Newsletter - Issue 7

Sense4Us Newsletter Issue 7 | September 2015 |

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Editorial     Project news     Interesting news     Upcoming events     Publications



Dear readers,

SENSE4US welcomes autumn season with this issue and project developments are in high gear!
These last months were quite intensive for consortium partners as the project was presented in major events such as the 49th ICA Conference in Stockholm and the Dual EGOV 2015 and ePart 2015 conference in Thessaloniki. During the last one, two project papers were also presented. In the issue, you can find more events where the project was presented.

Two more interesting dissemination tools are added in the Promotional Materials list of our website. This newsletter issue presents you below the Research Brief and the generic presentation of the project which were produced during these last months!

As always, interesting publications as well as upcoming events and conferences complete this issue so that readers can stay abreast of latest developments!

If you have any comments or suggestions, we will be more than glad to receive them, so please feel free to contact us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Enjoy the reading and we send you our best wishes for a nice autumn!

The SENSE4US Dissemination and Communication Team


Project news


SENSE4US presented at the Critical Alternatives – Aarhus 2015 Conference, 17th – 21st  August 2015, Aarhus, Denmark

The decennial Aarhus conferences have traditionally been instrumental for setting new agendas for critically engaged thinking about information technology. The conference series is fundamentally interdisciplinary and emphasizes thinking that is firmly anchored in action, intervention, and scholarly critical practice. In 2015, it is considered that critical alternatives in alignment with utopian principles—that is, the hope that things might not only be different but also radically better. The fifth decennial Aarhus conference, Critical Alternatives, aimed to set new agendas for theory and practice in computing for quality of human life.

During the conference, SENSE4US was presented and discussed at the workshop with the title “Unfolding Participation. What do we mean by participation – conceptually and in practice” by our project partner Dr. Somya Joshi from Stockholm University.


SENSE4US project presented at the Dual EGOV 2015 and ePart 2015 conference, 30th August – 2nd September 2015, Thessaloniki, Greece

Aron Larsson presented the project’s paper “Exploiting Online Data in the Policy Making Process” written by project partners (Aron Larsson, Steve Taylor, Timo Wandhöfer, Vasilis Koulolias) at the Workshop “Enabling Effective Policy Making - Coupling the Power of the Data with the Wisdom of the Crowd” organised within the conference in coordination with other projects (CONSENSUS, EU Community, Policy Compass, SYMPHONY, GRACeFUL).

The presented paper reports on the ambitions and methods behind the SENSE4US project, aimed to provide ICT tools supporting policy making through systematic gathering of heterogeneous online data to increase problem understanding and the general public’s opinions. The tools’ goal is to enable stakeholders within the political sphere to identify online available data concerning their policies. The proceedings of the workshop will be soon available.


SENSE4US presented at “Leibniz meets Parliament” event, 3rd September 2015, Düsseldorf, Germany

“Leibniz meets Parliament” is a one-day event that frequently takes place within German parliaments. The objective is to present and discuss the current research of the Leibniz institutions to decision-makers, and to make use of the research results in daily work life situations. Hence the Leibniz group organizes the events and the last one took place in Düsseldorf, in the State Parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia on the 3rd of December 2014. With a couple of weeks forerun all members of the parliament received a cover letter including a list of the topics that were offered by the researchers of the participated Leibniz institutes. In total six MPs requested a meeting regarding the topic “Can Open Data and Twitter benefit decision-making?” proposed by Timo Wandhöfer, our project partner from GESIS.

As state of the art technology Dr. Wandhöfer presented the SENSE4US toolbox with the focus on the last current development of SentiCircles, from the Open University. This tool allows a “different view” regarding a bunch of tweets. Starting with a Twitter collection (e.g. search-term “electric car”) the user gets a list of core terms (e.g. companies, technologies, users, etc.) combined with the Twitter users’ sentiment. A second level shows all of the related terms within the bunch of collected tweets.

The general outcome of interviews is that Twitter analysis and Open Data are becoming more and more relevant data sources for the information process. But it is highly relevant to simplify the user interface, combine different filter options and make the tools’ service as transparent as possible. Concerning Open Data more relevant data need to be published and interlinked. The proposed SENSE4US approach of making use of the Linked Open Data cloud (e.g. the machine-readable version of Wikipedia) is seen as trendsetting.


