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October 17, 2017

UK government invests £6m in open data

Open Data uses £6m investment to better shape services in the future using current data trends.

By April Slattery

A £6m investment has been awarded to the Open Data Institute to increase knowledge around using data and emerging trends in order to better services.

Innovate UK has provided the multi-million pound investment, with the hope of demonstrating how data can be used to create a better set of public and private services in the future, and also drive economic growth.

Using the investment, the ODI has chosen projects that will focus on strategically developing various services across the sectors, aiming to help business and governments around the world bring data to people who need it more efficiently.

All designed around data development, the projects include building better data infrastructure, improving businesses data literacy, providing inspiration for data innovation and developing ethical uses around data.

Economic, business and social benefits from data will be the first priority focus for the programme in its first year. By exploiting emerging trends like artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain, economic benefits can be achieved and allow businesses to make better technological and business model decisions.

UK government invests £6m in open data

The £6m investment will be used over three years.

Another way to provide economic benefits is by looking at the UK as a whole, and analysing how communities use data and where innovative technologies are located. By doing this, it allows the government to identify those areas needing revamped services to fit the digital age, and use existing services as an example to mould a future model.

Finally, one of the most important benefits to build on is how government bodies, businesses and community’s work collaboratively to make sure data from various sources is understood and brought together easily.

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Dr Jeni Tennison, CEO at ODI, said: “The work we are announcing today will find the best examples of things working well, so we can share and learn from them.  We will take these learning’s and help businesses and governments to use them and lead by example.

The new programme of work will target specific groups and professionals within the public sector, across businesses, and the data community. The reports, research and tools produced will become practical assets that can be used and added to by others, to continue to explore how data can and should work in our societies and economies.

The work set out by the ODI will be carried out over three years, using the investment, to develop existing strengths around data and data analytics across areas lacking those qualities.

By identifying the best aspects of each individual sector and using this across other services, whether it’s hospitals, schools or businesses will ensure that every public or private service is offering the best model possible, to benefit users.

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Overall, the aim of the collaborative investment is to keep the UK in a forefront position for data and innovation globally.

Ruth McKernan, Chief Executive at Innovate UK said: “There is huge potential value to the economy and society from maximising the opportunities that expansion in the availability of data presents, but also challenges in ensuring its proper handling.

“This investment to the Open Data Institute will see the further development of this important agenda to help more UK businesses derive value from the advancements in data and data analytics.”

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