This year marks Open Data Institute Leeds 5th birthday. Five years of innovating in the open in Leeds (and beyond) at their innovation space in Munro House. Five years of engaging with the open data community and watching it grow into a vibrant ecosystem of individuals and organisations alike, with no barriers to communication. Five years of addressing complex problems across private and public sector organisations by utilising a ‘radically open’ approach, which invites radical thinking from external sources and rejects the traditionally slow and closed ways of working that are so entrenched in large organisations.

ODI Leeds have taken some time to reflect on those past five years, looking at the work they have accomplished or enabled so far, and what they still want to achieve in the next five years. Their main driving force is the creation of accessible value through innovation with data, which builds an environment that is rich with potential for others to continue innovating. They recognise that they are no longer the little fish or the new guy on the scene – they have established themselves as a reliable, consistent, and innovative organisation that can help others realise the potential from data.

Data and innovation will remain at the heart of everything ODI Leeds do but we will have more direction on their projects. Launching #OpenGovTech is an example of this, where they have evaluated the tools and resources they have already made and can see their application for improving government services with input from citizens.

With these forward-thinking decisions in mind, we are delighted to announce that ODI Leeds has become a Northern Powerhouse partner.

ODI Leeds believe that more open data and more conversations about collaboration will be the key to success in the future. Data enables better understanding and possible solutions, but only if it is available. They are already supported by 16 organisations – both public and private sector – who have benefited from open data and can see further potential. ODI Leeds want to continue championing the benefits of open data by demonstrating the innovation that is already present across the North, and by helping others realise the huge potential to create value if they are only brave enough to be ‘radically open.’

Minister of State for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, the Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, said:
“Open data has an important role to play in our vision for a super-connected and globally-competitive Northern Powerhouse. I am delighted to welcome ODI Leeds as the latest member of our Northern Powerhouse Partner Programme.
With ODI Leeds’ proven track record in helping others realise the potential of open data, they are well placed to work with us on promoting the strong levels of innovation which characterise the Northern Powerhouse economy.”