SENSE4US participation in the 49th ICA Conference, 6th – 9th September 2015, in Stockholm, Sweden


Dr. Somya Joshi, SENSE4US partner, presenting during the 49th ICA Conference

The topic of this year’s ICA Conference was “Unleashing mobile government – addressing societal challenges”. For this 49th ICA Conference, the Board and Programme Committee, the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise and eGovlab enriched the four day event programme with interactive workshops and meetings and have included among the participants from many countries, representatives from the industry.

Registered participants came from public administrations and organizations from Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Cyprus, Denmark, ENISA, Estonia, EU, Finland, Israel, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Moldova, Mozambique, OECD, South Africa, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, The Netherlands, The World Bank, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and USA.

SENSE4US was presented on the 7th of September during the Session II:  INTEGRATION OF MOBILE TECHNOLOGIES WITH CITIZEN - CENTRIC APPROACHES. The steady integration of mobile technologies into the everyday lives of people, businesses and governments provides a new context for policy-making for governments and can give rise to new forms of engagement and relationships in the public sphere. Smart phones in combination with easily accessible apps create opportunities for a fast and wide penetration of digital public and social innovations ­– and not simply a support for existing government processes. As a result, new approaches are needed to support a shift from governments anticipating citizens’ and business’s needs (citizen-centric approaches) to citizens and businesses determining their own needs and addressing them in partnership with governments (citizen-driven approaches). This session explored different ways of coping with this new policy-landscape. More information about this conference and its speakers’ presentations are available at:


SENSE4US Research Brief: available online!

For all those researchers that may be tasked with researching a policy subject that they are not experts in, and they need a quick way of seeing the key factors and citizen groups that affect, or are affected by, a policy option, SENSE4US can offer a solution. Download the Research Brief and find out what is the solution offered that can address your research challenges and which are the benefits you gain with SENSE4US!


SENSE4US Generic Presentation: available online!

Interested in the SENSE4US and you would like to get the gist of it at a glance? Download the Generic Presentation of the project!


Collaboration with OpenSciencesLink

The SENSE4US and OpenScienceLink projects are in discussion regarding collaboration for mutual benefit and common actions have been discussed. During the next months it is expected that this collaboration will be officially concluded by signing a MoU. Stay tuned for updates soon!

Interesting news

Interesting news


Bulgarians having a date with data

This summer, the Bulgarian Council of Ministers organised “A Date with Data”. The theme for this one-day event was “Open Data for Transparent Governance”. The programme featured presentations, panel discussions, demonstrations of visualisations, and other applications of open data. Among the presenters were Rumyana Bachvarova (Deputy Prime Minister for Coalition Policy and Public Administration and Minister of Interior), Anton Gerunov (Head of the Political Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister for Coalition Policy and Public Administration and Minister of Interior), Ognian Zlatev (Head of the EC Representation in Bulgaria), and Valery Borissov (Deputy Minister of Transport, Information Technologies and Communications). The topics discussed included transparency, policy-making, and open data to facilitate collective action, innovation and economic growth.
Read more


Scotland released an open data resource pack

The Scottish government has published an open data resource pack aimed at helping all local public authorities to implement their own open data plan. This resource pack has been developed to support the Open Data Strategy of Scotland.


Dutch minister calls for more government data to be published

Dutch government data should be made available for free to the public as much as possible. "Public agencies should change their attitude towards the publishing of open data," the Dutch Minister of the Interior, Ronald Plasterk said. "They are often not aware of the value of the data they collect. Publishing should become a basic principle." This summer, Plasterk had an inventory made of departmental datasets that could be made available. Five hundred and fifty of these have now been added to the Dutch open data portal, which now contains almost 7,000 datasets. The new datasets include detailed information on election results, top earners within the public sector, procurement by the central government, and liveability per neighbourhood.


UK launches its next OGP Action Plan

Open policy making, Open Data and international cooperation are three pillars that UK Minister for the Cabinet Office Matt Hancock wants to be included in the 2015 UK Action Plan, according to a speech given by the minister to mark the launch of a new Open Government Partnership (OGP) action plan (Transcript is accessible on the website). “Our next national Action Plan must itself be an exercise in open government: collaborative in design, transparent in process,” explained M. Hancock, stressing that citizen participation in policy making would be at the centre of the new plan. The minister added that two other key elements of Open Government are Open Data and the “Open Source nature of the agenda”.

