The government's vision to establish a world-leading centre to drive innovation and growth, through exploiting the opportunities created by their Open Data policy, have come closer to reality with the publication of plans to establish an Open Data Institute in London.
The Open Data Institute (ODI – theodi.org) is the first of its kind in the world and hopes to become the website for those seeking to create new products, entrepreneurial opportunities and economic growth from open data. The initial focus will be on incubating and nurturing new businesses but ODI will also promote innovation and help develop skills to drive business opportunities that use open data.
Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office commented: "We don't just want to lead the world in releasing government data; our aim is to make the UK an international role model in exploiting the potential of open data to generate new businesses and stimulate growth."
The Open Data Institute will be co-directed by World Wide Web founder Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Professor Nigel Shadbolt. The government has committed £10 million over five years to support the ODI, which will be based in Shoreditch, East London. Tim Berners-Lee (pictured) said: "The Institute will connect together lots of people excited about open data. Those who produce it with those who want to put it to use in all sorts of fields and every kind of industry."
Involving business, the public sector and academia, the ODI will demonstrate the commercial value of open data. While emphasising the commercial potential of Open Data, the ODI will also engage with developers and the public sector to support the entire supply chain and build sustainability.