Open Data Institute to help drive innovation and growth

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A world-leading Open Data Institute is to be established in East London, helping to drive innovation and exploit the growth opportunities for the UK created by the government’s Open Data policy. The institute will be developed by the Technology Strategy Board.

A world-leading Open Data Institute is to be established in East London, helping to drive innovation and exploit the growth opportunities for the UK created by the government’s Open Data policy.

The government is to commit up to £10 million over five years to support the Open Data Institute (ODI), which will be co-directed by Professor Tim Berners-Lee and Professor Nigel Shadbolt. The ODI will be developed by the Technology Strategy Board (http://www.innovateuk.org) and the implementation plan for the Institute will be published by the Technology Strategy Board by April 2012.

Based in Shoreditch in East London, the ODI will involve businesses and academic institutions and will focus on innovation, commercialisation and the development of web standards to support the Open Data Agenda. It will ensure that Open Data research is transformed into commercial advantage for UK companies, work with academic centres to increase the number of trained personnel with extensive Open Data skills and provide expert advice for government.

Commenting on today’s announcement Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said:
"It is a measure of the priority given by the government to Open Data that it has committed funding at this time to support the Open Data Institute through the Technology Strategy Board, in collaboration with industry and academic institutions.

“The new Institute will help to demonstrate the commercial value of public data and develop the capability of UK businesses to exploit this value, with support from academic institutions.”

The ODI will support a wide range of start-up and early-stage companies, micro businesses and SMEs to exploit Open Data through the provision of specialist, technical and commercial services. The ODI will also provide extensive and focussed support to a number of small businesses that show the greatest promise for the exploitation of Open Data, with businesses selected through an annual open competition.

The Institute will also promote the use of more powerful web data standards and technology and help small companies with the skills to access procurement opportunities, in order to deliver innovative solutions into the public sector.

The ODI will aim to become an authoritative source of expert advice for government and help accelerate the release of Open Data in ways that will minimize private sector costs and lower barriers to reusing data, helping to reduce public sector IT and consultancy costs.

The Technology Strategy Board will now focus on delivering an implementation plan for the proposed Open Data Institute, as requested by the government, by April 2012.

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Nick Sheppard
Technology Strategy Board
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