The Project

Development of a new multinational postgraduate LL.M. Program on Data Economy Law

The Project

Background

In a data economy, businesses have large amounts of data available that enable them to make data-based decisions (Data-Driven Management, “DDM”). This applies not only to tech companies, but increasingly to data-intensive SMEs and Start-ups. In many cases, automated systems (e.g. Artificial Intelligence) are used to prepare or make business decisions on the basis of data. However, accessing and analyzing data requires a broad spectrum of competences and skills: Technical understanding and organisational knowledge is required. Furthermore, accessing and analyzing data requires a broad spectrum of legal knowledge, as companies and employees need to know how data can be used in accordance with legal provisions (IP rights, data protection etc), which unintended side-effects occur (e.g. discrimination) and which legal risks (e.g. liability) DDM entails and how they can be avoided. Therefore, a competent handling of automated systems and related technologies for DDM constitutes a key competence in a data economy.

Project Objectives

DDM4SME develops and provides education on potentials, challenges and (legal and societal) risks of DDM. Knowledge will be provided on the legal, societal, technical and organizational dimension and on how DDM can be implemented in order to avoid risks and drawbacks (e.g. liability and discrimination). Thereby, the objective of DDM4SME is to provide education which fosters employability of learners and increases competitiveness of businesses. Furthermore, the education provided by DDM4SME shall fister constructive, but critical thinking towards autonomous systems.

A Multinational Partnership

DDM4SME is conducted within a transdisciplinary research consortium involving researchers from various research areas (legal experts, IT experts, didactic experts and management experts). The project consortium consists of the

  • University for Continuning Education Krems (UWK, lead coordinator),
  • the Georg-August University Göttingen (UGOE),
  • the Masaryk University Brno (MUNI) and
  • the Kazimieras Simonavičius University (KSU).

Envisaged Project Activities

The project activities comprise a large portfolio: In total 5 transnational partner meetings, 5 multiplier events on national level (including a final conference for an international audience), one HE Staff Training Event and one transnational intensive study program (Summer School on DDM4SME) will take place in course of the project. Furthermore several activities within the development of the Intellectual Outputs include activities addressing stakeholders or academia (e.g. focus groups, the Project Advisory Board, the External Peer Panel). All activities including an external audience are vital for the success of the project (e.g. in terms of feedback and suggestions to improve the project outcomes) and unfold multiplier effects.

Methodology

The curriculum for the master’s program (IO1), the didactic concept (IO2) and the course modules (IO3) will be developed in a co-creation process involving researchers from all project partners. This guarantees that DDM als a multifaceted issue is dealt with holistically. Furthermore, members of the target groups (students interested in higher education on DDM) and relevant stakeholders (SMEs, Start-ups) will be included in the process of developing education in focus groups and intensive study weeks. This reflects the learner-centered approach of DDM4SME, as the curriculum, the didactic concept and the course materials will be designed around learners’ needs.

Outcome

The main results of DDM4SME will be the 3 Intellectual Outputs:

  • IO1: Curriculum for a Multidisciplinary Master Program on DDM in SMEs and Start-Ups
  • IO2: Guideline on Didactics, Evaluation and Sustainable Improvement of the Master Program
  • IO3: Full-Featured Course Modules and Teaching Resources

By providing comprehensive education on DDM, the main impact of DDM4SME will be to strengthen competences of learners to implement data-driven decision practices in business processes (specifically in SMEs and Start-ups), which also strengthens their employability. As risks of automated decisions (e.g. legal violations, algorithmic discrimination) are integrated into the education, DDM4SME also contributes to compliance with legal rules and principles related to the the use of automated systems and also to a cohesive society. By providing higher education, DDM4SME also provides SMEs and Start-ups well-educated employees, which fosters their competitiveness.

Long-term Perspective – DDM4SME and beyond

The results of the project have a strong impact beyond the project term as the project partners are committed to create a modulare master program that is eligible for ERASMUS MUNDUS JOINT MASTER. In case that a follow up funding as EMJMD cannot be achieved, the project partners will implement the curriculum (IO1), didactic concept (IO2), course modules (IO3) or parts thereof in their study programs. Joint Masters or Double degrees initiatives are envisaged.