If you’re a small or medium-size enterprise that has a business case around patent mining and landscaping, offer-tender matching, or customer feedback, as well as access to some relevant data and developer talent to help realize the ambition, then opportunity awaits at Fusepool. Next month the project, which is partly funded by the European Framework Program for Innovation, will be putting out a call to SMEs to participate as end users in its effort to refine and enrich raw data as Linked Data and provides tools for analyzing and visualizing it.

“We want to provide a common data platform to make links between data that was usually in separate corners. Even if it’s open it still can be hard to find and interlink because it’s not the same format, or the quality is not reliable,” says Dr. Michael Kaschesky, Head of Research Group / FP7 Fusepool Coordinator, Bern University of Applied Sciences. Fusepool will provide that data pool for specific use cases and areas, letting others bring relevant data into the pool and making it easier to integrate the data into other apps, and develop apps on top of the data.

It’s starting with a focus on the few flagship applications mentioned above, providing data sources through existing agreements with data providers. “One of the cores of the project to bring data into the LOD format,” he says. “The idea is to have a marketplace on different levels: On the data level to provide and charge for data; and on the module level to develop small mini applications for one specific task like named entity recognition, and provide these for those who assemble or develop apps” for its use cases, which also can be made available for a fee. “The idea is that all involved in the ecosystem can build a business on top of the data platform.”

Among the partners in the effort, along with the Bern University of Applied Sciences, are Xerox, searchbox, euresearch, Treparel, Geox, and the European Network of Living Labs. Problems they saw in patent mining, for example, are that there are a lot of different databases and patent resources, some free and some not. Not only that, but the tools to make sense of these also are limited or non- existent, while related data from sources such as publications is not easily accessible. Fusepool will be the data pool that can bring all this together and then let businesses work with it. It’s targeting the SME space because it’s harder for smaller outfits on their own to develop an infrastructure and integrate and get value out of data that is out there, compared to bigger companies that could have whole departments dedicated to patent mining, he says.

When it comes to customer feedback, Fusepool can host the ability to summarize feedback from sources such as blogs and Twitter through named entity recognition, one of the mini-app modules it developed to filter out specific key terms. Other modules include capabilities such as document classification and summarization.

Fusepool is taking an approach similar to that of its Living Labs partner, which has as its philosophy getting many different companies involved in the development of a product, including end users, says Kaschesky. That’s where the SMEs come in. When the flagship apps are finalized, the project will issue a second call to developers that want to leverage the platform.

The project also is looking at the role social plays in the service, for issues like user adaptivity for specific understandings and also cleaning up the semantics. On the first point, for instance, a patent classification that is very oriented to lawyers might be leveraged by engineers who provide their own ontology for their own vocabularies, “attach their understanding to it but still keep it  interoperable,” he says. On the second point, Kaschesky notes that social has a role in Wikipedia-like role in annotation – if, for example, something is wrong in named entity recognition – and data provenance.