Blog entry by Stef van den Broek

In November, Waag organized a two-day co-creation meeting for the ACROSS consortium to align our visions and expectations, and to get to know each other better. While initially planned as a physical event in Amsterdam, it turned into a hybrid session due to the new COVID restrictions. Still, we were happy to be able to host some partners in our building on Nieuwmarkt. We concluded the two days of creative exercises with so-called ‘elevator-pitches’.

For this exercise, the whole team was split up into partner-mixed groups, which were asked to come up with a short presentation explaining ACROSS and its potential. Imagine standing in an elevator and having to ‘sell’ your idea to a layperson joining you on your way up: that’s the essence of an elevator pitch. While most groups had a hard time keeping it concise because of the complexity of the project, some captivating lines were written. The following paragraph gives the highlights from the different pitches.

The Elevator Pitch
Currently, when you cross borders to work or study, you have to share a lot of information with governments, go to their offices in person and patiently await the many bureaucratic processes. While it currently only takes two hours to fly from Germany to Greece, it can take more than two months to open a bank account. We can easily imagine a better way. You should be able to secure your information in one place, ready to be used when you move, easily share what you want to share with the people in question and manage how long they can access your data. ACROSS functions as a service broker that you access through a wallet to exchange the data needed to move abroad. It is a one-stop migration portal that offers a full-package experience. Through an open API, ACROSS creates the opportunity to use wallets which can easily be implemented by the EU member states. ACROSS’ focus is to create a simple information-exchange platform that is managed by the users. Ideally, the information is decentralized and there is no need to login. A mobile application is one of the ways to get access to exchanged data, but an app is not at the core of the platform. Other essential aspects of the platform are a clear interface for service providers and users, and a well-documented methodology and governance framework. Most importantly, ACROSS is here to create a bridge between local EU governments, facilitate communication and data exchange, and to reduce the stress that comes with moving across EU borders: ‘Your next destination is only one bridge ACROSS.’