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May 12, 2017

Open Data is Key to Innovation

Did you know that Open Data and Open Access are the main drivers for innovation nowadays?

Open Data is data that can be freely used, shared and modified by anyone for any purpose. Whereas, Open Access is about research outputs that are free of all restrictions on access and use.

According to many studies the impact of Open Data for innovation and economic development is so huge that many countries are now rushing to make data available to researchers, businesses and consumers. A global movement is underway to bring Open Data everywhere.

Over the last year, in my capacity as Professor I have played an active role on campus advocating for Open Access and Open Data among the university students in Kosovo.  Open Data will enhance the mission to advance Kosovo towards a more prosperous information society that embraces technology for education and development of its youth. Open Data projects and initiatives in Kosovo will engage the youth to embrace the culture of openness using technology. It will further advance the education and economic development of Kosovo using technology and the Internet.

Thanks to IPKO Foundation I had the opportunity to attend a global conference on catalyzing action towards Open Data held at the American University in Washington DC. This was an amazing opportunity to exchange experiences in Open Data with peers from all over the world. The goal of the conference was to catalyze action regarding Open Data in all countries. I’m so glad that Kosovo is catching up in the developments regarding Open Data and Open Access in the same time as it is building its statehood.

The impact of Open Data in Kosovo’s society and economy remains to be seen in the coming years as the country has just started to implement its Open Data Action Plan from the government side and the demand for Open Data is increasing from the civil society side. Open Data allows improved public services, more citizen participation, improved transparency and above all, economic growth and innovation.

Open Data has a large potential economic value from its benefits, including new products and services, and a consumer surplus. It benefits consumers even more than businesses, by creating price and product transparency as well as new channels to provide feedback that improves the quality of goods and services. Taking into account that the majority of Kosovo population are young and technology savvy I’m very optimist what the future holds and this optimism is only strengthened with the activities surrounding Open Data from the IPKO Foundation, which shall be increased in the future.