Research & development

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The Open Data Institute (ODI) undertakes mission-focused, applied R&D on a broad range of topics related to data access, sharing, collection and use. We partner with organisations and support researchers to gather and create impactful ideas, knowledge and evidence.

Who we are

The R&D team at the ODI is a collective of researchers and technologists. We come from a diverse range of backgrounds, bringing together expertise including: social science; policy and technology research; data science; standards; prototyping; and experimentation.

What we do

Translating knowledge into action is at the heart of the ODI’s mission. Our applied research and development work, undertaken in collaboration with academic and research institutions, governments and companies in the UK and around the world, covers a broad range of projects and topics:

  • We explore and synthesise evidence on key topics including the value of data, and the impact of building a more open and trustworthy data ecosystem, and translate it into use-cases.
  • We demystify emerging data technologies such as Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs), agent-based modelling, and distributed ledgers
  • We research and develop tools and standards to assist producers, publishers and users of open data.
  • We analyse and disseminate good practices in the governance and use of data and support the development of policies that help build a world where data works for everyone.
  • We disseminate knowledge and rigorous evidence in an accessible way, through reports, talks, podcasts, prototypes, tutorials, videos, explainers, animations and even art.

The ODI’s R&D activities are collaborative by default and by design. There are many opportunities to work with us on this broad and exciting field of inquiry and experimentation:

  • Many of our projects are conducted with or for partners, or commissioned by clients. If there is a question that you would like the ODI to explore with you, or if you would like the ODI as a partner on a funding bid (eg for Horizon Europe, Research Councils), we would love to hear from you.
  • We often support external researchers in their endeavours, through our research fellowship scheme, grants and stimulus funds, or simply by providing input and feedback on drafts or consultations.
  • We help develop the future data research talent, working with universities to develop (and where appropriate, to co-supervise) postgraduate student projects related to open data. We also organise research visits, placements and secondments for researchers from academia, industry, public sector or civil society wishing to spend time at the ODI.