Digital Birmingham welcomed RT Hon Francis Maude MP to Fazeley Studios, Birmingham on Wednesday 14 March where he launched a series of case studies on ”Open for Business’ which will be available through the Open Data Innovation Community hub (#odinnovation). The morning was live streamed directly to the London Digital event in the City of London.
The morning was opened by Birmingham City Council’s Deputy Leader, Paul Tilsey, where he was particularly proud that the Minister had chosen Birmingham to launch this programme.
The Minister conveyed a broader message about #opendata, its benefits and how it is fueling business growth as well as playing a key role in creating new #smes.
Francis Maude MP said:
“Birmingham did not hang around in the 20th Century when it came grasping the possibilities of a smart, connected city.”
“Digital Birmingham saw a future where the city’s local businesses, local government, local universities would grasp economic opportunities and meet social challenges by ensuring the city had 21st Century digital infrastructure and digital services.”
“And as we know tying a digital city together is intelligence sharing – data sharing – transparency. Another area where you are forging ahead and setting a global example.”
He then went on to praise a couple of Birmingham’s prime examples of effective use of #opendata, Mudlark and Digital Birmingham’s Birmingham Civic Dashboard and Integrated Transport Planning Ltd‘s Access Advisr’ which brings information about accessible transport networks together in one online location.
The Minister concluded with saying:
“I certainly look forward to seeing Birmingham build its digital infrastructure and become one of Europe’s leading Smart, Connected Cities.”
“’ll be expecting the rest of the country to follow your lead.”
The speeches were followed by group discussions about the quality of open data; how the Council should publish its data; who data is aimed at; open data uses for managers inside public services; procurement; what the government and public sector can do to encourage SMEs to use open data as well as an ‘opt out’ clause for those who do not wish for their data to be used. An outcomes report will be available soon.
Deputy Leader Paul Tisley said:
“Making data openly available provides real opportunities to transform our services and
create value for citizens and communities.”
“Entrepreneurs and businesses will play a pivotal role in driving innovation to deliver new services and applications that will create jobs and build vibrant and successful communities. Our focus is to make the data open and accessible and create the right conditions that will enable them to derive the benefits of being part of our Smart, Connected and Open City.”