The government is helping to unlock data from public bodies by awarding £1.5 million to projects as part of the Release of Data fund.
The Cabinet Office investment will support organisations who want to improve their data publication data as part of a government push to increase transparency. The Open Data User Group (ODUG), which acts as a bridge between the open data community and government, will collect bids for funding.
Visit data.gov.uk to see what data is currently available or read case studies of open data in action.
About the funding
The first round of funding supports projects that will release public data directly, but also those that will help boost skills in the public sector. More funding will follow later this year.
Open data training
More than 100 training places will be available for senior public servants. The training will cover how open data can improve efficiency, bring savings and innovation, and provide wider economic benefits. The aim is to help improve public data release in the future.
Local public data
A number of projects aim to improve the release of public data at a local level – eg the Leeds Data Mill will provide citizens with freely available data about public services.
Other projects will help all local authorities to release specific data in a consistent way – eg the Local Authority Voucher Scheme will encourage every local authority to release data on public conveniences, gritting and planning in the same format. Projects like this will help the open data community to develop national products using this data – which hasn’t been consistently available or standardised before now.
The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, said:
The UK is a world-leader in opening up data because we know that it creates a more accountable, efficient and effective government. Open Data is a raw material for economic growth, supporting the creation of new markets, business and jobs and helping us compete in the global race. To ensure this agenda continues to thrive, we are supporting a number of projects which will drive forward this culture of openness.
Open data case studies
In the lead up to International Open Data Day on February 22, 2014, ODUG is releasing 50 case studies on open-data-led business and applications on data.gov.uk, the government’s flagship data portal.
You can also find out more about the following innovative uses of open data:
- Beach Selecta and water quality at Summerleaze Beach
- a project by Mastodon C (in partnership with Open Health Care UK and Ben Goldacre) to save money on NHS prescription costs
- Open data: Guardian Good GCSE Guide
- data.police.uk, which provides open data about crime and policing in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
- FixMyStreet which provides an easy way to contact councils about problems in public areas
- Contracts Finder lets businesses search for information about public sector contracts worth more than £10,000
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