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Press Release

Launch of Open Data Engagement Fund 2019/2020

Published: 25 July 2019
From: Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Patrick O’Donovan TD, Minister of State for Open Government and eGovernment, today (25th July, 2019) announced details of the 2019/2020 competitive Open Data Engagement Fund. This fund is designed to raise awareness of Open Data and to promote the reuse of open data on the national Open Data portal data.gov.ie. The portal is a repository of open government datasets and currently links to nearly 9,000 public service datasets in open format.

The Open Data Engagement Fund (totalling up to €30,000) has been developed in conjunction with the Open Data Governance Board (ODGB) which provides leadership in implementing Ireland's Open Data Initiative and this is the fourth year in which the fund has been made available. Promoting reuse of the data on the open data portal is a key theme in the national Open Data Strategy 2017-2022. Opening up government data provides new opportunities for research, innovation, engagement and greater efficiency for all sectors of the economy.

Minister O’Donovan, launching the fund, said:

"I am very pleased with the great progress made in implementing our national Open Data Strategy, 2017-2022 which has been reflected in our rating of 1st in the EU with regards to our Open Data maturity in 2018 for the second year running. This annual competitive fund is an important element of the Open Data initiative and I would encourage students, citizens, researchers, business and others to apply."

The call for applications is open until Monday, 14th October and applications can be made for funding to support a variety of Open Data related activities. These include the organisation of outreach and engagement activities, for example, seminars, competitions and hackathons; the building of applications and development of visualisations to demonstrate the use that can be made of open data; or specific research on open government datasets with a view to arriving at outcomes that help create efficiencies in the public service or assist in government decision making as well as research to measure the benefits and impact of Ireland’s Open Data Initiative to date.

Details of the fund are available here. The application form can be downloaded here or an application can be made online via the open data portal here.

ENDS

Notes for the Editor:

The challenge of building more open, transparent and accountable public governance in Ireland is a key objective in the Irish Public Service and progress is being achieved through a range of reform initiatives. The Open Data Initiativeis a key part of these reform activities. The concept of Open Data is about making data held by public bodies available and easily accessible online for reuse and redistribution. This initiative is closely aligned with the Public Service Reform Plan, the eGovernment Strategy, the Civil Service Renewal Plan, the Public Service Data Strategy 2019-2023 and the National Data Infrastructure. Internationally, it is a core element of the EU-wide approach to the “Re-Use of Public Sector Information”.

Since Ireland’s national Open Data initiative was initiated in 2014 significant progress has been made. The national portal is in place and currently links to nearly 9,000 government datasets in open format from over 100 publishers. A national Open Data Strategy for 2017-2022 was published in July 2017 and implementation is significantly underway. Reuse of Government Data is a key theme in the Strategy, and this is a competitive fund designed to provide support towards promoting the use of open data on the national open data portal.

A pilot Engagement Fund was launched in 2016 and following an evaluation of the success of the pilot, it was decided to continue to run the fund, and the intention is that it will be available for 5 years, which is in line with the Open Data Strategy 2017 – 2022.

2019/2020 is the fourth year that the fund has been made available. The total amount of funding available is €30,000 and the maximum available for any one project is €5,000. Applications can be made by any organisation or individual. This includes, for example, a public body, business, research body, educational body, member of the public, or civil society group. Closing date for 2019/2020 entries is Monday, 14th October at 3pm. Projects funded must be completed by 30th June, 2020.

Successful applicants will report on their activity for example via a blog post and, where applicable, will be required to have their project developed into a use case for promotion of the open data initiative or other promotional activity as determined by the Open Data Governance Board. Details of previous award recipients and projects funded are available here.