ODI accelerates government open data expertise with new funding

The Open Data Institute has been named one of the first recipients of a government ‘Release of Data Fund’ aimed at accelerating the adoption of open data practices across the Civil Service.

Announced ahead of tomorrow’s International Open Data Day, the award of £150k will be used to train dozens of Whitehall staff to use and understand open data. The grant is part of the bigger pot being released in the next two years by the government’s Open Data User Group (ODUG).

The cash will fund two separate initiatives being run by the ODI. The first, worth £50k, will enable 74 key staff from government departments to attend ODI courses, including the one-day Open Data in a Day and five-day, intensive Open Data in Practice programme.

The ODI’s Head of Training, Kathryn Corrick said:

We’re delighted to support more civil servants in getting up to speed with the latest developments in publishing and using open data. There’s no doubt that the UK is a world-leader in releasing public sector information as open data, and this training will ensure the quality and usability of that data for everyone.

The second project announced today will focus specifically on embedding open data in public sector procurement practices. £100,000 will be spent in training 120 procurement officers and producing an online guide.

Along with grants awarded to the ODI, other organisations will also receive project funding. Amongst them is the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF), the organisers of Open Data Day.