The Alexandra Institute // Right Now // News // 2016 // New public-private partnership to boost the exploitation of big data

New public-private partnership to boost the exploitation of big data



New public-private partnership to boost the exploitation of big data

Innovation Fund Denmark launches Danish Center for Big Data Analytics driven Innovation (DABAI). The aim of this initiative is to make Denmark a pioneer in exploiting the full potential of big data.

IT is the catalyst for innovation in society. In recent years, we have seen a massive increase in the amount of data from numerous sources such as industrial processes, internet-based systems, smartphone apps, and sensors in cities and buildings. This data constitutes an enormous untapped potential for innovation and growth in our society.  

However, it is estimated that less than 3 per cent of the data collected is ever analysed and translated into information. The mission of DABAI is therefore to develop efficient and useful methods, techniques and tools to analyse big data and create innovation based on the analytical insights. 

The partnership involves the departments of computer science at the University of Copenhagen, Technical University of Denmark and Aarhus University, as well as the companies Systematic, Visma and BusinessMinds. Public authorities include the Danish Agency for Digitisation, the Danish Business Authority and Central Denmark Region. The Alexandra Institute is project coordinator. Furthermore, a wide range of other private and public organisations will be joining DABAI in connection with case activities. 

The purpose of this collaboration is to develop generic techniques and methods within the fields of analytical algorithms, machine learning and interactive visual analysis, which are later to be used across a number of cases within three business areas: public data, food industry data, and digital learning data. The organisations involved have a clear business potential. 

The partnership will focus on a number of important cases to be solved in collaboration with IT consultancy firms. Some results will be relatively easy to achieve in the short term. However, some big data topics are more complex and require more research. For example, we need to develop algorithms for fast processing of massive data streams, says Ole Lehrmann Madsen, professor and CEO of the Alexandra Institute. 

The work will be based on data collected by public and private companies, and DABAI expects to be able to present the benefits to some of its partners already from year one.

The methods will for example be used to:

  • Predict floods and reduce the negative impact of climate changes
  • Ensure more efficient EPR management in healthcare
  • Offer personalised learning support to school children based on analysis of typical learning patterns
  • Provide better traceability and quality of foods
  • Reduce administrative costs and create growth in the production sector.

Societal impact

Collecting, analysing and exploiting big data has the potential to benefit society at large: Companies can extract data from their production to enhance the manufacturing process. Decision-makers can make long-term plans for mitigation of climate changes and flooding. Teachers can use data about learning patterns to offer personalised support to children who are about to drop out of school.


The Alexandra Institute, Aarhus, professor, CEO Ole Lehrmann Madsen, +45 20 15 44 51

University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, professor Stephen Alstrup, +45 35 33 56 91, digital supported learning

Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, professor Lars Kai Hansen, +45 45 25 38 89, machine learning and foods

Aarhus University, Aarhus, professor Lars Arge, +45 41 60 61 66, algorithms

Systematic, Aarhus, CEO Jens Peder Rasmussen, +45 51 17 76 53, general data processing tools

VISMA Consulting, Lyngby, CEO René Stampe Lund, +45 41 91 43 55, consultancy firm that wants to test the researchers' analytical models in collaboration their customers

BusinessMinds, Lyngby, consultant Philip Parslov, +45 42 75 19 43, consultancy firm that wants to test the researchers' analytical models in collaboration their customers  

Danish Business Authority, Copenhagen, administrative officer Michael Tornøe, +45 35 29 14 52

Central Denmark Region, Viborg, strategic project manager Jesper Algren, +45 21 68 08 56

Danish Agency for Digitisation, Copenhagen, special consultant Julie Caroline Preuthun, +45 25 37 00 92


Official title of project: DABAI - DAnish Center for Big Data Analytics driven Innovation.

The entire budget of roughly 17 m Euro covers a period of four years starting February 2016. Innovation Fund Denmark has provided 7 m Euro. The remainder represents contributions from the participating partners.


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