Alessio Salzano, CEO of frontierCities2 grantee Alma Digit (CASMOB), and Antonino Galletta, PhD candidate at the University of Messina (UniME), have won the “Discover Open Data Challenge”: a challenge issued by the city of Vienna with the collaboration of the FIWARE foundation, to create tools that help European citizens find, understand and use open data.
The challenge was presented on December 4th by Brigitte Lutz, Data Governance Coordinator of the city of Vienna, during the FIWARE ICT Challenge, a hackathon held within the ICT 2018 conference, organised by the European Commission. Over the following 48 hours, Salzano and Galletta, supported by the Future Computing Research Laboratory (FCR Lab) of UniME, designed and developed a proof-of-concept of a platform, integrated with the European Data Portal, whose main goal was user-friendliness. As a matter of fact, the platform, thanks to a purposely developed search feature, can quickly provide results from several catalogues of European data, integrating at the same time social-network-like features such as commenting dataset to exchange views with other researchers, fostering knowledge transfer, and the possibility to “follow” datasets or topics to receive notifications, in case of updates or new comments, via a Telegram bot.
The winners will receive a cash prize, technical support from the challenge partners to realise the platform and an invitation to present the project to the Open Data Days Austria 2019 conference. The award ceremony took place on 6 December with the award being presented by the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel and the Austrian Minister of Transport, Innovation and Technology Norbert Hofer.
The FCR Lab is coordinated by prof. Massimo Villari and is composed by Antonino Galletta, Francesco Martella, Alessio Catalfamo, Christian Sicari and Mario Colosi; Alma Digit is a spin-off of the University of Messina founded by Massimo Villari, Alessio Salzano, Maria Fazio, Antonio Celesti, Giovanni Parrino e Diego Busacca; both are based at the Engineering Department of the University of Messina.