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The Data Tank launches: Nonprofit Start-up Empowers Data Accessibility and Revolutionizes Data Usage for the Common Good

Brussels, Belgium: March 7, 2023

As the world was celebrating Open Data Day, The Data Tank, a new nonprofit Think and Do Tank, was officially launched yesterday to address the challenges and opportunities of datafication in today’s society. 

At The Data Tank, we recognise that data is one of the most powerful tools to tackle today’s complex challenges. Too often, however, data is siloed, inaccessible, or underutilised. To address today’s interconnected challenges, new approaches are needed that help communities, decision-makers and trusted stakeholders access, reuse, share and mutually benefit from that data to create a more sustainable and equitable future

Board Secretary of The Data Tank – Wim De Waele

The Data Tank will design and implement activities to establish trust in how data is made accessible, usable, and impactful. The Data Tank will act as the much-needed knowledge broker currently missing from the field.

“By partnering with the scientific community, civil society groups, and public and private organisations around the globe, The Data Tank will allow key problem solvers to foster more proactive and participatory conversations and solutions, ” adds Julia Stamm, The Data Tank’s CEO. “We want to enable communities, organisations and policy-makers to anticipate problems rather than just react to them.”

“While many organisations are focused on preventing the misuse of data, The Data Tank is equally concerned with missed uses  areas where a system of responsible data access would allow siloed data to be used or re-used in a way that leads to lasting public benefit”, explains Stefaan Verhulst, co-founder and Principal Scientific Advisor of The Data Tank.

“By partnering with the scientific community, civil society groups, and public and private organisations around the globe, The Data Tank will allow key problem solvers to foster more proactive and participatory conversations and solutions, ” adds Julia Stamm, The Data Tank’s CEO. “We want to enable communities, organisations and policy-makers to anticipate problems rather than just react to them.”

The work of The Data Tank is already supported by a consortium of renowned foundations, and has established strong relations with other actors in the space such as The GovLab. 

“Rethinking how we use data can help us overcome major challenges of our time, from fighting climate change to strengthening democratic institutions,” says Carla Hustedt, director of the Centre for Digital Society of Stiftung Mercator, a primary funder of The Data Tank. “The Data Tank is in a good position to help advance the digital society we live in.” 

“The digital technologies transforming our societies are all driven by the generation, use and reuse of data. To ensure that the potential of data is used in a manner that benefits individuals and society while preventing the risk of misuse and harms, we need a more deliberative and proactive effort to develop frameworks and coalitions that show how this can work in practice,” states Jessica Bither of Robert Bosch Stiftung, another founding partner of The Data Tank. “Robert Bosch Stiftung is happy to support the work of The Data Tank to reach this goal.” 

Chair of the Board of The Data Tank – Luc Tayart de Borms

“Data professionals and scientific experts have a responsibility to find structured approaches that enable effective impact of data for social good. Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation has always paid special attention to data in the philanthropic sector, becoming a data-driven foundation over time. Now, it is time to become a promoter of new data ecosystems and networks. That is why we are proud to support the creation of The Data Tank,” explains Filippo Candela of Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation.

“The Data Tank fills an important gap in Europe: a think and do tank that looks at data from various angles, as a threat to human autonomy but also as an asset to public benefit”, underlines Stefan Schäfers of King Baudouin Foundation. “Reasons enough to support this ambitious endeavour.”

For more information on The Data Tank, please contact CEO Dr Julia Stamm (julia.stamm@datatank.org) or Principal Scientific Advisor Dr Stefaan Verhulst (stefaan.verhulst@datatank.org) and visit our website, datatank.org.

The Data Tank
Cantersteen 10
B-1000 Brussels

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