Editorial

Government gives Open Data Institute £6m leg-up

‘The work we are announcing today will find the best examples of things working well, so we can share and learn from them,’ says the body on the eve of an ambitious three-year programme centred around six key data projects

Posted 18 October 2017 by

The government’s committing £6m worth of support to  Open Data Institute to advance knowledge and expertise in how data can shape the next generation of public and private services plus create economic growth.

The money, to be made available over a three-year period, is being funnelled through Innovate UK, the national body set up to help identify the commercial potential in new technologies and turn them into the new products and services that will generate economic growth and increase productivity.

It will support a body now in its sixth yea that’s all about working to build a strong, fair and sustainable global data ecosystem by helping businesses and governments around the world “get data to people who need it”, specifically in six projects on improving data publishing, making it easier to create open standards for data, new service delivery models, peer-to-peer accommodation, helping businesses understand emerging data technology and enhancing data collaboration between the UK and France.

These have been chosen, say the Institute, to progress strategically important areas including building data infrastructure, improving data literacy, stimulating data innovation and progressing the ethical use of data.

In the first year of the programme, work will focus on creating economic, and social benefits from data, answering a range of key innovation questions and meeting business needs, it adds.

“The work we are announcing today will find the best examples of things working well, so we can share and learn from them,” claimed its CEO, Dr Jeni Tennison.

“We will take these learnings and help businesses and governments to use them and lead by example.”

“There is huge potential value to the economy and society from maximising the opportunities that expansion in the availability of data presents, but also challenges in ensuring its proper handling,” added Innovate UK’s Chief Executive Ruth McKernan.

“This investment to the Open Data Institute will see the further development of this important agenda to help more UK businesses derive value from the advancements in data and data analytics.”

The Open Data Institute is independent, non-profit and non-partisan, it says.

Founded in 2012 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Sir Nigel Shadbolt, from its headquarters in London and via its global network of startups, members and nodes, the body offers training, research and strategic advice for organisations looking to explore the possibilities of data.