Northern Ireland Finance Minister, Conor Murphy has announced the winners of the Department of Finance’s Open Data Innovation and Outreach Fund.

Seven projects from Belfast, Derry and Newry have been successful in applying to the £30,000 fund which encourages innovation in the reuse of data on the Open Data NI portal.

Congratulating the winners, 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.”

The OpenDataNI Innovation and Outreach Fund is a key strand of the Open Data Strategy for Northern Ireland 2020-2023. It aims to promote NI government open data re-use, stimulate innovation with data, and broaden skills and competence in working with open data here in Northern Ireland.

The fund sought to award funding in the following categories:

  • Category A – Supporting innovative use of NI government open data
  • Category B – Advocacy of open data, through outreach and engagement

The fund attracted 22 applications from across Northern Ireland. The successful applicants are:

  • 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.
  • Allstate Northern Ireland in partnership with Belfast City Council have been awarded £2,500 to host hackathon events for the technology community and STEM students.
  • Newry 2020 have 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.
  • Flax & Teal Limited have been awarded £5,000 to develop an environmental disaster simulation tool for use in education and emergency planning.
  • Derry City and Strabane District Council in partnership with Carnegie UK Trust have been awarded £3,000 to host cross sectoral workshops to tell the story of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon; Derry City and Strabane; and Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council areas.
  • Farset Labs have been awarded £5,000 to develop skills by hosting a series of open data hackathons and data art meetups.
  • Anaeko Limited have been awarded £3,000 to host events and marketing activities for entrepreneurs to develop sustainable business models leveraging open data.

Full details of the successful projects can be found at Projects will be completed by 30 June 2020.