In 2017, the ODI secured funds by the UK government of £6m to advance data innovation. The ODI is using the funds to focus on projects that it believes will progress strategically important areas: building data infrastructure, improving data literacy, stimulating data innovation and building trust in the use of data

The money has been awarded through Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, in a three-year programme, running to March 2020 with a funding profile of £2m each year.

It will enable the UK to build on its established strengths in data and data analytics, break new ground in creating value from data across industry, and ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of data innovation globally.


Our six key projects


1. Improving data publishing

This work will understand the unmet needs and pain points in current data publishing tools. It will then offer new solutions to those needs through open source prototypes. It will build on the knowledge and success of the ODI’s Octopub publishing tool which allows anyone to publish data quickly on GitHub, along with other existing data publishing tools.

Research news

Tools 06 Nov 2017 Open data publishing: towards better tools and processes: Publishing high-quality open data can still be costly and ad-hoc. The ODI is going to build and improve publishing tools to speed up and automate the process

29 Aug 2017 Invitation to Tender: Companies to develop open source tools for open data publishing: The objective of this work is to develop new tools or significant incremental improvements to existing tools that are used to publish open data. Two awards will be made. The successful contractors will work in collaboration with the Open Data Institute (ODI) who will provide guidance, review and assistance throughout

Contact [email protected] to get involved


2. Making it easier to create open standards for data

Open standards can help change markets. This project aims to make it quicker and easier for organisations to create open standards for data. The project will gather evidence about how standards are currently created and maintained; understand the needs of data standards creators and encourage standards bodies to move to open. The ODI helped create the momentum to develop open standards for retail banking data and is now using open standards to help the UK get more physically active through the Open Active initiative.

Research news

14 Dec 2017 Open standards for data website design and development tender: The Open Data Institute is publishing a guidebook to facilitate the creation of open standards for data. We are seeking design and development skills to support the development of the website

18 Jul 2017 Invitation to tender: Companies experienced with developing open standards for data to document their tools and processes: The objective of this work is to document the good practices and tools used by companies who develop open standards for data. The successful companies will work in collaboration with the Open Data Institute (ODI) who will guide the research and documentation

Contact [email protected] to get involved


3. New service delivery models

This project will grow the understanding of how to implement data-enabled service delivery models in government, and how to publish more open data as part of these approaches. The project will distill and categorise current best practice, develop learning tools for public sector works, and award funding to forward thinking organisations to develop exploratory showcase open data projects. It will increase the pace of public service redesign.

Research news

Stimulus2 4 Dec 2017 Four UK teams win funding to redesign public services with open data: By redesigning processes and working with others to help, public services can be more efficient and resilient. The ODI has launched a programme to find models, develop prototypes and produce learning materials for data-focused service delivery

23 Aug 2017 Improving public services with data: fund launched for service delivery redesign: By redesigning processes and working with others to help, public services can be more efficient and resilient. The ODI has launched a programme to find models, develop prototypes and produce learning materials for data-focused service delivery

17 Aug 2017 Invitation to tender: Stimulus fund for service redesign: Stimulus fund for a number of consortia organisations. Each consortium must include at least one UK public sector organisation

Contact [email protected] to get involved


4. Peer-to-peer accommodation

This project will convene government, businesses, think tanks and consumer groups to prototype and disseminate new models of gathering and using data in the sector. Prototypes will be used to show how data could be used to make the peer-to-peer economy better. For example, using data to inform debate, and crowdsourcing data to enhance trust and confidence in platforms.

Research news

AirBNB 6 Dec 2017 What are the impacts of peer-to-peer accommodation platforms?: Our discovery phase of this project has focused on researching the varying needs of different stakeholders in the sector through user needs research and previous efforts taken to respond to these needs. These insights, together with our recommended opportunities to explore, will inform the next phase of work.

23 Aug 2017 How is peer-to-peer accommodation regulated around the world?: Regulation for peer-to-peer accommodation is being discussed around the world, but data isn’t being used effectively to inform, design and implement it. We are researching how data could be better used to help regulate the peer-to-peer accommodation sector. Here’s what we’ve learned so far

11 Aug 2017 How could data be used better to help regulate peer-to-peer accommodation?: The exponential growth of peer-to-peer platforms like Airbnb has brought unprecedented choice and economic value. How can they be regulated best to benefit everyone? Tom Sasse introduces a new programme of work and invites contributions


5. Helping businesses understand emerging data technology

This has four strands, each helping businesses understand a different, emerging data technology in order to increase innovation, reduce costs and create competitive advantages. The focus areas are artificial intelligence, blockchain, personal data and geographic UK data clusters. A report will be produced for each one on the opportunities for businesses. The data clusters work will see the current UK Tech Innovation Index produced the by the ODI, enhanced and improved with more metrics added, to show the most accurate picture yet of innovation drivers and communities in the UK.

Research news

21 Jul 2017 Invitation to tender: Companies to help make it easier for people to understand UK technology clusters: The objective of this work is to understand the needs of people who want to use data to understand UK technology clusters; produce tools, data and visualisations that meet those needs; and produce a short, accessible report describing the methodology and identifying unavailable data that could be made open to help improve decisions made using data about UK technology clusters

6. Enhancing data collaboration between the UK and France

This work explores how twinning programmes are helping French and British cities to solve problems in their communities with data. And specific reports will be published on how APIs can support personal data sharing in the energy sector, and how the most effective data registries are being created and used, as recommended by the UK France Taskforce on Data Innovation. It is designed to enable both countries to share knowledge and pioneer new approaches to data innovation.

Research news

France 6 Dec 2017 The ODI launches three collaborative data innovation projects between the UK and France: The ODI has kicked off three collaborative UK and France projects, which support ways to enhance data collaboration between the two countries. Working with partner cities, each will use data to strengthen commercial opportunities and tackle societal challenges. Meet the teams as they share what they hope to achieve over the next three months

25 Aug 2017 Call for tenders: collaborative data innovation projects between French and UK cities: The ODI will grant one final £20,000 award for a proposal that connects and/or encourages collaborative data innovation between French and UK cities