Last week I had the opportunity to travel to Pisa and attend the kick-off meeting of SoBigData, a project funded by the Horizon 2020 program of the EU. Aalto participates with two partners in the project – Santo Fortunato from the Complex Networks group and Aris Gionis from the Data Mining Group (to whom I owe my participation).
The consortium consists of many academic partners (from University of Pisa, ETHZ, CNR, TUDelft, Fraunhofer, Sheffield, IMT Lucca, King’s College London, Scuola Normale Superiore — and Aalto). Quite predictably, part of the project will be devoted to research in social data mining and related areas. What’s interesting, however, is that the largest part of the project will be devoted to integrating existing local research infrastructure (e.g. at national level) into a unified European ecosystem. The goal of the project is to build infrastructure to facilitate the sharing of datasets and research findings among European scientists.
Interesting fact about Pisa: with about 90,000 residents, it also hosts about 40,000 students – it’s a big college town.