News 25th November 2019

NI Department of Finance opens £30,000 Innovation and Outreach Fund to encourage the use of open data

by Connor McLean

Colm Burns, Chair of The Northern Ireland Open Government Network and
Sue Gray, Department of Finance Permanent Secretary

Awards of between £300 and up to £5,000 are available to fund the development of apps or other interactive visualisations that make innovative use of data on the Open Data NI portal. Organisations and individuals hosting engagement activities including hackathons, workshops, seminars or events that will raise awareness of open data will also be eligible to apply to the fund.

Encouraging people to apply, Sue Gray Permanent Secretary at the Department of Finance said: “Opening up public sector data has the potential to provide commercial opportunities and drive economic growth and innovation.

“This fund will encourage creative re-use of the growing number of public sector datasets available on the Open Data NI Portal and help us deliver on the ambitious targets set out in the Open Data Strategy.

“I look forward to seeing the exciting proposals which come forward.”

Welcoming the fund, Colm Burns, Chair of The Northern Ireland Open Government Network said: “This initiative is another positive step in creating a culture of data openness.  The latest NI Open Data Strategy and the Open Data Fund will help open up government data and provide new opportunities for research, innovation and engagement.

“Open Data innovation and outreach will improve government, empower citizens and create opportunities to solve problems in original and creative ways.”

Further information about the Innovation and Outreach Fund can be found at

Deadline to apply is Friday 7 February 2020.

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