VRT challenges startups and SMEs in big data for European project


For a European project, VRT is looking for 50 startups and SMEs to solve a big data challenge. Those interested could receive up to €100K. The project, called EDI,  has a €5 million fund to foster the data economy in Europe.

EDI, the European Data Incubator


EDI is an incubation programme, run by 20 partners across Europe, among which VRT, that gives startups and SMEs the chance to grow their business. Therefore, EDI offers real-life challenges from European corporates in different sectors. With the help of up to €100K equity-free funding and a dedicated coach, the programme takes startups through 3 intense phases of growth over eight months. During that period, they are able to participate in different workshops and trainings, meet other European startups working on big data, and gain access to tools and sets of data to improve their product or service.

The challenge from VRT

Until the 19th of June, startups and SMEs can apply by proposing their own challenge, with or without using an EDI data set, or solve an existing challenge. As one of the project partners, VRT has defined two different challenges for startups:

  • Automatically tagging news articles
    VRT’s news website VRT NWS produces around one hundred stories every day, most of which are in Dutch. These stories are currently labelled under broad categories. For various purposes, such as recommendations and archiving, metadata is necessary. The challenge is to develop a system capable of assigning meaningful and detailed tags to VRT’s news stories, based on the content.
  • Make synthetic data for safe sharing with third parties
    VRT optimizes its online services, by using among others big data applications. This technology is often developed by specialized companies that only have access to anonymized data, for privacy reasons. VRT enters strict contracts about the usage of its data with reliable partners. However, in order to exclude all risks, VRT wants to replace the shared datasets with synthetic data. These have the same statistical properties as the real data, but cannot be traced back to the user, as there are no real users behind it. The challenge here is to develop a system that creates synthetic data, based on real data, that can be shared safely with third parties.

Are you a startup or SME working on big data? Interested in growing your business by solving a challenge? Then apply here.

More information on the project can be found on edincubator.eu.


Related projects