ODI responds to UK government consultation on industrial strategy

The Open Data Institute’s response to the UK government’s industrial strategy green paper is focussed on data and openness.

The ODI works to build a strong, fair and sustainable data economy in which data gets to the people who need it. We believe that openness is a vital mechanism to create a data economy that works for everyone. We recommend that openness forms one of the pillars of the industrial strategy.

Data is one of the UK’s key strengths – at local, devolved and national levels – and it is the right time to invest to build on that strength. We are going through a data revolution due to the growth of the web and internet coupled with the drop in the price of software and hardware. Data has become a new form of infrastructure for a 21st century economy.

Investing in our data economy can create significant growth in productivity and economic value across sectors. The UK has capacity to create jobs and value using data and a competitive advantage compared to other nations.

The response provides priority areas for action on data:

  • developing a shared vision for a strong data infrastructure across the whole UK to help grow the economy in all regions and make the UK a competitive place to grow or start a business
  • ensuring sector deals are developed in the open and help build open data infrastructure
  • using the Industrial Challenge Strategy Fund to support research into data infrastructure, skills, open innovation, and into building in equity, engagement and ethics to data use
  • encouraging national, devolved and local government to work with local institutions, such as the ODI Nodes, and support peer networks
  • publishing open data on the capabilities and strengths of different places and sectors
  • providing data skills and literacy through a combination of government and business-provided training and better designed services
  • funding better tools for data discoverability and building open geospatial data infrastructure
  • using public sector transformation and procurement to open up data and encourage the use of open standards
  • using fiscal incentives and challenges to encourage the private sector to open data to drive innovation
  • ensuring the UK continues to be a welcoming place for migrants in the tech industry
  • revisiting data legislation as part of the process for exiting the UK
  • securing a data adequacy arrangement with the EU and ensuring no disruption to non-EU data flows

In the response we have provided some sector-specific detail on the importance of data and openness in the energy and artificial intelligence sectors. Similar thinking could be applied to other areas such as transport, agriculture, or housing to help build a data economy that works for everyone.

See the full response below, and access it here. The ODI has also issued a joint response with Digital Catapult, which can be accessed here