Minister Murphy launches £40,000 Open Data Fund

Date published: 09 December 2020

Finance Minister Conor Murphy today opened this year’s £40,000 Innovation and Outreach Fund to encourage the use of open data.

Finance Minister Conor Murphy smiling to camera
Finance Minister Conor Murphy

Open data is data that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone. The Innovation and Outreach Fund provides awards of between £300 and up to £5,000 to individuals or organisations delivering on key components of the Open Data Strategy.

Encouraging people to apply, Conor Murphy said: “More open government data has the potential to increase accountability and transparency, improve public and private services, and help citizens bring about social change.

“This fund encourages the use of data from the OpenDataNI portal as well as open data promotional activities.

“Last year we had some very innovative projects and I look forward to seeing the proposals this year. A new theme of using data to overcome the impact of COVID-19 has been added to the fund.

“I would encourage people to get involved.”

Welcoming this second cycle of the fund, Colm Burns, Chair of The Northern Ireland Open Government Network said: “This continuation of this initiative is another positive step in creating a culture of data openness. 

The latest Open Data Fund will provide new opportunities for research, innovation and engagement and continue to help create opportunities to solve problems in original and creative ways.”  

Further information about the Innovation and Outreach Fund can be found here. Deadline to apply is 04 March 2021.

Notes to editors: 

1. The Open Data Strategy for Northern Ireland 2020-2023 was launched on 14 October 2019

2. Successful applications will be notified on 25 March 2021. Funded activities and projects need to be completed by 24 September 2021.

3. The competitive fund, up to the value of £40,000, will be administered by the OpenDataNI team. The Open Government Implementation Group (OGIG) will examine applications that seek to promote the strategy aims under the following categories:

  1. Support the innovative use of data available on, either using open data on its own or in combination with other sources of data. This can include developing apps, interactive data visualisations and/or other products or services with open data;
  2. Open Data based advocacy, outreach and engagement activities that seek to promote the use of Open Data, for example, workshops, hackathons, seminars, meet-ups and groups, conferences etc.
  3. Covid-19 – its impacts and responses.  The coronavirus pandemic has had profound implications for everyone throughout 2020, most significantly in the healthcare sector and more broadly on the wider economy with governments striving to stem the spread of the virus. This category seeks to use data as a means of communicating those societal impacts.

Applicants are not restricted to applying in one category only and may apply under each category (a), (b) or (c). A separate application form should be completed for each category.

4. All media queries to Department of Finance Press Office on 028 9081 6724 or email Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.

5. Follow us on Twitter @dptfinance.

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