The European Union has committed €14.4m (£11m) towards open data with projects and institutions lead by the Open Data Institute (ODI), Southampton University, the Open University and Telefonica. The funding is the largest direct investment into open data startups globally and will be used to fund three separate schemes covering startups, open data research and a new training academy for data science.
In 2014, we are not just talking about smart use of technology to improve government processes and service delivery, but about governments that see technology as part of the solution for opening up the process of policy making and being accountable to citizens. We are talking about opening up government by being more transparent, more accountable, more participatory and using technology to help facilitate it.
Digital technology is opening up new possibilities for research. A researcher can test a new hypothesis relatively quickly against a sizeable pre-existing set of open digital research data, originating from a whole range of different past experiments in which he or she had no direct involvement, but which can be repurposed at large scale.
District officials want to use public feedback to proactively shape open government plans and improve current efforts. A 15-member advisory group that launched in late October will play a key role in fostering public participation in the open government process and ensuring more data sets are released while protecting those that have sharing restrictions.