Press release

£1.5 million geospatial competition open to improve public services

The Geospatial Commission has partnered with Innovate UK to launch a new government competition.

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  • A share of up to £1.5 million is available to test crowdsourcing of geospatial data
  • The Geospatial Commission will fund projects that use data linked to a location to improve public services
  • Minister says the competition “will further cement the UK’s place as a geospatial world leader”

The Geospatial Commission has partnered with Innovate UK to launch a new government competition, where organisations can apply for a share of £1.5 million to fund projects which use data linked to a location. Between £50,000 to £750,000 could be granted to eligible organisations.

The aim of the competition is to explore the benefits and challenges of crowdsourcing data. It will encourage different organisations to work together to identify innovative new ways for crowdsourced data, to either:

  • improve the delivery of public services
  • support the third sector
  • enhance the quality of open public datasets

Minister for Implementation, Oliver Dowden, said:

This competition will further cement the UK’s place as a geospatial world leader, once again showing our commitment to providing more opportunities for growing this important sector.

The data revolution is changing our day-to-day lives and this government is determined to make the most of the opportunities it presents. That’s why the Geospatial Commission has been established with £80 million of funding. It forms part of our wider commitment to use technology to improve lives and transform the delivery of public services.

Ian Campbell, interim Executive Chair of Innovate UK, said:

Working in partnership with the Geospatial Commission, this competition seeks to harness the power of crowdsourcing, so that location data and geospatial technology can help transform services in the UK. This will bring together the public sector, SMEs and research organisations, to fully exploit datasets, creating new economic and societal benefits.

This new competition is a further boost to the UK’s status as a world leader in digital innovation, and an example of how advances in technology can be used to foster economic growth, deliver outstanding public services and generate savings for the public.

By using location data, geospatial technology is transforming services across the public and private sectors, and is contributing to the #SmarterGov government campaign, which is helping to deliver wider economic growth and productivity.

About the competition

  • the competition opened on 26 November 2018 and the deadline for applications is midday on 30 January 2019
  • the competition is open to UK-based organisations from a business of any size, academic organisation or higher education institute, charity, public sector organisation or local authority, public sector research establishment, research council institute or a research and technology organisation
  • there will be a briefing event in London on Monday 3 December
  • successful applicants will be contacted by end of March 2019
  • projects should last for no more than 12 months and be completed by the end of March 2020

About the Geospatial Commission

The Geospatial Commission is an impartial, expert committee within the Cabinet Office, supported by £40 million of new funding in each of the next two years. It will drive the move to use public and private sector geospatial data more productively. Research estimates that this could contribute up to £11 billion of extra value for the economy every year.

Further details on the Geospatial Commission can be found in this press release: Chancellor to unlock hidden value of government data.

What are the objectives of the Geospatial Commission?

  1. UK continues as global geospatial leader
  2. Increase economic growth and productivity
  3. Improve social and environmental outcomes
Published 26 November 2018