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UNiCS: The open data platform for Research and Innovation

  • Speaker: Professor Alessandro Mosca, Siris Academic
  • Date: Monday, 18 June 2018 from 16:00 to 17:00
  • Location: Room 151

Research and Innovation (R&I) ecosystems involve data and knowledge flows across enterprises, academia, funding institutions, public authorities and citizens. Key R&I data elements are currently dispersed across a multitude of distinct and heterogeneous datasets; they are often neither in structured format nor systematically shared. Designing policies that affect R&I dynamics, and monitoring their impact in time, are tasks which require to overcome the limitations imposed by the usage of separated data silos, and to provide meaningful, integrated access to data with the appropriate granularity. In such a context, ontology-mediated data management can help bringing together inputs and outcomes from a variety of sources, in an open and interoperable fashion.

The talk introduces UNiCS, the open platform for Research and Innovation data management powered by SIRIS Academic (Barcelona, Spain). The UNiCS platform follows the Ontology-Based Data Access (OBDA) approach, which is meant to ease the access to a vast amount of heterogeneous data, offering the final users the means for formulating queries using the vocabulary from the knowledge domain they are experts in. In UNiCS, each query gets transformed in a set of optimised queries to different data sources, thanks to a core OBDA (ontology-based data access) component called -ontop-.

Together with a short introduction of the main components of the platform, a list of real application scenarios will be introduced, showing the main benefits of following the OBDA principles and methods in the case of R&I data management, but also the limitations we experienced in developing them and the issues that still remain to be solved.