Open Data Institute to be built near Silicon Roundabout

The government will announce a number of open data initiatives tomorrow, including a new Open Data Institute near ‘Silicon Roundabout’.

The Open Data Institute will "innovate, exploit and research open data opportunities with business and academia", chancellor George Osborne will announce tomorrow.

The institute will be directed by leading open data academics Professor Nigel Shadbolt and web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

The scheme recalls the Institute for Web Science, an academic research centre proposed by former prime minister Gordon Brown in March 2010, which was also due to be run by Shadbolt and Berners-Lee.

"We want to build on the outstanding work Sir Tim and Nigel Shadbolt have put in to ‘making public data public’," said Brown at the time.

See also: EU takes step toward open data – Civil Liberties Committee backs amendment demanding open access to EU documents, written by Labour MEP for West Midlands

However, the current government scrapped the £30 million plan in May 2010, saying it was a "low priority".

Other open data initiatives to be announced tomorrow include new NHS open data offerings that the government claims will help the healthcare and pharmaceuticals industries develop new products and services. "Consultation with industry suggests that easier access to linked data could increase the amount of pharmaceutical R&D investment by UK based pharmaceutical firms," the government will say.

It will also announce that "real time" data on bus and train services will made available, and that the Met Office and Land Registry will be making some data available under an ‘Open Governent Licence’.

The measures will "boost investment in medical research and in digital technology in the UK … helping to realise the PM’s ambition to make TechCity one of the world’s great technology centres and create an environment where the next Apple or Skype could come out of the UK," the government will say.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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