Upcoming events

Upcoming events




Monday 12th – Tuesday 15th October | 2015 | Brussels, Belgium
OPEN DAYS 13th European Week of Regions and Cities

OPEN DAYS 13th European Week of Regions and Cities, 12 – 15 October 2015, Brussels, Belgium

Tuesday 20th - Wednesday 22nd October | 2015 | Lisbon, Portugal
“ICT 2015 Innovate, Connect, Transform”Conference and Exhibition

“ICT 2015 Innovate, Connect, Transform”Conference and Exhibition, 20-22 October 2015, Lisbon, Portugal

Thursday 29th - Friday 30th October | 2015 | Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Librecon 2015

Librecon 2015, 29 – 30 October 2015, Santiago de Compostela, Spain




Monday 16th – Tuesday 17th November | 2015 | Luxembourg
European Data Forum 2015

European Data Forum 2015, 16 – 17 November, Luxembourg

Wednesday 18th – Thursday 21st November | 2015 | Graz, Austria
European Youth Award Festival 2015

European Youth Award Festival 2015, 18 – 21 November 2015, Graz, Austria




Thursday 10th – Friday 11th December | 2015 | Athens, Greece
6th International Conference on e-Democracy

International Conference on e-Democracy, 10 – 11 December 10 – 11, 2015, Athens




Science for Environment Policy (2015), “Exploring the Links Between Energy Efficiency and Resource Efficiency”, Thematic Issue 49, produced for the European Commission, DG Environment by the Science Communication Unit, UWE, Bristol.


The purpose of this Thematic Issue is to provide an overview of new research on the linkages between energy and resource efficiency to help to inform policymaking in this area. The selection of research presented here offers insight into three key policy-relevant areas: 1) the relationship between energy efficiency, resource efficiency and economic growth and wellbeing; 2) market and system barriers to energy efficiency and lessons learnt for resource efficiency in the area of demand-side management; and 3) the opportunities and challenges of improving resource and energy efficiency in the building sector, which is among the sectors with the greatest potential for efficiency improvements.
Read the publication


European Commission, Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT) (2015), “Open innovation yearbook 2015”, ISBN 978-92-79-43962-9, Catalogue number: KK-AI-14-001-EN-C, Luxembourg Publication Office of the European Union.


The yearbook supports the key issues on the table for 2015, also related to the Open Innovation 2.0 conference. Themes range from European Innovation Ecosystems and their governance to several practical examples on how open innovation brings well-being forwards, both in terms of jobs and growth, but also in terms of quality of life.
Read the yearbook


Ubaldi, B. (2013), “Open Government Data: Towards Empirical Analysis of Open Government Data Initiatives”, OECD Working Papers on Public Governance, No. 22, OECD Publishing.


Open Government Data (OGD) initiatives, and in particular the development of OGD portals, have proliferated since the mid-2000s both at central and local government levels in OECD and non OECD countries. Understanding the preconditions that enable the efficient and effective implementation of these initiatives is essential for achieving their overall objectives. This is especially true in terms of the role played by OGD in relation to Open Government policies in general. This paper highlights the main principles, concepts and criteria framing open government data initiatives and the issues challenging their implementation. It underlines the opportunities that OGD and data analytics may offer policy makers, while providing a note of caution on the challenges this agenda poses for the public sector. Read the paper
Also available at:


Jacopo Grazzini and Francesco Pantisano (2014), “Collaborative research-grade software for crowd-sourced data exploration: from context to practice – Part I: Guidelines for scientific evidence provision for policy support based on Big Data and open technologies”, ISBN 978-92-79-45377-9, (Luxembourg Publications Office of the European Union.


The scope and focus of the research reported in this document is to implement a collaborative high-level research-grade application software platform for scientific experimentation and data analysis. By doing so, we aim at exploring, extracting value from, and making sense of massive, interconnected datasets. Namely, the software is designed as an application layer that makes use of suitable statistical, exploratory or descriptive techniques, as well as visualisation tools, in order to produce reasonable interpretations of data – e.g. consisting in crowdsourced data from social media, as well as other domain-orientated data, like sensor-based and geospatial data – that are logical but not definitive in their claims.
Read the publication


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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 611242