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A Newry 2020 organisation Smart Newry has been awarded almost £5000 for the development and enhancement of the Smart Newry Project, a community-based open environmental data platform.

Eight organisations were awarded funding and Smart Newry was the only one to gain funding outside of Belfast.

Finance Minister Conor Murphy checks out the Smart Newry project with Brian Cleland, Newry 2020; Eamon Connolly, Newry BID and Patrick Murdock, The Hub.
Finance Minister Conor Murphy checks out the Smart Newry project in October 2020 with Brian Cleland, Newry 2020; Eamon Connolly, Newry BID and Patrick Murdock, The Hub.

Finance Minister Conor Murphy today announced the winners of the Department of Finance’s Open Data Innovation and Outreach Fund and the projects will benefit from the £40,000 fund which encourages innovation in the reuse of data on the Open Data NI portal. New for 2021 was an additional category on using data to analyse the societal impact of Covid-19.

Finance Minister Conor Murphy meets some of the winners of the Open Data Innovation and Outreach Fund. Pictured with the Minister is L to R: Dr Orna Young, FactCheck NI, Nick Gaywood Queen’s University Belfast Analytics Masters Student and Anne Orr from Digital 54.

Congratulating the winners, Conor Murphy said: “It is great to see how the Open Data Fund has expanded to include a Covid-19 specific category and to see the innovative projects which have come forward in this category. 

“These include a real-time analytics dashboard on the vaccine roll-out, a project to tackle online disinformation about Covid as well as funding a Masters student analysing the use of Belfast Bikes before and during the pandemic.”

Mr Murphy added: “It is encouraging to see the innovation shown by the entrepreneurs, students and businesses which have applied to the Open Data Fund. 

“I wish all the winners success in the year ahead and I look forward to seeing the final outcomes from their projects.”

Full details of the successful projects can be found at: WWW.OPENDATANI.GOV.UK

The winners

Smart Newry have been awarded £4,889.18 for the development and enhancement of the Smart Newry Project, a community-based open environmental data platform.  The project will seek to widen the range of data collected, stabilise the underlying technology, enhance its online presence and deepen engagement with the local and regional community.

NI PoliGraph have been awarded £1,500 to use data analytics with the primary goal of making it easier for interested members of the public to get to know their representatives and become informed about political process in the North.

Xpand  have been awarded £5,000 to deliver a joint project with Belfast City Council to develop an analytics dashboard for transport and mobility datasets, this will enable users to understand the transport and citizen mobility based on location, transport and time period over a 10 year period.

AllstateNI have been awarded £2,550 to host a Data Hack for Good 2021 Hackathon, the focus of the event will be on using Open Data to improve life here.

Digital 54 have been awarded £5,000 for the development of Digital 54’s Boards123 ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) dashboard to incorporate NI Open Data. This will empower Boards of Directors to make purpose-driven decisions that improve the sustainability and also improves environmental goals, social impact and good governance.

FactCheckNI have been awarded £5,000 to create effective and attractive online communications using data visualisation to tackling online disinformation about Covid-19.

Flax and Teal have been awarded £5,000 for the development of a COVID-19 vaccine supply and demand analytics dashboard, providing open access to real-time visualisation of the vaccine roll-out.

Nick Gaywood, a Queens University Belfast Data Analytics Masters Student, has been awarded £3,000 to provide an application analysing the use of Belfast Bikes before and during the COVID-19 lockdown and make future prediction on likely usage, enabling strategic decisions on the development and day to day operations of the scheme.

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