The Big Data Test Infrastructure (BDTI) was created by the European Commission in 2019 and is part of the Digital Europe Programme (DEP). With a planned overall budget of €7.5 billion, the DEP aims to accelerate the economic recovery and shape the digital transformation of Europe’s society and economy, increasing the availability, quality and usability of public sector information in compliance with the requirement of the Open Data Directive.
The DEP is one of the activities supporting the implementation of the European Data Strategy, adopted by the European Commission in 2020, which aims to create a single market for data, ensuring that more data becomes available for use in the economy and society in Europe, keeping the companies and individuals who generate the data in control of them.
In response to the public consultation on the European Strategy for Data, the European Commission published the Data Governance Act in 2020, which is intended to foster a framework to facilitate data sharing across the EU and between sectors. During February 2022, the commission presented a new Data Act, which complements the Data Governance Act, regulating who can access and use data generated in the EU in all economic sectors and under which conditions.
BDTI provides a free of charge cloud-based analytics test environment for Public Administrations in the European Member States to experiment with open-source tools and to prototype solutions before deploying them in the production environment on their own premises. Any Public Administration at any level can request to use BDTI to perform analysis and experiments on their public sector information, for a period of six months, completely for free. The test environment provided by the BDTI consists of several open-source solutions, data sources and the required cloud infrastructure that includes the virtual machines, analytics clusters, storage facilities and networking facilities. BDTI offers the opportunity of starting to get insights from PAs public information, understanding how they can move towards data-driven decision making.