OpenDataNI Innovation & Outreach Fund 2020 - And the winners are.....

March 4, 2020


A key strand of the Open Data Strategy for Northern Ireland 2020-2023, the OpenDataNI Innovation and Outreach Fund 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 applications for funding with proposals for innovative re-use of data and/or promotion of awareness and re-use of NI government Open Data through outreach events. With a total of £30,000 available, the Fund attracted a wide variety of proposals; 22 applications in all, seeking over £80,000 in funding between them and covering activities and projects from all parts North, South, East and West across Northern Ireland.

On Tuesday 3rd March at Parliament Buildings, Belfast, Finance Minister Conor Murphy formally unveiled the winning Fund applications and met with the winners to congratulate them on their success.

Speaking to us about the Fund, the Finance Minister 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.” 


Minister Conor Murphy meets the Fund winners


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 successful applicants are:

  • 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.


  • 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.


  • Flax & Teal Limited have been awarded £5,000 to develop an environmental disaster simulation tool for use in education and emergency planning.


  • Allstate Northern Ireland have been awarded £2,500 in partnership with Belfast City Council to host hackathon events for the technology community and STEM students.


  • 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.


In line with the terms and conditions of the Fund, each of the funded activities/projects will be required to have been completed by 30th June 2020.

As each of the successful projects and activities move forward, we'll post news of their progress, as well as more details about the events that will be happening for those who are keen to join in and learn more about Open Data here in NI.


For news about the activities associated with the Fund, as well as news about Open Data in NI more generally, you can follow us on Twitter @opendatani or check back periodically to the OpenDataNI News section.


Open Data Team.