Creation of Big Data Alliance Offers Economic Opportunities

BDA: Universities Rise to the Challenge

Atlanta, Georgia, UNITED STATES

ATLANTA, June 24, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ORTEC announced today, June 24, 2015, at the Amsterdam Academic Club, the formation of the Big Data Alliance. Chaired by Prof. Alexander Rinnooy Kan, the alliance aims to promote collaboration among leading Dutch institutions in Big Data. The goal of the BDA, which is an initiative from business, universities and research institutes, is to unlock knowledge, share expertise, share research and stimulate innovation in the field of Big Data. Speakers at the launch included the Chair, Prof. Alexander Rinnooy Kan, Prof. Marc Salomon, who is a member of the board, and Albert Bogaard, partner at ORTEC and initiator of the BDA. The meeting was attended by a large number of academics and businesses.

On the BDA: "The Big Data Alliance offers the Netherlands an enormous economic opportunity, stated Alexander Rinnooy Kan, Chairman of the Board. "It is important that we help technology startups and innovation. The education and research on Big Data and analytics available in the Netherlands is already among the best in the world. There is now a huge opportunity, if we manage to unite everyone involved, to make this a very important sector in our economy."

Marc Salomon added: "The advantage the BDA offers is the ability to share knowledge, resources and computing power at a higher level. This will make it possible to solve very complex problems. What we must avoid in the Netherlands is that every knowledge institute stays in its own silo. That would be bad for both education and research."

The BDA has several priorities: architecture (expertise in the field of storage and the accessibility of Big Data), analytics (expertise regarding various statistical methods), and visualization and communication (expertise regarding the communication of analytics results). The BDA alliance partners have agreed to work together in the field of education, training, research and the stimulation of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Combining Datasets

Companies and institutions have a lot of data or complex problems to solve. At the same time they often lack the knowledge or resources to do so. The BDA wants to provide a solution by fostering collaboration. This will make it possible to combine data sets. For example, data about traffic levels could be combined with air quality data in a given region to see if the policies of cities to reduce car use are effective. This data could then be compared to, for example, the results of the annual butterfly census, or the number of asthma cases in the region, to see if the correct measures are being taken.

Big Data is not just about quantity, but also about structuring, combining and analysing data. Because the Big Data Alliance bundles expertise, it will be possible to deliver solutions from multiple perspectives. The parties involved will receive faster and better answers to their questions. Big Data is already used successfully in the Netherlands to combat cancer, improve dykes, traffic safety and the environment, and to win Olympic medals.

About the Big Data Alliance

The BDA was founded in 2015 and is a joint initiative in the field of Big Data between industry, universities and research institutions. The initiator of the BDA is Albert Bogaard, who is also a partner at ORTEC, which has long worked with universities throughout the Netherlands. Bogaard saw the need to unite numerous parties and prominent figures in the BDA. The BDA members include Amsterdam's UvA and VU universities, universities in Tilburg, Rotterdam, Eindhoven and Wageningen, and knowledge institutions such as the CWI (Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica) and  the SURFsara foundation. It is expected that more universities, research institutions and companies will join the BDA and serve on its board.

  • Prof. Alexander Rinnooy Kan, University of Amsterdam


  • Albert Bogaard, entrepreneur and advisor to ORTEC
  • Prof. Marc Salomon, programme director of the Big Data & Business Analytics MBA at the University of Amsterdam
  • Prof. Han van Dissel, dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Amsterdam
  • Prof. Anwar Osseyran, CEO of SURFSara and professor of Business Analytics & Computer Science, University of Amsterdam
  • Prof. Rob van der Mei, research leader at the Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam and professor of Business Analytics at the VU University Amsterdam
  • Prof. Ger Koole, professor of Business Analytics at the VU University Amsterdam

ORTEC is a leading provider of advanced planning and optimization solutions and services. ORTEC optimization software results in optimized fleet routing and dispatch, vehicle and pallet loading, workforce scheduling, delivery forecasting, logistics network planning and warehouse control. ORTEC offers stand-alone, custom-made and SAP® certified and embedded solutions. The recipient of the 2012 Franz Edelman Award for Operations Research Excellence, ORTEC has recently won awards from CIO Review, Computerworld, Supply Chain Brain, Consumer Goods Technology and GBC Health Award. ORTEC has over 1,800 customers worldwide, 750 employees and offices in Europe, North America, South America and the Pacific Region.

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