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Northern Ireland DfI backs open data projects


Northern Ireland’s Department for Finance (DfI) has shared out £30,000 to seven projects to re-use data from the Open Data NI portal.

It has made the awards from its Open Data Innovation and Outreach Fund following a competition aimed at supporting new uses of public sector datasets for services and economic growth.

Business and community group Newry 2020 has been awarded £4,995 to deliver an integrated environmental sensor network to assess the impact of human activities on the environment in Newry and £2,995 to host outreach events.

The projects are as follows:

  • Xpand Group in partnership with Belfast City Council have been awarded £4,960 to create a shared access platform to enable business case development and decision making for large scale regional projects.

  • Flax and Teal has been awarded £5,000 to develop an environmental disaster simulation tool for use in education and emergency planning.

  • Allstate Northern Ireland gets £2,500 in partnership with Belfast City Council to host hackathon events for the technology community and STEM students.

  • Derry City and Strabane District Council, in partnership with Carnegie UK Trust, have won £3,000 to host cross-sectoral workshops to tell the story of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon; Derry and Strabane; and Lisburn and Castlereagh Council areas.

  • Farset Labs has been awarded £5,000 to develop skills by hosting a series of open data hackathons and data art meet-ups.

  • Anaeko has been awarded £3,000 to host events and marketing activities for entrepreneurs to develop sustainable business models leveraging open data.

Finance Minister Conor Murphy said: “This fund provides entrepreneurs and organisations with a real opportunity to use public sector data for commercial opportunities and drive future economic growth.

“I am delighted to meet the winners and hear more about the range of ingenious projects and events which will further develop digital skills while creating a culture of data transparency. 

“It is encouraging to see the collaborative approach the winners have taken, working with community groups, businesses and local councils to optimise public sector data for research, outreach and innovation.” 

Image: Conor Murphy, second from left, at the awards announcement

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