Open-data push nets £8m from UK government

Public bodies in the UK will get extra funding to help them release public data for commercial reuse, as the government continues its push on open data.
Written by Jon Yeomans, Contributor

The UK government is to spend another £8m helping public organisations release data for commercial reuse.

The funding, announced on Wednesday, runs until 2015 and includes a new £7.5m Data Strategy Board Breakthrough Fund. Government departments and local authorities can apply to the fund for help in releasing data, where they have technical barriers to disclosing that data.

A further £850,000 will be spent on an Open Data Immersion Programme, which will run events and competitions for SMEs looking to reuse data for new products and services. Competition entrants can to win up to £25,000 to put towards development of their products.

"This new funding will help us to exploit the power of open data to fuel social and economic growth. It will free up more data for commercial exploitation and help drive innovation in public services," said Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude in a statement.

In a ministerial statement (PDF), also released on Wednesday, the Cabinet Office said that two-thirds of government departments have met or are on track to meet their commitments set out in their own Open Data Strategies.

In May, Parliament passed a law to make government agencies share their data in standardised formats, promoting easier reuse of data.

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