The EDSA consortium is a well-balanced European consortium containing 9 partners from 6 European countries (UK, Germany, Sweden, Slovenia, The Netherlands and France). Partners represent universities (OU, KTH, SOUTHAMPTON, TU/e), research institutions (FRAUNHOFER, JSI) and SMEs (ODI, IDEXLAB SAS, Persontyle Limited) covering different forms of organisations.


The Open University (OU) is the UK’s largest university, with 250,000 students per year studying its courses. This number comprises 22% of all part-time higher education students in the UK. The OU is leading the FutureLearn initiative, aiming at delivering high quality MOOCs from a network of renowned UK universities. The OU offers a wide variety of Open Educational Resources (OERs) and opportunities to study these resources collaboratively online through projects such as OpenLearn. The OU is also one of the top global contributors of learning materials in iTunes U and a co- producer of popular BBC programmes, such as “DON’T PANIC – the truth about population”, hosted by Dr Hans Rosling, upon which a MOOC on Data visualisation for Development is being developed.

The Knowledge Media Institute (KMi) is a corporate R&D lab for the OU, set up in 1995 in recognition of the need to be at the forefront of research and development related to the convergence of knowledge and learning technologies and new media. Today KMi has round 70 personnel in its site within the OU campus in Milton Keynes engaged in over 100 projects, many with the EU. KMi staff have led and participated in a number of key TEL (Technology-Enhanced Learning) projects, including EUCLID, FORGE, ROLE, STELLAR, iCoper, OpenScout, TELMAP, and weSPOT. KMi researchers routinely collaborate in ensuring that ideas developed in highly strategic projects such as this one are deployed at scale, quickly and economically, and in ways that can be shared with the whole sector. Common threads in our work include Open Source, Open Research, Open Knowledge, Open Innovation and Open Content. One recent result from our research work is the world’s first comprehensive Linked Data portal for a higher education establishment.

The Knowledge Media Institute is one of the leading research centres in the area of Learning Analytics. In 2011 we co-founded the International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK) and in 2012 the Society for Learning Analytics Research.

Key personnel:

Prof. John Domingue
Director of the Knowledge Media Institute

Dr. Alexander Mikroyannidis
Research Associate in the Knowledge Media Institute

Aneta Tumilowicz
Administration Coordinator in the Knowledge Media Institute


The University of Southampton is one of the most prestigious in the United Kingdom. The university is truly international, drawing students from over 130 different countries and benefiting from a wide and varied culture. It is ranked in the top ten of research led universities in the UK, and participating in a high number of collaborative research projects and related initiatives. The largest school of its kind in the UK, Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) is internationally regarded for its world-leading and transformative research, and for its ability to define and develop new research directions. The school has a leading role in developments in the areas of Web Science and Linked Data including a Web Science Doctoral Training Centre and the prestigious Web and Internet Science (WAIS) research group, which is led by Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt. The WAIS group has around 140 members including academic and research staff, and undergraduate and postgraduate students. Members of the group have worldwide reputation in interdisciplinary research, knowledge transfer and community building. We helped to form the Web as it is today and are helping to evolve not only its technologies, but our understanding of it as an organic human-driven entity.

SOTON is the host of the Web Science Trust (WST), which is a charitable body with the aim of supporting the global development of Web Science through a network of world-class laboratories known as WSTnet. Sponsored by the Web Science Trust, the Web Observatory is a global not for profit institution with a secretariat at SOTON that can leverage the web science research resources of the 15 University labs affiliated with the Web Science Trust including locations in Brazil, China, Korea, Europe and US, and the existing partnerships with W3C and the Web Foundation.

Key personnel:

Dr. Elena Simperl
Senior Lecturer at the University of Southampton

Yunjia Li
Research Fellow at the University of Southampton

Prof. Sir Nigel Shadbolt
Head of the Web and Internet Science (WAIS) research group, Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton


Jožef Stefan Institute (JSI) is the leading research institution for the natural sciences in Slovenia with over 900 researchers within 25 departments working in the areas of computer science, physics, and chemistry and biology. The Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, with approximately 40 researchers, is one of the largest European research groups working in the areas of machine learning, data mining, language technologies, semantic technologies and sensor networks. The key research direction is combining modern statistical data analytic techniques with more semantic/logic based knowledge representations and reasoning techniques with the purpose to make progress in solving complex problems such as text understanding, large scale probabilistic reasoning, building broad coverage knowledge bases, and dealing with scale. The members have developed several software tools for multimodal data analysis, among others: the Text-Garden suite of text mining tools, the OntoGen system for ontology learning, the Document-Atlas for complex visualization, the AnswerArt system for semantic search over large textual databases, the Enrycher system for the semantic enrichment of textual data, the SearchPoint system for visual and contextualized Web browsing, XLing for cross-lingual matching and categorization across 100 languages, and Event Registry for global real-time media observatory. The Centre for Knowledge Transfer in Information Technologies has approximately ten researchers and technical staff working in the areas of research results dissemination and eLearning. In particular, the centre is well known through portals: VideoLectures.NET with multimedia materials of numerous scientific events, on-line training materials, and a collection of tutorials on different scientific fields; and www.IST-World.Org for the analysis and visualization of large bibliographic and project databases. The centre covers management, training and the dissemination activities of several EU projects.

