‘The teams behind the apps’ series: meet ITER IDEA
'The teams behind the apps' is a series of videos made by the EU Datathon finalists. Get to know the people and their proposals for apps over nine episodes, once a week, in a run-up to the EU Open Data Days. At the competition finals in November, the teams will pitch their apps to the jury who will select the winners.
In this sixth episode you get to meet ‘ITER IDEA’. They are competing with two other teams in challenge 2: ‘An economy that works for people’. The Italian-based team is currently building a portal that facilitates women’s mobility. Using a series of European open data, the new portal can provide relevant information for the relaunch of female mobility in a tangible combination of educational and work synergies. Also, the portal aims to highlight to its users some information based on their background and preferences, matched with specific European areas and regions.
Guido Mazza, Matteo Carbone, and Sara Baroni form the team behind ITER IDEA and they joined us for an interview in which we talked about the app, the idea that led to its creation, and why they decided to participate in the EU Datathon.
How are you getting on with the app? What’s the status?
The app development is proceeding smoothly, but there is a lot of work to do; therefore, we aim to use all the time we have to achieve the best result for the minimum viable product version.
During this journey, we analysed over 4 million rows coming from mobilities records, along with other valuable data provided by European portals. We also took the opportunity to create a dynamic structure that is able to ingest new data more quickly and straightforwardly. By completing these steps, we also got a clearer perception of the total user base we could reach with our platform, and this number inspired us to push on. In the most recent stage of the project, while we are still processing new data sets, we are focusing on improving the general user experience, ensuring that the data shown is perceived as helpful and clear.
How did you come up with the idea for this app?
Here at ITER IDEA, we truthfully believe that living abroad leads to experiences that are essential for personal development, professional advancement and life improvement. As a matter of fact, as students, we ourselves had our life-changing semesters abroad! The idea for this new platform formed almost 2 years ago while we were walking through the streets of Rome. We tried to imagine ourselves as international students or young professionals who might want (or need) to have the experience of living in a city, and we started asking questions like ‘Do I have enough information about where and how to start? Why Rome and not Milan? Would Carrara a better choice for me, given my background, even though it’s less famous? ’The original idea was challenged first by COVID-19 and then by Sara’s vision: both things brought to the table the urge to support the next generation of female workers, reflecting the current scenario and that to come. Young women have experienced a drastic reduction in opportunities and, overall, have been hit the hardest in terms of loss of employment. Fortunately, we can see that more and more companies are finally committing to providing equality in the workplace. These companies should therefore be highlighted for the people searching for new life opportunities. Obviously, we know that there is much more to do to create real change than simply developing a web platform. Therefore, we are currently sharing our vision with many organisations (traditional companies and start-ups) and associations, combining their insights and feedback in a shared goal that can extend our reciprocal reach.
Why did you decide to take part in the EU Datathon?
Thanks to Europe Direct Emilia-Romagna (Bologna), we got to know about the contest and its challenges. Since then, we have studied previous projects in order to ensure that there isn’t already a similar platform, and we also began snooping through data sets looking for additional information. At the end of this process, we realised that our proposal and vision fit smoothly within the category ‘An economy that works for people’. What were the chances for such perfect timing?
We couldn’t pass up the chance to work on and promote topics that genuinely inspire us – it’s an important message of international opportunity that we feel honoured to share with the world!
To find out more about ITER IDEA, watch their 1-minute video.