ODI Welcomes New Investment to Unlock Open Data

The government has announced £8m of investment to help public bodies release more of their data. £850,000 will be used to support companies wanting to develop new products and services through events and competitions run by the Open Data Institute.

The funding was announced this morning by Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude and Business and Skills Minister Matthew Hancock. The Open Data Immersion Programme run by ODI will comprise a series of events run over three years, convening a range of data owners (Trading Funds, departments, agencies and local authorities) and data users. This will help SMEs and start-ups to work with data owners to better understand how to reuse available data sets in ways which create business opportunities.

In addition to the The Open Data Immersion Programme, the package of investment will include:

  • A £7.5m Data Strategy Board Breakthrough Fund, for which public sector bodies can bid to help them unlock their data; and
  • Upgrades to the format in which Ordnance Survey data can be downloaded to make it easier, more accurate and more flexible for companies to use.

ODI Support

Welcoming the news, the ODI’s Commercial Director, Stuart Coleman said:

“We are excited by the opportunity to work with BIS on the new Open Data Immersion Programme. As part of that programme, we will be running a series of events that focus on the invention of new applications that provide social, environmental and economic value and on the development of those ideas into viable start-ups.”

The ODI’s Technical Director, Jeni Tennison said:

“The Data Strategy Board Breakthrough Fund will make a real difference to organisations who want to push their open data publication to the next level, enabling them to secure the expertise to break through technical barriers. We would be happy to help any organisations who are thinking of applying for the Breakthrough Fund to identify projects where the investment would lead to structured, traceable and sustainable publication of open data, and in particular to help connect them to potential re-users.”

Organisations interested in the Open Data Immersion Programme should contact olivia.burman@theodi.org