Key personnel:

Marko Grobelnik
Expert in the areas of analysis and knowledge discovery in large complex databases

Mitja Jermol
Head of the Centre for knowledge Transfer at JSI

Dr. Dunja Mladenic
Researcher, project manager and head of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at JSI.

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V. has more than 20,000 employees, a 2 Billion Euro annual research budget and is considered to be one of the leading organisations for applied research world-wide. The Fraunhofer Institute for Analysis and Information Systems (IAIS) is the Fraunhofer Society’s “data institute” and one of the most renowned research institutions in the data science area, with an extremely strong track record in data mining, machine learning, semantic technologies, information retrieval and software engineering. The research results are documented through a vast number of publications (> 200 publications since 2010) in renowned conferences (e.g. KDD, ICML, ICDM, AAAI, UAI, IJCAI, ECML/PKDD, WWW, CIKM, Coling, IEEE VAST and ACM GIS) and leading journals (Machine Learning JMLR, data mining and knowledge discovery and ACM computing Surveys). IAIS staff are represented in all relevant organizational and editorial boards and program committees of relevant conferences (WWW, ICML, ISWC, ILP and ECML/PKDD).

In addition to the strong position in research IAIS has an outstanding track record in the exploitation and transfer of research results. In addition to application-oriented European research projects, this is demonstrated in particular through contractual research performed for customers in telecommunications (Vodafone and Nokia Siemens), financial services and insurance (Allianz and Commerzbank), publishers (Springer and Zeit), retail (Rewe and Douglas) and logistics (Deutsche Post). Through its business consultants networks and CRM database IAIS has strong ties to all large German companies and a significant share of Germany’s SMEs and startups.

IAIS employs 260 scientists, developers, project managers and business consultants. IAIS is a member of BITKOM, which represents Germany’s IT, telecommunication and digital media sectors, of the Networked European Software and Services Initiative (NESSI), and of the Smart Data Innovation Lab, an initiative of IT industry and academia in Germany. IAIS coordinates 24 institutes from various engineering sectors in IAIS’s Big Data Alliance and its vocational training for data scientists.

Key personnel:

Prof. Sören Auer
Scientific head of the department “Organized Knowledge” at Fraunhofer

Dr. Angi Voss
Project manager at Fraunhofer

Darya Tarasowa
Development lead for the OpenCourseWare authoring platform

The Open Data Institute (ODI), was founded by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Sir Nigel Shadbolt and launched officially in December 2012. As an independent, non-profit, non-partisan company, the ODI provides a catalyst for the evolution of an open data culture, creating economic, environmental and social value. The ODI works with government, the commercial, public, and not-for-profit sectors, in the UK and worldwide to unlock the supply of open data and build understanding of the benefits of doing so.

Through an incubation programme for open data startups and a network of over 60 members, the ODI is stimulating the demand for open data in areas such as transparency and open innovation. By conducting research and contributing to policy, the ODI is developing and disseminating open data best practices, exemplified by the Open Data Certificates service, which provides a “seal of approval” for published data sets.

Through a public training programme, the convening of world-class experts from industry and academia, and the on-going Open Data Challenge series, the ODI is building capability across a range of sectors and communities. Contributions from the ODI to wider initiatives, such as the Smart London board (exploring smart city solutions for London), ensure that open data delivers the greatest possible economic, environmental and social value.

Key personnel:

Stuart Coleman
Commercial director at the ODI

Dr David Tarrant
Senior Trainer at the ODI

Georgia Phillips
Partner manager at the ODI

The Royal Institute of Technology (Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan – KTH) was founded in 1827 and it has over 1,600 active postgraduate, 12,000 undergraduate students and about 3,000 employees. Research orientation is a major profile of KTH education (it is responsible for about one-third of Swedish engineering and technical research at post-secondary level). The Department of Software and Computer Systems (SCS) of the School of Information and Communication Technology is located in Kista that is the main Swedish resource centre for Information Technology, often called the “Scandinavian Silicon Valley”.

