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Data access stimulus fund: why is it important?

Earlier this year, we published an open call for a new stimulus fund that explores increasing access to data in trustworthy ways in key sectors. The aim was to provide funding, advice and mentorship for up to 10 data institutions and data access initiatives. 

We had 18 applications and we have selected seven initiatives who will receive funding and support until March 2021.

This stimulus fund is part of the fourth year of the ODI’s R&D programme, funded by Innovate UK, and our broader programme of work on data institutions and increased data access. This stimulus fund will particularly explore two aspects of data institutions and data access initiatives:

  • What revenue models, funding sources and cost structures can be adopted by data institutions to become sustainable?
  • What data infrastructure, including data assets, standards, stakeholders and technology must be created or strengthened in order to be successful at meeting a social, environmental or economic challenge?

Our approach

In this project we’ll be supporting the stimulus fund winners through funding, access to expertise and mentorship, as well as through training sessions and workshops organised by the ODI team.

The winners will also have a chance to test and provide feedback on some of our early prototypes for supporting the planning and delivery for the different phases of a data access initiative or a data institution's life cycle.

We hope to build strong relationships between the funded initiatives through networking activities and at the end of the project, we will be producing a summary report as well as case studies related to each initiative.

The winners

  • Open Climate Fix
    • A non-profit research lab that plans to make it far easier for the energy system to share data - solar generation data in the first instance -, data that should make the electricity grid more efficient, renewable energy more attractive to investors, and reduce the cost of energy to bill payers.
  • Open Data Manchester
    • Open Data Manchester works with 100s of small-scale energy and eco-efficiency operatives, like Carbon Co-op, to help their members share data - such as the power usage of smart meters, home energy performance assessments and electrical appliance and vehicle data - to help citizens and businesses to lower their environmental impact and deliver better services.
  • Your Dsposal
    • Your Dsposal uses tech to improve transparency and accountability in the waste sector. Information on waste services is often hard to find leaving UK citizens confused about what they can and can’t recycle. Your Dsposal will collect, standardise and share data to inform the public, improve recycling rates and reduce waste crime, like fly-tipping, which costs the UK economy an estimated £1bn a year.
  • DNV GL
    • DNV GL aims to help the UK achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, by using data sharing to support decarbonisation for clean growth. As a trusted, independent expert, it aims to assist the energy sector by defining potential business models to enable a shift in attitude and behaviour towards data.”
  • ODI Leeds
    • #OpenDataSavesLives is a project to stimulate innovation with data in the Health and Social care sector. This support will help ODI Leeds amplify its work to benefit the UK Health and Social Care sector as it responds to the Global Covid19 pandemic, creating reliable data infrastructure and using the power of the web to make a massive difference.
  • Etic Lab
    • Etic Lab is developing collaborative frameworks to help groups of legal advice charities access the strategic insights contained in their data without obliging them to expose sensitive or proprietary information, enhancing the charities’ goal of providing access to the UK justice system for those without the means to afford a solicitor.
  • Collections Trust
    • Collections Trust aims to build consensus on how all 1,700 UK museums might sustainably share their collections data with each other and with users ranging from school children to academic researchers.

Get involved

Are you interested in open data? Are you curious about how you could use it, share it or help promote its social, economic and environmental benefits? Are you currently working on a data institution or as part of a data access initiative? Are you funding or hoping to fund a data institution?

Get in contact, we want to hear from the community

Background and funding

This work follows previous stimulus funds run by the ODI:

This work is part of an innovation programme, running to March 2021 with funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.

Through our R&D programme, we aim to shape future services and promote productivity and growth with cutting edge expertise.