Knight Foundation announces new funding for open data effort


A team of American transparency advocates will test a British model for open data standards in the United States, with a little help from the Knight Foundation. The Foundation is giving the US-based Open Data Institute $250,000 to replicate the UK model and determine its effectiveness stateside. The project will be led by open data pioneer Waldo Jaquith.

The institute’s goal is to encourage governments and businesses to adopt open data standards as a way to promote economic growth, innovation and social change. The US team will be working with public sector, non-profits and businesses to find ways of improving transparency. The effort will also help these organizations overcome the barriers preventing them from sharing their data, by hosting convenings and creating open source projects that can fill the gaps.

The U.S. team is guided by an advisory board consisting of Aneesh Chopra, former U.S. chief technology officer, Daniel X. O’Neil, executive director of the Smart Chicago Collaborative, and Max Ogden, a noted open data developer and alumnus of Code for America. The idea for this project emerged this summer at Aspen Institute’s Forum on Communications and Society, which focused on open government issues and is supported by Knight Foundation.

Also today the Open Data Institute announced it is creating a global network, consisting of 11 additional hubs around the world, where organizations from Dubai to Moscow will connect groups that support open data projects and people. The institute unveiled its expansion effort at its first summit in London.

The Knight Foundation has a blog post up that also details more background about the project and its role in funding it.