The UK’s Open Data Institute has received $750,000 in funding from a philanthropic investment firm based in Silicon Valley.
Omidyar Network, started by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, will provide $750,000 over two years to help develop the organisation, the ODI said. This will be added to the £10 million in funding the ODI will receive from the Technology Strategy Board over the next five years.
The ODI, which was founded by Tim Berners-Lee and Nigel Shadbolt, is an independent, non-profit organisation that promotes the use of open data – data that is transparent, freely available and accessible – in business. Based in Shoreditch, it will be officially opened tomorrow by Cabinet Office minister Francies Maude.
To accompany the launch, the ODI published research conducted by Deloitte, which claimed that the UK is "leading the world in open data". This was based on the finding that the government’s open data portal, data.gov.uk, receives more daily visits than comparable sites in the US and France.
“Open data holds huge, largely untapped potential to change the way we function as a society,” said ODI CEO Gavin Starks. “The ODI will enable organisations and individuals to: find and exploit untapped markets and business opportunities; explore and understand social and cultural trends and; experiment with ways of explaining this evolving ecosystem.”
Four start-ups are currently working in the ODI’s Shoreditch headquarters. They are: Mastodon C, which makes a ‘zero-carbon’ big data platform; Placr, which builds transportation apps; Locatable, a property search sevice; and Open Corporates, which works to build an open data set of registered companies.