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£30,000 'open data fund' is launched by Department of Finance

Announcing the £30,000 Innovation and Outreach Fund are Colm Burns, chair of the NI Open Government Network, and Department of Finance permanent secretary Sue Gray. Photo: Simon Graham

A £30,000 innovation and outreach fund to encourage the use of open data has been launched by the Department of Finance.

Awards of between £300 and up to £5,000 are available to fund the development of apps or other interactive visualisations that make innovative use of data on the Open Data NI portal.

Organisations and individuals hosting engagement activities including hackathons, workshops, seminars or events that will raise awareness of open data will also be eligible to apply to the fund.

Colm Burns, who chairs the NI Open Government Network said: “This initiative is another positive step in creating a culture of data openness.

“The latest NI open data strategy and the open data fund will help open up government data and provide new opportunities for research, innovation and engagement.

“Open data innovation and outreach will improve government, empower citizens and create opportunities to solve problems in original and creative ways.”

Encouraging people to apply, Department of Finance permanent secretary Sue Gray said: “Opening up public sector data has the potential to provide commercial opportunities and drive economic growth and innovation.

“This fund will encourage creative re-use of the growing number of public sector datasets available on the Open Data NI Portal and help us deliver on the ambitious targets set out in the Open Data Strategy. I look forward to seeing the exciting proposals which come forward.”

The deadline to apply for funds (details at www.finance-ni.gov.uk/niopendatafund) is Friday February 7.

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