The Ministers set out three new complementary measures to open up access to public data, including:
· A new £7.5m Data Strategy Board Breakthrough Fund to which public sector bodies can apply;
· A new £850,000 Open Data Immersion Programme to which companies can apply; and
· Upgrades to the format in which Ordnance Survey data can be downloaded to make it easier, more accurate and more flexible for companies, government, charities and individuals to use.
The announcement coincides with publication by the Cabinet Office of the first quarterly Written Ministerial Statement showing how departments are complying with their obligations for releasing public data, as set out in two letters from the Prime Minister, the Open Data White Paper and their own Public Data Strategies.
The new Breakthrough Fund will help government departments, agencies and local authorities with necessary funding to release data where there are short -term technical barriers.
The Open Data Immersion Programme will provide support to companies looking to reuse data to develop ideas for new products and services. It will comprise of a series of different themed events and competitions run by the Open Data Institute to encourage SMEs and start-ups to work with data owners to better understand the business opportunities different data sets provide.
Competition winners will be eligible to take their concepts into early product development with a £20,000 to £25,000 investment. More details will be announced in the new year.
The Data Strategy Board, the independent advisory Board established to create maximum value from public data, advised the government on the shape of the package to create maximum value from public data.
Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said:
“This new funding will help us to exploit the power of open data to fuel social and economic growth. It will free up more data for commercial exploitation and help drive innovation in public services.
“But transparency is also about making government better by sharpening accountability. That is why today we are also publishing information showing how departments are meeting their own demanding open data obligations.
“ We are at the start of this process and it has never been done before. There is still some way to go to meet all our obligations, but now we have a benchmark against which progress can be measured. This will act as a spur to further data releases, of higher quality and will help embed transparency in the private sector."
Matthew Hancock, Business Minister and sponsor of the Data Strategy Board, said:
“The value and scope for open data is extremely significant. Open data can improve public services, generate new revenue streams for companies and help to stimulate economic growth. That’s why we are backing it through these new investments.
“We want to help enable everyone to benefit from open data – whether it’s taxpayers, businesses, the public sector or individuals.”
Stephan Shakespeare, Chair of the Data Strategy Board, said:
"The combined stimulus package contains new measures aimed at opening up access to public data to stimulate economic growth and to develop more efficient and transparent public services."
The Data Strategy Board will work closely with the Public Data Group (PDG) of Trading Funds when considering data owned by one of the members. An example of this relationship is the announcement of an upgrade to Ordnance Survey (OS) Open Data products, building on previous open data releases.
The upgrade will enable people to create and customise different maps thanks to upgrades to OS OpenData, the online portal from Ordnance Survey providing free and unrestricted access to a large range of mapping datasets.
This will make OS OpenData products easier, more accurate and more flexible to use and will enable users to create and customise different maps as well as more options to display their data.
All of the measures announced are expected to be in place by early April 2013.
The Written Ministerial Statement published today from the Cabinet Office shows that over a third of government departments, including their arms-length bodies, have met or are on track to meet all their open data commitments instigated since May 2010.
More than half have met their obligations set out in letters from the Prime Minister in May 2010 and July 2011, and two-thirds of departments have met or are on target to meet their departmental commitments set out in their Open Data Strategies.
The average openness score for all departments is 52%, based on the percentage of the datasets published by each department and its arms-length bodies that achieve ‘Three Stars’ and above against the Five Star Rating for Open Data set out in the Open Data White Paper.
Notes to Editors
1. More details of the different measures can be found on the Data Strategy Board website at: http://www.bis.gov.uk/data-strategy-board
2. The Data Strategy Board Breakthrough Fund will be overseen by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills in conjunction with the Cabinet Office. The fund will cover a number of sub-themes of activity which could include funding for IT/tool development; standardising data; and making data linkable. It is estimated that this could support up to 10 projects across the public sector. Further information on the eligibility criteria and process for making bids will be published shortly.
3. The ODI is a non-profit (Limited by Guarantee), non-government, non-partisan organisation. It is receiving partial funding from the Government’s Technology Strategy Board (£2m a year over 5 years). The ODI will match this with industry funding to develop approaches that release the value in open data and use it to create knowledge for everyone.
4. The Data Strategy Board is an independent Advisory Board established to create maximum value for companies and people across the UK from data held by the four Public Data Group Trading Funds where appropriate – Ordnance Survey, the Met Office, the Land Registry and Companies House – and from across the wider public sector.
5. The Data Strategy Board is independently chaired by Stephan Shakespeare (CEO of YouGov Plc). Stephan is also currently leading the independent review of public sector information. More details on the review can be found at http://news.bis.gov.uk/Press-Releases/Review-of-open-data-to-explore-growth-opportunities-68203.aspx
6. The Public Data Group Board is led by an independent Chair, Claudia Arney, who was appointed in July 2012. The PDG is tasked with driving efficiencies and synergies between its members and others in the public sector, in order to deliver better, more efficient public services.
7. The ‘Open Data White Paper – Unleashing the Potential’, and each departmental Open Data Strategy, can be found at www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/open-data
8. The Open Data White Paper committed the Government to issue a Written Ministerial Statement on compliance with the Public Data Principles every quarter. Alongside this we have also collected compliance to commitments set out in the Prime Minister’s letters of May 2010 and July 2011 as well as compliance to commitments set out in departmental Open Data Strategies. The first of the reporting period is from July to September 2012.
9. The ‘Open Data White Paper – Unleashing the Potential’, and each departmental Open Data Strategy, can be found at www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/open-data
10. You can find details of the “Five Star” open data standard at http://data.gov.uk/opendataconsultation/policy-challenge-questions/setting-open-data-standards#_ftn2
11. The ODI will act as an “honest broker” to conceive, plan and execute the Open Data Immersion Programme to measure the outcomes against the value-based approach. Winners from these events will receive prizes to develop their products and services.
12. The Ordnance Survey open data updates will be available to everybody through the OS OpenData website http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/products/os-opendata.html from April 2013. Further information is available on the Ordnance Survey website at: www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk
13. The Government's economic policy objective is to achieve 'strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries'. It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:
- To create the most competitive tax system in the G20
- To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
- To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
- To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.
Work is underway across Government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the Government wants the economy to travel.
14. BIS's online newsroom contains the latest press notices and speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See http://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom for more information.