Feeds

Open Data Institute pours golden £10m shower on upstarts

Taxpayer-funded teams to tackle public info dumps

Boost IT visibility and business value

The Open Data Institute has launched with a taxpayer-funded £10m pot to turn the government’s public information dumps into something tangible. Or that's the promise.

Based at Silicon Roundabout in London’s Shoreditch, the group is headed by web daddy Tim Berners-Lee and artificial intelligence professor Nigel Shadbolt.

The institute was unveiled by the Chancellor in November last year as something that would help businesses exploit the government’s release of public data sets on crime, the weather, schools and other stuff.

However, the National Audit Office has criticised the Institute, saying in April that the range and scope of the new group’s work wasn’t clear.

Reading the ODI implementation plan here (warning: PDF - yes, we thought it was all about "open data", too) you can argue things aren’t much better, with deliverables that are at best easy and worse self-serving.

The goal for the first year is an incubation of four startups, four SMEs or large companies to be “helped” though the activities of the ODI, and training to produce a “cohort” of 25 entrepreneurs, developers, technologies and “evangelists” on the subjects of open data and data linking technologies.

There will be hackathons to unlock the mysteries of working with this strange thing called "data" (unheard of in the private sector). There’s also talk of W3C participation, something the taxpayer already got for free thanks to the fact TBL is actually the standards group’s director.

The NAO criticised the government’s open-data policy in its April report, saying that the programme had no proven benefits and that it could actually be costing taxpayers more than it is worth. The watchdog called for some cost-benefit analysis to get a measure of things. Clearly the government hasn’t been reading the report. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Broadband slow and expensive? Blame Telstra says CloudFlare
Won't peer, will gouge for Internet transit
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?