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The Open Data Institute (ODI) is extending its agreement with Arup for another three years and is outlining plans to build on existing achievements by working together to create an open and trustworthy data ecosystem and create value.

Arup is a global firm that delivers innovative projects in the built environment sector, providing design, engineering, architecture and consulting services. This industry-leading organisation embraces an open approach to help retain its competitive edge and uses vast amounts of open data to assist in its design and planning work and to deliver insights for its clients.

By renewing its partnership with the ODI to realise the benefits of data, Arup is demonstrating a clear commitment to advancing the cause of data sharing, along with existing ODI partners Microsoft, Co-op, Refinitiv, and Deutsche Bank.

Stuart Coleman, Learning & Business Development Director at the ODI, said: “Engaging with the industry pioneers is an integral part of the ODI’s mission to build an open, trustworthy data ecosystem. Our partnership programme helps ODI understand the challenges of businesses and sectors and support them in their aims.

“For more than five years, Arup has been an active member of the ODI’s partnership programme. Together we have worked to improve performance in the building sector – for example encouraging industry adoption of a standardised naming practice for connected devices to optimise building performance by collecting, analysing and leveraging insights from building data.

“We are also exploring the benefits of creating new data institutions in the sector, helping develop Arup’s role as a thought leader in the industry.

“By renewing our partnership agreement we can continue to scale our work, support new ways of data sharing in the built environment and work with Arup’s Smart Building Team to create training programmes, as well as exploring new areas of joint interest.”

Arup has undertaken a range of projects with the ODI. Other examples include creating an ecosystem of open innovators to help solve customer challenges through a porous data supply chain. This has led to them creating new products and developing better ways of working to save time and money – for example identifying the best areas for sandscaping to support coastal protection by using open data and open source software to harness demographic, geospatial and environmental information and analyse the impacts.

Arup has also partnered closely with open data startups to reach agile solutions to challenges – including two open data startups previously incubated at the ODI, Mastodon C and Open Sensors.

Volker Buscher, Chief Data Officer at Arup, said: “When we joined the ODI we needed a critical friend to influence our thinking regarding the use of data in Arup. We were keen to find like-minded people who wanted to promote the creation of value, aligned with social usefulness and web scale technologies.

“Our early activities included: introducing data Infrastructure as an Arup wide concept at a time when the built environment primarily worked within data silos; using the Data Spectrum to help us develop approaches for open, shared and closed data and promoting data knowledge to develop the data literacy of our 16.000 members as a core business competency.

“These early projects helped us shape our data strategy. Today, data underpins every aspect of Arup’s digital transformation. Data is impacting society and business as never before, presenting opportunities to respond to the world’s biggest challenges, reshaping and creating markets in the process. For all of us, this calls for an approach to data that is broad, deep and consistent. We call this “Creativity with Data at Scale”.

“As we progress towards our goal, staying true to our founding principles and values remains our mission. We will strive to collaborate and be increasingly multi-disciplinary, to solve client challenges and build products and services more efficiently and cost-effectively.

“The ODI remains a partner for this journey, and our partnership in the next few years will focus on topics including Data Institutions, to help shape data sharing across the built environment. Recent proof of concepts has shown that 60-70% of effort is lost due to high cost and friction as a result of poor data standards.  We are exploring a better way, to realise the full potential of data for Sustainable Development Goals. A particular focus will be on the use of carbon and net zero data.  We will be shaping knowledge, culture and practices to move our data literacy to the next level and support data governance, ethics and research activities within the built environment.

“We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with the ODI for another three years, creating new ideas and working with amazing people who can help work with data to shape a better world.”

The ODI Partnership programme is a vehicle for linking and connecting organisations who, despite working in many sectors, share a common vision of a collaborative and open future and can share experiences and learnings for mutual benefit, and for the advancement of data sharing generally.

To find out more about working in partnership with the ODI please visit our partnership page or contact [email protected].