The University of Southampton

Europe’s Open Data Incubator announces first awards

Published: 
8 September 2015
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The first group of new startup businesses to be funded from Europe’s Open Data Incubator, ODINE, range from an innovative app that helps track infectious diseases to a global search engine for the Internet of Things.

Seven startups were funded in the first open call from the European incubator programme, receiving €650,000 in total.

The startup companies, based across Europe, all use open data in innovative ways. Their participation in ODINE will enable them to develop successful sustainable businesses through a wide-ranging support package and accelerator programme, including peer-networking, expert advisories and coaching, innovation labs, VC investors, data owners, and the media. ‘The response to this first funding call has been very exciting,’ said Dr Elena Simperl, associate-professor within the Department of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, and leader of the ODINE Programme. ‘We were impressed by the wide-ranging innovation and the range of applications which covered the use of open data in business sectors such as finance, bio-materials, and commercial property.

‘Other businesses to be funded in this round will directly impact on people’s daily lives – such as the infectious disease tracker, and a new platform for the urban cyclist community.’

ODINE represents a new European startup incubator for SMEs and startups which use open data to create economic and social value. The programme is funded by the European Union through Horizon 2020, and includes seven partner organizations, including the Open Data Institute (ODI), the University of Southampton, Telefónica, The Guardian, Fraunhofer, and the Open Knowledge Foundation (Germany).

Throughout the programme, which runs until August 2016, new startups will be recruited every two months on a rolling basis and winning companies are eligible for grants of up to €100,000. The next application deadline for the startup programme is 11 September (apply here).

‘We know that open data has the potential to radically change the way organisations value and use data,’ said Dr Simperl. 'ODINE will offer mentoring, technology and financial support to SME innovators in this space. SMEs are really significant for the European economy and we are giving them the chance to experiment with open data and to exploit business ideas that use open datasets to create added value.’

ODINE has places for 50-70 startup businesses over the next two years. Selected projects will run for up to six months, and new proposals will be assessed on a two-monthly cycle by a panel of external reviewers. Applications take the form of a written submission and will be assessed in three areas: idea, impact, and team and budget.

Meet the ODINE team at the Open Data Institute Summit, 3 November 2015 – London http://summit.theodi.org/

The first round of winners are:

UK

• Sickly - a company which gathers detailed open data on the spread of infectious illnesses amongst children, thanks to its free app with which parents can securely report their child’s illness to his/her school. Sickly’s aim is to track infectious illnesses with this anonymised data, and support public health organisations in the fight against disease. (www.sickly.org)

• Thingful - a global search engine for the Internet of Things (IoT), Thingful indexes dozens of public open data assets and millions of connected devices from temperature sensors, to air quality monitors, to sharks. Thingful is developing a data mediation service for IoT to discover and transact in device data based on access entitlements using a decentralised and trustless system. Thingful is also a member of the ODI Startup Programme. (www.thingful.net)

• Pikhaya Smart Streets - this service offers market intelligence to help entrepreneurs and local councils assess the business potential in empty commercial properties in deprived urban centres. It aggregates open data on local consumer purchasing behaviour and pedestrian footfall, as well as existing local business rent and salary expenditure. (http://pikhaya.com/)

France • CommoPrices - a web portal of business intelligence which publishes over 1600 commodity prices. Based on open data from French Customs, data is structured, selected and processed to generate benchmark price references. (https://commoprices.com/)

Italy • InSymbio - a business-to-business e-marketplace which aims to make one company’s bio-based residues and waste, another company’s raw material. (https://www.insymbio.com)

Austria • BikeCitizens - this company offers a platform to the urban cyclist community. The free Bike Citizens App is available for more than 200 cities in the UK and Europe, and uses OpenStreetMap to offer offline navigation, route planning and tracking. (www.bikecitizens.net)

Estonia • Instats.co - a web service helping knowledge workers who need to find and visualize massive datasets to easily create insightful presentations (www.instats.co)

ODINE has places for 50-70 startup businesses over the next two years. Interested startups should register via http://opendataincubator.eu/. Applicants submit a short proposal presenting their idea and the budget required. The applicant must be registered with the European Commission as an SME at the time of submission.

For further information contact Dr Elena Simperl: e.simperl@soton.ac.uk; Joyce Lewis: j.k.lewis@ecs.soton.ac.uk

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