Open Data, Smart Cities and Shutting Pandora's Box
Welcome back to Govsight.
In the second issue, we cover the sometimes murky world of data.
Why is it important for the development of our cities? How are cities harnessing data? Why is open data important now, more than ever?
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Enjoy this week's edition!
Microsoft Forges an Open Data Future
What's happening here?
The original tech giant has made a move against, well, the other tech giants. By promoting the idea that data should be open and for the public good rather than proprietary and for-profit, Microsoft takes aim at the dominance of Amazon, Google and even the power of governments like the US and China.
We're reaching a critical juncture where information is not open, but rather for proprietary and for profit. An open-data approach from Microsoft could spell a new wave of change for us all, with cities and SMEs having more access to more data helping develop smarter, city-lead solutions that improve our lives (see the London DataStore). Democratisation of data? We hope so.
Data is critically important at the moment for authorities to make fast policy decisions. As time is of the essence and the nature of the pandemic is of global concern, freely available information will help make the lives of policymakers easier.
What's also useful is the global context where authorities can see what's working elsewhere to feed into their own responses. The secret ingredient? Open data. This is freely available for everyone to access helping other innovators pitch in.
Opening Up Urban Data
What's happening here?
The Nitrous team joined a fantastic webinar about how London is embracing data and smart tech during this crisis (watch here). Insights from the GLA and LOTIteams showed that there is now a necessity to digitise services and opening up more data for the public good.
Cities may never look the same after this crisis. Ever the optimists, we will say for the better. Why? Well, the hard work being done to open up data, to link authorities both internationally and nationally, to create data-led policy decisions could revolutionise our cities for the better.
Authorities are using this time to try new things, to test new approaches, to trial ideas. Ultimately, we foresee that necessity (this crisis) has been the key instigator in the proliferation of open urban data, and as a result: true citizen-lead smart cities. What's taken years may only take a matter of weeks.
Stonewater Limited - the social housing provider - is looking to enhance its data capabilities through new tools to adopt AI and future tech. Apply here. Closes 06 May.
A £1bn support fund has been created for startups struggling to cope amid the pandemic. The package includes £250m towards a new £500m Future Fund and £750m worth of grants and loans to SMEs working on research and development. Think your eligible? Find out more here.