Students win government open data competition

Downing Street has awarded prizes to university students who have designed apps based on newly released government datasets.

Downing Street has awarded prizes to university students in a competition to design apps based on newly released government datasets.

The winning applications developed tools to help citizens to choose schools, report local eyesores and find local hospitals with the shortest accident and emergency waiting times.

The eight winning teams were selected from thousands of students entering the "appathon" competition. As part of their prize the students will also win a trip to Silicon Valley to visit entrepreneurial technology companies.

Prime minister David Cameron said: "I warmly welcome the fact that Silicon Valley Comes to the UK has organised this competition to reward the creative use of government data and I congratulate the winners. This type of innovation can produce new applications and services that generate significant social and economic benefits across our society."

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude added: “These applications prove the potential power of public data to drive entrepreneurial growth, choice and competition in public services."

As part of the government’s transparency agenda, it intends to open a Public Data Centre (PDC) in December to create opportunities for developers, businesses and members of the public to make use of public sector data. However, concerns have been raised that not all the data contained within the PDC will be made freely available.



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