The growing digitization and networking process within our society has a large influence on all aspects of everyday life. Large amounts of data are being produced permanently, and when these are analyzed and interlinked they have the potential to create new knowledge and intelligent solutions for economy and society. Big Data can make important contributions to the technical progress in our societal key sectors and help shape business. What is needed are innovative technologies, strategies and competencies for the beneficial use of Big Data to address societal needs.
**Climate**, **Energy**, **Food**, **Health**, **Transport**, **Security**, and **Social Sciences** – are the most important societal challenges tackled by the European Union within the new research and innovation framework program “Horizon 2020”. In every one of these fields, the processing, analysis and integration of large amounts of data plays a growing role – such as the analysis of medical data, the decentralized supply with renewable energies or the optimization of traffic flow in large cities.