The government has announced plans to create an Open Data Institute (ODI) and has committed £10m over the next five years to help kick start the project.
The ODI will be located in the heart the ‘Tech City’ or ‘Silicon Roundabout’ area near Shoreditch, east London. The Institute will be co-directed by founder of the World Wide Web Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee and the government advisor Professor Nigel Shadbolt.
The initiative is designed to enable small businesses to share and exploit each other’s data, offering new opportunities for expansion and growth. The ODI will also provide a ‘jump start’ scheme to provide technical support and guidance start-ups and training for students to help train open data evangelists and technologists.
The government states in its PDF outlining the ODI: “We will incubate, nurture and mentor new businesses exploiting Open Data for economic growth.
“We will provide an exhilarating, stimulating, innovative and engaging environment based in the heartland of UK Tech start-ups – Shoreditch. The ODI will be a place that develops the very best UK talents in Open Data. A focal point where current and future entrepreneurs and developers, technologists and creatives meet, share ideas, make things happen and drive growth.”
Furthermore, according to the government, the ODI will hold annual competitions and hackathons that will provide mentoring support for “small businesses that show the greatest promise for the exploitation of open data”.
Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “We don't just want to lead the world in releasing government data - our aim is to make the UK an international role model in exploiting the potential of open data to generate new businesses and stimulate growth.”
You can read the full 11-page PDF of the government’s ODI plan here.