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The European Commission is to make its data publicly and openly available through a new data portal, along the lines of those already used by national governments such as http://data.gov.uk/. Like http://data.gov.uk/ the new site will be based on the open-source CKAN Data Portal Software developed by the Open Knowledge Foundation.

The Foundation will also be one of the partners in the project to build the site; the project’s official press release is below. See also the announcement on the CKAN blog.


TenForce, the Open Knowledge Foundation and InfAI to develop European Commission open data portal

Open data will encourage re-use, improving transparency, policy-making and growth

The European Commission (EC) has awarded a contract to create an open data portal website, where data produced by European Commission services will be freely available. Belgian company TenForce
will lead the project to deliver the portal, supported by Leipzig University’s Institute for Applied Computer Science (InfAI), and UK-based non-profit the Open Knowledge Foundation.

Users will be able to search for information in a flexible range of ways, for example by subject area, country, and region, and to visualise the data or download it for re-use in research, campaigns or commercial applications. The EC and the contracted partners will run workshops and other outreach activities, to raise awareness of and interest in the data among companies, researchers, journalists and
policy groups.

The site will be based on open source software components including Drupal and CKAN. CKAN is a powerful data portal software package written by the Open Knowledge Foundation; it is already used to catalogue freely-available data from a number of governments, both within and beyond the EU. As well as viewing or downloading the raw data, users will be able to view it by way of sophisticated graphic
visualisations developed by InfAI. TenForce will be responsible for the overall management, the architecture of the portal, store deployment and taxonomy management and some of the integration



1 Background
On 12 December 2011 the European Commission presented an Open Data Strategy for Europe setting out clearer rules on making the best use of government-held information. The proposed Open Data Strategy will make it easier for business and citizens to find and re-use information held by public sector bodies in the Member States and by the Commission itself. Primarily, the Commission plans to update the 2003 Directive on the re-use of public sector information. The Commission has also updated its own re-use rules so as to make its data available in machine-readable format and to include data from research by the Joint Research Centre. In 2012 the Commission will launch a web portal making it easy for industry and citizens to search for Commission data. More information here and here.
2. TenForce
TenForce BVBA is a Belgian software company specialized in the design, development and delivery of practical solutions to complex problems. TenForce has years of international experience in knowledge management, and an in depth expertise in emerging technologies. Besides designing, marketing and supporting its flagship product – a web-based management environment for project and operational activities – it conducts several projects on a European scale focusing on modelling complex systems for publishing solutions. Contact: Bastiaan Deblieck, bastiaan.deblieck@tenforce.com , +32 16 31 48 60.
3. InfAI
InfAI is an institute of the University of Leipzig, one of the oldest (founded 1409) and largest (30.000 students) universities in Germany. InfAI hosts the world class Knowledge Engineering Research Group (http://aksw.org), which is establishing theoretical results and scalable implementations for the field of knowledge engineering. The group’s tools and services enjoy considerable popularity: the open-source Semantic Web framework OntoWiki, for example, is downloaded more than 500 times a month, and applied in cases ranging from creating biomedical ontologies to knowledge management for business. Contact: Sören Auer, auer@informatik.uni-leipzig.de
4. Open Knowledge Foundation
The Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF) is a not-for-profit organization founded in 2004, dedicated to promoting open knowledge in all its forms. It builds tools and communities with a network of international leaders in this field. Projects include CKAN, a data portal that powers the UK government’s http://data.gov.uk/ and the pan-European http://publicdata.eu/ and several dozen other government and community data sites around the world; and the OpenSpending — which maps government and corporate spending around the world. The Foundation runs forums, workshops and an annual conference drawing together representatives from across the knowledge society – from academics and public servants to entrepreneurs and web developers. Contact: Laura James, laura.james@okfn.org.
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Mark is the Open Knowledge Foundation's Open Data Evangelist. Follow him at @opendatamark on Twitter.