"Build trust in government": £30K fund to encourage use of open data

  • The Department of Finance has opened a £30,000 Innovation and Outreach Fund to encourage the use of open data.

    Awards of between £300 and up to £5,000 are available to fund the development of apps or other interactive visualisations that make innovative use of data on the Open Data NI portal.

    The department stated that organisations and individuals hosting engagement activities including hackathons, workshops, seminars or events that will raise awareness of open data will also be eligible to apply to the fund.

    The fund is part of the government’s new NI Open Data Strategy 2020-2023, which was launched on 14 October. The Department of Finance states on its website that part of the strategy’s aim is “to stimulate the availability and use of Open Data” and “to build trust in government services through a greater commitment to transparency.”

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    Sue Gray, Permanent Secretary at the Department of Finance said: “Opening up public sector data has the potential to provide commercial opportunities and drive economic growth and innovation.

    “This fund will encourage creative re-use of the growing number of public sector datasets available on the Open Data NI Portal and help us deliver on the ambitious targets set out in the Open Data Strategy.”

    The Chair of the NI Open Government Network Colm Burns, added that the “NI Open Data Strategy and Open Data Fund will help open up government data and provide new opportunities for research, innovation and engagement." 

    He continued: “Open Data innovation and outreach will improve government, empower citizens and create opportunities to solve problems in original and creative ways.”

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    Further information about the Innovation and Outreach Fund can be found at https://www.finance-ni.gov.uk/niopendatafund. Deadline to apply is Friday 7 February 2020. Successful applications will be notified on 24 February. Funded activities and projects need to be completed by 30 June 2020.

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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