Twenty-three years later, Berners-Lee set up the Open Data Institute (ODI) with artificial intelligence and data science expert Sir Nigel Shadbolt to promote the value of making data open to help bring about knowledge for everyone. At the ODI, we see the growing open data movement as a brilliant example of communities around the world learning to work together.
Open data is data that is licensed by organisations, businesses and individuals for anyone to access, use and share. People everywhere are realising the value of open data: publishing it, using it, reusing it and combining it to find innovative solutions to social, economic and environmental challenges. Governments are, in turn, waking up to the importance of their roles in helping to build robust data infrastructure to support this innovation, deliver digital transformation and ultimately grow their economies.
Open data can bring individuals and organisations together in a co-operative, collaborative process to solve problems. We see this in hackathons, challenge series and humanitarian data mapping groups everywhere.
At the ODI, we have seen many applications come from our Open Data Challenge Series, run in collaboration with UK innovation charity, Nesta. The series incentivises teams to use open data to address social challenges—from helping people eat more healthily to reducing crime—with cash prizes for the best innovative and sustainable solutions.
One winning innovation, Community Energy Manager, is built on co-operative principles. It offers a tool to help community groups support their local area by brokering energy efficiency improvements and generating savings for their community, helping to reduce carbon emissions, fuel bills and fuel poverty.
There have also been countless multi-sector initiatives developing recently around healthcare and medical research data.
Pricing pressures, increasing complexity and costs in research and development, along with growing global competition, are among the challenges facing the pharmaceutical sector. In order to overcome them, the relatively closed environment of previous years is giving way to a much more collaborative, distributed and open approach.