EXECUTIVE SUMMARY / KEY FINDINGS
Public bodies hold a very wide array of information and content ranging fromdemographic, economic and meteorological data to art works, historical documents andbooks. Given the pervasive availability of such information and content in digital formand the widespread use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) bysecondary users, public sector information and content are an increasingly valuableresource for the production of innovative value-added goods and services and a majorsource of educational and cultural knowledge for the wider population.
Knowledge is a source of competitive advantage in the “information economy”, and for
this reason alone it is economically important that public information is widely diffused.There are many benefits from improving access and facilitating reuse of PSI,taking intoaccountlegal requirements and restrictions. These benefits include development of newproducts built directly on PSI; development of complementary products such as newsoftware and services; reduction of transaction costs in accessing and using information;efficiency gains in the public sector itself; and increasingly the crossing of differentpublic and private information to provide new goods and services. There are furtherbenefits from using PSI in a myriad of direct and indirect applications across theeconomy and society.
Governments also have basic commitments that citizens can access public informationand national cultural heritage such as paintings, monuments and books, and to ensuresocial inclusion. New communication tools, including social networks, interactive Websites and games are facilitating wider diffusion of public sector information by reachinggroups of people previously unlikely to directly access PSI or PSI-related services.
This literature review looks at
PSI market size and
following the widely citedestimates in the
MEPSIR study (2006)
. MEPSIR concluded that the direct PSI re-usemarket in 2006 for the EU25 plus Norway was worth
EUR 27 billion
On the basis of more recent studies the narrowly defined
EU27 direct PSI re-use market
was of the order of
EUR 28 billion in 2008.
All studies show relatively rapid growth inPSI-related markets, and assuming annual growth of 7%, the direct PSI-related marketwould have been
around EUR 32 billion in 2010
. Considering re-use activities indomains not included in the studies analysed in this report (for example, where re-use isnot a principal activity, or in government and research activities)
the market value of direct PSI re-
use (the economic “footprint”) is undoubtedly larger.
PSI-related information can be used in a very wide range of direct and indirectapplications across the economy. The
aggregate direct and indirect economic impactsfrom PSI applications and use across the whole EU27 economy are estimated to beof the order of EUR 140 billion annually
The above estimates of direct and indirect PSI re-use are based on
business as usual
, butother analysis suggests that if
PSI policies were open, with easy access for free ormarginal cost of distribution, direct PSI use and re-use activities could increase byup to EUR 40 billion for the EU27
With easier access, improved
infrastructure and lower barriers, aggregate directand indirect economic benefits for the whole EU27 economy could have been of theorder of EUR 200 billion (1.7% of GDP) in 2008.
Thus it is clear that new applications and uses in a wide variety of goods and services andfuture innovations associated with easier access to PSI are more important than the direct