UK NESTA Launches “Make it Local” Open Data Initiative

It would be interesting to see Colorado Smart Communities do something like this.


Local authorities will have the chance to collaborate with digital media developers to provide their communities with innovative, web-based services, as part of a new project run by the National
Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA). The project, called “Make it Local” is designed to encourage local authorities to release publicly-owned data in a linked way and for developers to build new services around the information. Three local authority/developer partnerships will be selected on the basis of their proposals and the impact their project can have on the local community.

Local authorities hold significant amounts of public data– such as transport, carbon emissions, population and crime data – which may help to power a range of useful, digital services. In brokering partnerships between local authorities and digital media businesses, NESTA wants to show the value to local authorities of releasing their data to developers who can make use of it.

Philip Colligan, executive director of NESTA’s public service innovation lab, says: ‘In a context of radically reduced budgets, technology can deliver effective public services for less. Through this project we aim to show how powerful partnerships between local authorities and digital businesses can lead to the opening up of local data for the benefit of the community.’

NESTA is offering three local authorities up to £30,000 to spend with a digital media business. Proposals must be made with a digital business partner already on board. NESTA is calling for digital agencies with ideas for new applications to approach their Local Authority and encourage them to enter.

The application/web service will need to:
- Address a specific need identified by local residents
- Allow users an opportunity to update and augment the data with
their own content
- Use real-time local public data

At the end of the programme NESTA hopes to identify a proven way for local authorities to maximise the use of open data and be able to work collaboratively with local digital companies to create innovative services for the benefit of their community.

Applications are open from 15 July until 20 August 2010. Winning applications must be ready to go-live by 1st January 2011. To apply, go to Make It Local

Notes to Editors

For further information please contact Jan Singleton on 020 7438 2606 or [email protected]


NESTA is an independent body with a mission to make the UK more innovative to drive economic recovery and solve some of the UK’s major social challenges. Our endowment status means we operate at no cost to the UK taxpayer.

NESTA is a world leader in its field and is in a unique position to support innovation through a blend of practical programmes, policy and research and investment in early-stage companies.

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October 2nd, 2010 | | Blog |  No Comments