The government has announced a multimillion-pound investment fund for public sector organisations that release data for use in community and technology projects.
The funding, which starts with an initial £1.5m investment in several open data initiatives, is lead by the Cabinet Office and the Open Data User Group (ODUG), an advisory group for the access and use of public sector data.
The fund will aid public sector organisations actively releasing the data, and will also go towards training existing staff to incite a "culture change" to improve the future availability of public data. More than 100 spaces have already been awarded to senior public servants who will act as ambassadors for the release of data across the public sector.
Local authorities are of notable interest. The Cabinet Office intends to create a consistent set of methodologies for local governments and city councils to follow when releasing data for third-party use.
Examples of public sector open data initiatives include the Leeds Data Mill, which makes data about public services in Leeds freely available, and Legislative Openness, a proposal to make the Department for Work and Pensions' legislative data available to download in bulk.
Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office, said: "The UK is a world leader in opening up data because we know that it creates a more accountable, efficient and effective government. Open data is a raw material for economic growth, supporting the creation of new markets, business and jobs and helping us compete in the global race. To ensure this agenda continues to thrive, we are supporting a number of projects which will drive forward this culture of openness."
When contacted by V3, the Cabinet Office could not provide details about how much money each project had been awarded, but said that the initial £1.5m was part of a longer-term, "multimillion-pound fund". It said more specific funding details woud be announced in due course.
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