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Government gives ODI £6m to improve data knowledge

The Open Data Institute has been awarded £6m in funding from InnovateUK for a series of projects aiming to improve the UK’s data expertise

The Open Data Institute (ODI) is getting £6m in funding over the next three years to improve the country’s data work and ensure the UK is at the “forefront of data innovation”.  

The money comes from the government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, and will cover a series of projects focusing on building better data infrastructure, innovation and ethical use. Each year, the ODI will receive £2m.

This includes projects focused on improving data publishing, looking at “the unmet needs and pain points in current data publishing tools”, and making it easier for organisations to create open standards for data.

Other projects will cover helping businesses understand emerging trends such as blockchain and artificial intelligence, increasing innovation and making the most out of new technologies, as well as looking at new service delivery models in government and “how to publish more open data”.  

ODI CEO Jeni Tennison said the learnings gathered from the projects will be used to help businesses and government “to use them and lead by example”. 

“Data is transforming the decisions we make as individuals, organisations and societies, from how we navigate from A to B, to finding an appropriate loan, to knowing where to invest to promote innovation. These new projects will advance our understanding of the opportunities data can bring, as well as some of the pitfalls to avoid,” she said.

“The work we are announcing today will find the best examples of things working well, so we can share and learn from them.”

Read more about The Open Data Institute

All reusable materials gathered or created during the projects will be published under an open licence, and can be used and added to by others.

Innovate UK CEO Ruth McKernan 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 ODI 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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