Press release

Government cash boost for software developers

The government has invested nearly £500,000 to support small software developers to produce new and innovative ways to use data.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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The government has invested nearly £500,000 to support small software developers to produce new and innovative ways to use data to tackle health and social care problems through the Midata Programme.

Consumer Affairs Minister Jo Swinson highlighted the investment which will be used to fund 2 ‘Pit-Stops’, where developers will experiment with newly available data and get help and advice on how to overcome barriers.

The data, provided from a variety of sources, will be used to develop phone apps and online tools that bring together the records about the health and social care that a person receives.

Jo Swinson, Consumer Affairs Minister said:

It is important that consumers have more control over their personal data and the Midata Programme will give them access to the data companies hold about them in a portable, machine-readable format.

This will provide more choice for consumers and benefit the economy by stimulating business innovation and competition. That is why, as part of the government’s Midata Programme, we have supported this important project.

Neil Crockett, CEO of the Digital Catapult said:

Data provides huge opportunities to consumers but they remain nervous about how organisations use data that is personal to them. Similarly, data-owning companies are reluctant to release closed data in case it is misused or leaked to competitors. We need to break down these barriers if the UK is going to realise the potential data liquidity in its economy. The Digital Catapult is focussed on breaking these barriers down and activities such as our Pit-Stops will help the participants find solutions to these dilemmas.

Developers will work on ways for individuals to give permission to others to see and use the records to organise more efficient and co-ordinated services. This will improve the care the individual receives and save the suppliers, such as local authorities and hospital trusts, money.

The Digital Catapult and its partners are also contributing resources to the project.

Notes for editors

  1. The Digital Catapult, which became operational in 2013, is a national centre to rapidly advance the UK’s best digital ideas. The Digital Catapult is 1 of 7 Catapults funded by Innovate UK
  2. There is no real personal data being used during the health and social care Pit-Stop events. What is being used is dummy data that will be used by Pit-Stop participants to spark and test ideas.
  3. The Midata Programme aims to give consumers access to the data companies hold about them in a portable, machine-readable format. This will benefit the economy by stimulating business innovation and choice for consumers.
Published 27 March 2015