The European Union is increasing the amount of data that can be reused as raw material for artificial intelligence and blockchain projects, the trading bloc announced in a news release on June 6.

Officials hope the relaxed rules will “boost the EU data economy, contribute to the development of a data-based society and stimulate growth.”

High-value datasets will be available free of charge — including statistics, company ownership records and meteorological information. As well as allowing AI and blockchain products to use research data that is already in the public domain, real-time weather and transport data will be made available.

Alexandru Petrescu, Romania’s minister for communications, said:

“These rules are a real enabler for artificial intelligence and will help Europe to become a world leader in this crucial area. They will bolster the EU digital industry, especially smaller companies and startups, which would not otherwise have access to all the data they need to innovate and expand.”

EU member states will now have two years to ensure that these changes are implemented into their national laws.

In April, the EU officially launched the International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications, and said the technology would prove pivotal in solving some of the biggest issues in today’s global economy — including trust between buyers and sellers, and tracing the authenticity of goods.