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DfE launches open data competition

25/06/18

Contest aims to create commercially sustainable, innovative use of higher education data to help prospective students make better decisions

The Department for Education (DfE) has launched a competition to develop commercially sustainable digital tools based on open data to help prospective students make decisions about their education. 

The Higher Education Open Data Competition will require individuals, businesses, research organisations or third sector organisations to create “accessible, sustainable, and innovative,” tools and make the most of government data.

The aims are to give prospective students better data upon which to base informed decisions about where and what to study. Examples of data include outcomes of specific subjects and details of a range of higher education providers. 

Applicants are required to base any products on graduate salary and employment outcomes data as well as other open government data, including Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) earnings data, a blend of information from the DfE, the Department for Work and Pensions and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs on employment, benefits and earnings.

The competition will have two phases: the first to award research and development contracts of up to £125,000. Subject to a successful phase one application, the second phase will award up to two research and development contracts worth up to £300,000 to develop and test a prototype.

The DfE has teamed up with government innovation agency InnovateUK’s Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) and the Open Data Institute to run the competition. In January 2018, SBRI had awarded more than £0.5 billion in research and development contracts.

Image by Jodie C, CC BY 2.0 through flickr

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