Vice President of the European Commission, Commissioner Neelie Kroes, during a speech in Brussels on 26 March 2013, declared “we have entered the era of big data”.
Describing data as the “new oil”, the Commissioner stressed that data has the power to fuel innovation and power and energise the economy.
Commissioner Kroes pointed out that tasks such as unlocking the human genome and the discovery of the Higgs Boson do not happen by themselves but require a helping hand and an appropriate legal framework.
Addressing reasonable concerns that citizens have when it comes to the use and publication of health data was also a priority she stressed and that there was a strong need to build trust with citizens in this respect.
That Commissioner Kroes is consistently advocating for advanced open access policies and is push for policies which reflect this is positive for VPH and may lead to easier access to, in particular, data derived from publicly funded research.