The University of Southampton

ECS Professors to co-direct UK's Open Data Institute

Published: 
29 November 2011
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ECS Professors Nigel Shadbolt and Sir Tim Berners-Lee have been named as co-directors of a new world-leading Open Data Institute, established by the UK Government to innovate, exploit and research Open Data opportunities.

The new Institute will be based in Shoreditch, the newly designated 'Tech City UK' area of London, where there is a huge concentration of Web 2.0 start-ups, and it will involve business and academic institutions.

The Open Data Institute is intended to help demonstrate the commercial value of public data and the impact of open data policies on the realisation of this value. The Institute will also help develop the capability of UK businesses to exploit open data opportunities, with support from University researchers. It will help the public sector use its own data more effectively and it will engage with developers and the private and public sectors to build supply chains and commercial outlets for public data. The Government is to commit up to £10m over five years to support the Open Data Institute through the Technology Strategy Board - in a match-funded collaboration with industry and academic centres.

Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, Public Sector Transparency board member and new director of the ODI, said: “One of the reasons the Web worked was because people reused each other’s content in ways never imagined by those who created it. The same will be true of Open Data. The Institute will allow us to provide the tools, skills and methods to support the creation of new value using Open Government Data.”

Professor Nigel Shadbolt, Head of the Web and Internet Science Group at ECS-Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, Public Sector Transparency board member and new director of the ODI said:

“Data is the new raw material of the 21st century and the UK is world-leading in the release of Open Government Data. Open Government Data not only increases transparency and accountability but also creates economic and social value. The Institute will help business to realise this value and foster a generation of open data entrepreneurs.”

The new Institute is one of a number of measures that the Government announced today as part of a larger initiative to boost UK economic growth.

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