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Open Data measures in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement

George OsborneAs part of the Government’s Autumn Statement, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne yesterday announced that ‘world-leading’ (ahem! Ed.) commitments by the Government to open up public sector data will make travel easier and healthcare better and create significant growth for industry and jobs in the UK, according to the Cabinet Office.

The Open Data measures will allegedly boost investment in medical research and digital technology in the UK, including investment by many small and medium sized enterprises, and will help realise the Prime Minister’s ambition to make London’s Tech City one of the world’s great technology centres.

The measures will specifically:

  • improve medical knowledge and practice with world-first linked-data services which will enable healthcare impacts to be tracked across the entire Health Service and improve medical practice; the service is expected put the UK in a prime position for research investment;
  • make business logistics and commuting more efficient through new planned and real-time information on the running of trains and buses across Great Britain and data on almost every road in Britain for the first time, including road works, for use in ‘satnav’ and digital technology;
  • allow the development useful applications for business and consumers using the largest volume of open, free, high-quality weather data in the world along with house prices at address level (I never realised there was a link between the weather and house prices. Ed. 😉 );
  • empower patients through individual access to their personal GP records online and encourage the market for education data management and learning platforms.

Furthermore, The H Online states that over the next 5 years, the government will provide up to £10 million to fund the establishment of an Open Data Institute near “Silicon Roundabout” (aka Tech City. Ed.) in east London; this will help industry exploit the release of this data and will be headed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Southampton University’s Professor Nigel Shadbolt.

Further details of the newly announced open data measures can be found here (pdf).

Phew! That’s a fairly ambitious list of claimed benefits from the freeing up of public sector data. You may like to comment below on whether you think they are credible.


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    […] Kroes’ statement follows on from the open data announcements made by UK Chancellor George Osborne in his recent autumn statement (news passim). […]