air quality or noise levels, among others.

An ambitious multi-topic programme

IODC16 convenes more than 1,500 participants coming from more than a hundred countries who will attend the 82 sessions scheduled during the event. More than 330 experts from 50 different countries will show their work and reflections on the importance of open data as a high-value asset in 24 sectors including healthcare, environment, journalism, agriculture, education, transport or smart cities.

Among the issues addressed, there is the analysis of the role of the international roadmap elaborated by the Open Data for Development Network (OD4D) during the previous edition held in Ottawa, and how debates at IODC16 can promote a greater local impact.

Economy and businesses are other topics of interest at the Conference, with sessions gathering corporate executives from multinationals such as Telefónica or Amazon Web Services, along with representatives of the Open Data Institute and the World Bank.

During the sessions, participants will also assess the challenges and opportunities that open data can generate to achieve an optimal use of production and extend the use of official statistics to support the Sustainable Development Objectives (SDO).

Also, adding to the abovementioned information, the sessions will address the management of natural resources through the promotion of environmental data, the provision of services in healthcare and education, fiscal transparency through open budget data, the access to information through proactive divulgation of the fight against corruption, besides highlighting the opportunities presented by the Open Government Partnership (OGP) to extend and deepen in those efforts.

Global regional initiatives

At IODC16 there is also a space to know the different open data projects being executed on the main existing interest areas. This way, regional talks have specialists coming from everywhere in the world.

Madrid, open data capital

The election of Madrid as the host city of the event is motivated by its privileged geographical location, which has helped to promote the participation of North Africa and Latin America in IODC16. Also, Spain is one of the leading member states in open data and a reference for other countries, as indicated in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report ‘Government at a glance,’ which places the country in sixth position. Likewise, the Open Data Barometer, developed by the Web Foundation, place Spain in 31th position in a total of 86 countries, meaning an advancement of four position during this past two years.


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