Public Services > Central Government

Government invests £6m in Open Data Institute to boost data innovation

Matteo Natalucci Published 17 October 2017

The three-year programme aims to enhance UK’s data innovation and data-enabled public services solutions


Innovate UK is providing £6m over three years’ time to the Open Data Institute (ODI), to further knowledge and expertise on data innovation focusing on how data can shape the next generation of public and private services, and create economic growth.

The government programme aims to enhance UK’s data and data analytics capabilities, break new ground in creating value from data across industry, and ensure that the country remains at the forefront of data innovation globally.

The programme will target specific groups and professionals within the public sector, businesses, and the data community.

It will include a number of projects chosen by the ODI to progress strategically important areas: building data infrastructure, improving data literacy, stimulating data innovation and progressing the ethical use of data.

In the first year of the programme, work will focus on creating economic, and social benefits from data, answering a range of key innovation questions and meeting business needs.

The programme will research models and best practices on the most effective data-enabled public services to improve the quality of data usage in public administrations.

ODI’s chief executive Jeni Tennison,  said, “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”.

Tennison added, “Since the ODI launched five years ago we, with our global network, have unlocked over £80million of value, by supporting new businesses and services, to leading major data-focused initiatives. For example, the ODI is currently working in partnership with Sport England to deliver OpenActive, a community-led initiative of sport and physical activity organisations and individuals, using open data to get people more active”.

Innovate UK’s chief executive 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 Open Data Institute will see the further development of this important agenda to help more UK businesses derive value from the advancements in data and data analytics.”

The funding has been awarded through Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, in a three-year programme, running from June 2017 to March 2020 with a funding profile of £2m each year.


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