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Invitation to tender: Study of the economic and social returns of ‘Open standards for data’

Tue Mar 5, 2019
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Invitation to tender: Study of the economic and social returns of ‘Open standards for data’

31 January 2019

Tender reference: RDPM-017

Call for tenders by the Open Data Institute (ODI)
Contact: [email protected]

Study of the economic and social returns of Open Standards for Data

The primary objective of this work is to generate evidence of the economic value and social benefits (generated or estimated) to the economy from the development and implementation of open standards for data. The study will draw upon the work conducted in the Open Data Standards project, part of ODI’s innovation programme, a three-year, £6M programme to support and build upon the UK’s strengths in data, funded by Innovate UK.

The successful company will work in collaboration with the ODI,  who will provide guidance, review and assistance throughout.

Summary and timeline

To assess the economic and social returns of 'Open standards for data'.
The primary audience for this work is UK government departments who have funded, championed or overseen the contract with the ODI. Other audiences include organisations who might fund, campaign for or develop open standards for data as well as the ODI, particularly in generating insights which can be used to improve the effectiveness of future programmes.
Duration Between 1 April 2019 - 30 September 2019
Value of award (excl. VAT)Up to £50,000
Questions to ODI by5pm 4 March BST 2019
ODI responses by5pm 7 March BST 2019
Costed proposals due by5pm 18 March BST 2019
Tender decision by5pm 22 March BST 2019
Contract awarded5pm 23 March BST 2019
ODI brief winning applicant(s) Week of 1 April 2019
ODI progress reviewsFortnightly during period of activity
Final work delivered by30 September 2019
Tender reference:[RDPM-017]
Contact[email protected]

Terms of payment

An initial payment of £25,000 will be made on the signing of the contract and a final payment of £25,000 on 30 September 2019, on satisfactory completion of the work, including responses to all feedback from the ODI.


At the ODI, we work with companies and governments to build an open, trustworthy data ecosystem.

We are working to build an open future with the aim to create maximum benefit for everyone. It is part of our strategy to work with companies and governments to identify challenges and develop prototypes and tools to address them.

We are delivering a three-year research and development (R&D) programme to help develop the next generation of public and private services. The work aims to support innovation, improve data infrastructure and encourage ethical data sharing.

The programme is funded by Innovate UK, as part of a £6M, three-year programme, running to March 2020. We want to enable the UK to build on its strengths in data and analytics, break new ground in creating value from data across industries, and ensure it remains at the forefront of data innovation around the world.

This study will concentrate on the contribution that open standards for data makes to value generated to the economy, building on the experience and thinking developed through our work, and shared in the Open Standards for Data guidebook.

Background to the Open Standards for Data can be found in the guidebook, some initial analysis of this project has been conducted in 2018, which will be available as background to the work.

Research questions

The principal research questions are:

  1. What quantifiable economic return and/or social benefits are generated through the development and implementation of open standards for data?
  2. What quantifiable economic returns and/or social benefits are attributed to ODI’s work to develop and implement open standards for data

To help answer these questions, the following questions are proposed. Applicants should outline in their proposal if they consider these questions appropriate to answer the principle research questions above, or others questions should be investigated.

  1. Drawing on macro level analysis of the benefits realised from data standards
    1. What evidence has been generated into the economic returns and social benefits generated by data standards?
  2. Drawing on evidence from non-data sectors
    1. What value has been created by the introduction of standards in other areas of the economy other than data? What value creation can be reasonably attributed to open standards for data, drawing on parallels from non-data focussed examples?
  3. Investigating the contribution of open standards to the value creation in macro level analyses of data sharing and open data
    1. Several studies, have been conducted over the last 10 years (such as that by Lateral Economics ) to calculate the economic returns from data, and ‘open’ data in particular (though ‘open’ is defined inconsistently). However these reports do not detail the contribution that data standards make to the value creation models used or ultimate value created. Can the models used in such studies be unpicked to create an understanding of how data standards contribute in value creation and to quantify that contribution?
  4. Investigating and quantifying benefits from the evidence framework outlined in the Open Standards for Data Guidebook
    1. The guidebook provides an outline of ODI’s thinking of how economic returns and social benefits are generated from open standards for data. Based on the examples of open standards provided in the guidebook, and the findings generated in other parts of this study, what is the economic and social returns that can be attributed to open standards for data?
  5. Investigating and quantifying benefits from use of the guidebook (by the ODI or other organisations), building on prior investigations.

Research methods

Applicants should propose suitable methods as part of the research design phase of this work. We anticipate that this will be a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods.


Research plans:

A broad research plan should be agreed with the ODI detailing the overarching research questions to be analysed, research methods to be used, information for the selection of project outputs, or if relevant the selection of stakeholders within projects and schedule. The plan should be submitted for input and comments from the ODI by 13 May 2019. The purpose of the plan is to outline the work to be undertaken, who will be asked what, when and why.

Research findings reports:

We anticipate that the analysis findings will be delivered through a report and accompanying presentation. The report is anticipated to be a maximum of 40 pages along with a executive summary maximum length of five pages.

The primary audience of the report will be the programme funding representatives from UK Government. All reports will be published under an open licence for anyone to see and comment on, and will be linked from relevant sections of the open standards for data guidebook. Relevant figures or findings may be used to revise aspects of the main guidebook content.

A draft of the report should be submitted to the ODI for comments by 22 July 2019. Feedback from the ODI will be returned by 5 August 2019. A finalised versions of the report is to be submitted no later than 30 September 2019.

Schedule of deliverables:

  • Research plan
    13 May 2019 5pm (GMT)
  • Draft report
    22 July 2019 5pm (GMT)
  • Final report and presentation
    30 September 2019 5pm (GMT)


Short coordination/progress update meetings will take place on a bi-weekly basis with the ODI during period of activity.

The ODI will, where possible, provide space to work in our offices in London, when members of the successful contractor wish to work onsite. There is an expectation that the successful contractor will work closely with the ODI team.

Form of tender response

Interested parties should submit a costed proposal (in English) to [email protected] which includes:

  • the tender reference in the email subject line
  • a short (no more than 10 pages) explanation of your proposed approach (eg methodology, scope), including why you are well-placed to do the work
  • a description of the team who will do the work, including bios
  • the costing should be at activity level, but feel free to provide more detail
  • a writing sample of a similar research report or study

If you have any questions about the tender, please contact [email protected] quoting the tender reference. The ODI reserves the right to make both anonymised questions and answers public or shared with other organisations having stated their interest.

Decision criteria

All proposals will be assessed as described in our public procurement policy. In addition, for this procurement we will be looking for experience in developing similar social and economic models which enable the scaling of project level economic and social benefits to the economy as a whole.

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