The SCS department has 4 professors, 5 associate professors and 10 PhD students. SCS focuses on education and research in the area of the design and use of systems in its widest sense, including: software engineering, distributed systems, service computing, data intensive computing, data uncertainty, and constraint programming. Members of the SCS are involved in a large number of EU and national research projects. Most of work for PhD and master levels is carried out in the framework of the research projects. About half of research activity in the SCS department is financed from external sources.

This project relates to a number of areas that KTH has experience and expertise in including: mobile learning, agent technology, service computing and the Semantic Web. The SCS department is strongly involved into teaching on different levels via providing courses and coordinating several educational programs at KTH, EIT ICT Labs, Erasmus Mundus Master and Doctorate programs.

Key personnel:

Dr. Nima Dokoohaki
Senior research fellow at Decisions, Networks and Analytics (DNA) Lab, Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS)

The vision of ideXlab is to become a platform that facilitates open innovation. Enterprises of any size can use IdeXlab to find the best experts, wherever they may be, who can provide solutions to their scientific and technical questions. Traditionally companies either look for the experts on their own or use intermediaries. Additionally, ideXlab offers an eInnovation platform that can automate intermediation between enterprises and experts.

IdeXlab addresses all technology sectors and beyond (e.g. services) with a strong initial focus on engineering because of its management team background and rich resources. Data Science is of particular interest to ideXlab as an own use competence as well as a market opportunity.

IdeXlab is a Société par Actions Simplifiée, based in Paris France. It was created in 2011, and is currently participating to 2 EU projects: the ERASM project (Eurostar framework) and the OPENISME project (a CIP ICT project) with partners in 7 EU countries.

Key personnel:

Dr. Jean-Louis Lievin
President of ideXlab

Pierre Bonnard
CTO of ideXlab

Persontyle is a people focused data science company obsessed with helping individuals, organizations and communities learn and apply Data Science to deliver real, meaningful and enduring value. Persontyle is born from the idea of creating a platform for the people, by the people to share passion, knowledge, theory and practices of analysing data scientifically. Persontyle specializes in designing and delivering structured, relevant and practical data wrangling experiences for all of us to understand Data Science in simple human terms. We offer a comprehensive portfolio of Data Science learning opportunities and services for organizations (profit, non-profit, and government) to deliver breakthrough impact and meaningful value using data.

The growth of big data and the desire for better insights across business and the public sector has led to a rapid increase in demand for relevant skills and a resulting shortage of suitable individuals. Persontyle as partner of EDSA will help address the skills shortage problem by training people on the fundamentals, practices and concepts of data science. Also will contribute in the development of curricula and adoption of the emerging discipline called Data Science.

Key personnel:

Ali Syed
Founder and CEO

Dr. Michael Ashcroft
Senior researcher and data scientist

Milan Mikic
Director of Big Data Technology

The Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TU/e) is one of Europe’s leading research universities in Engineering Science and Technology and contributes to the advancement of engineering science and the development of societal and technological innovations.

Data Science is one of the focal points of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). Consequently, it established the Data Science Center Eindhoven (DSC/e) in 2013. In DSC/e 20 research groups joined forces. Leading scientists in areas such computer science, mathematics, electrical engineering, industrial engineering, innovation sciences, and industrial design conduct cutting edge Data Science research. In sub disciplines such as process mining, which are at the very heart of data science, TU/e is globally leading. This is demonstrated by citations, downloads, industrial impact and spin-offs.

The Architecture of Information Systems (AIS) group at TU/e is one of the core research groups of the DSC/e. AIS investigates methods, techniques and tools for the design and analysis of Process-Aware Information Systems (PAIS), i.e., systems that support business processes (workflows) inside and between organizations. The AIS group is generally seen as one of the strongest Business Process Management (BPM) groups in the world. This is reflected by the many citations and the widespread use of its open-source tools, e.g., ProM and YAWL. AIS is involved in several projects where process mining techniques are being developed and applied. In the context of these projects AIS has been working with dozens of organizations, e.g., SAP, IBM, Pallas Athena, Philips, IDS Scheer and dozens of municipalities. Many of the projects that have been completed resulted in important breakthroughs both in a scientific and practical sense. The former is illustrated by the citations and impact of the papers. The latter is demonstrated by spin-off companies and commercial products. Both Futura Process Intelligence (recently taken over by Lexmark) and Fluxicon are spin-off companies from the process mining research work at TU/e.

Key personnel: Wil van der Aalst
Professor of Information Systems at the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven Boudewijn van Dongen
Assistant professor in the AIS group of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science of Eindhoven University of Technology

Dr. MSc. Dirk Fahland
Assistant professor in the AIS group of the Department of Eindhoven University of Technology