Open Data Institute receives $4.1M from Omidyar Network to catalyse open data culture

Second annual report celebrates hitting reach, influence and impact targets

The ODI has announced that it has been awarded a grant of $4.1m from Omidyar Network, aimed at creating value from open data across the world.

Supported by the new grant, the ODI will:

  • Expand its Global Network to include thousands of individuals and organisations who are pioneers in the open data economy.
  • Grow capabilities by creating accredited trainers and training thousands of individuals in the theory and practice of open data.
  • Expand its Innovation Unit to build services, tools (e.g. Open Data Certificates), provide policy guidance, and enhance the evidence base of open data impact.

Two years of success

Today’s announcement comes as the ODI publishes its second annual report showing growth across all areas of the business. The ODI:

  • Trained over 700 people, including its first cohort of trainers
  • Grew its global member network to over 100 businesses and organisations
  • Supported 22 Nodes (franchises) across 15 countries, including 5 in the UK
  • Reached 542k people online and in-person
  • Unlocked £16.6m of value in 2014 for the open data ecosystem, including growing its own income by £1.9M (which is close to matching its £2M/y contribution from Innovate UK)
  • Supported 18 businesses through its Startup programme, with the first two cohorts now employing 70 people and securing £4m in contracts and investment.

In 2014, the ODI also launched a number of new projects, aimed at improving understanding and awareness of open data:

It produced an 'Open data roadmap for the UK' ahead of the 2015 general election, showing how open data can be harnessed by politicians to improve policy-making and outcomes

It launched the UK’s most comprehensive and systematic survey of open data use in business.

It celebrated innovation and excellence in the ways open data are used and published, at the 2nd ODI Summit in November 2014, and the first ODI Awards.

Omidyar Network Policy Director, Martin Tisné said:

The ODI is an ambitious global network that covers the open data value chain from the supply to the demand side. The ODI plays a crucial role in building the case for open data in business. They have made great progress over the past two years and it is important that this momentum is maintained and built upon. In entering a further three-year agreement, Omidyar Network looks forward to supporting the ODI in its work to release the power of open data to address local and global issues.

ODI CEO, Gavin Starks said:

I would like to thank all of our supporters, member, partners and funders who have helped the ODI become a global agent for change so rapidly. With their help, we are demonstrating that open data is broad and deep in its influence. Businesses are seeing open data as a competitive advantage, governments are revealing insights and efficiencies, and startups are paving the way in the data-innovation landscape across all sectors. Open data will help inform policy, impact your daily decisions, shape design and affect our built environment. We must increase outreach in both data literacy and demonstrate the impact of open data and we must support organisations in their journeys from closed to shared, and from shared to open.”