Tuesday, 21st May 2019
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Digital Catapult and Newton Circus launch global data sharing initiative

Data experts and developers in Singapore and London to come together to develop smart solutions to real-life challenges, driving business opportunities and investment.

The Digital Catapult, a national centre to rapidly advance the UK’s best digital ideas, has formed a partnership with Singapore-based Newton Circus and its DEX subsidiary to drive forward Data City, Data Nation – a global data sharing initiative between Singapore and London. Singapore is building the world’s first Smart Nation and London is a global leader in data driven innovation. Both cities are cultivating vibrant technology ecosystems, with international entrepreneurs and corporates being encouraged to use the cities as ‘living labs’ to test new ideas and solutions.
“The capacity of big data to deliver insight and value that can change the way major cities, their communities and services work is only now beginning to be properly realised. This partnership will help us to engage analytical talent across our two great data economies and bring the private sector on board as we look to address major city challenges such as improving health, reducing crime and cutting emissions,” said Matthew Pencharz, Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy. “With the Digital Catapult now celebrating its first birthday, there has never been a better time to embrace the unique power of data as we work to deliver economic growth and better city living.”
The Data City, Data Nation initiative will build and provide managed access to billions of data points provided by the public and private sector and synchronised by time and location. This first of its kind ‘data sandbox’ will be open to the global data, development and innovation community from the end of January 2016.
Jacqueline Poh, Managing Director, Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore: “To build Singapore into a Smart Nation, data is the most critical gateway to enable co-creation and problem-solving. We are thrilled with this opportunity for our data.gov.sg open government data sets to be used to enable public-private sectors to build innovations in the healthcare, transport, energy, safety arenas. We look forward to this partnership with the London community and to jointly cultivating a vibrant and conducive ecosystem.”
“Sharing data continues to be an area of huge potential. We are at a tipping point where, to continue on an upward trajectory with technological innovation, we must look to data to understand the areas we should focus on,” said Andrew Carr, Chief Operating Officer, the Digital Catapult. “For the UK to remain a leader in the digital economy, we must focus on two areas, improving consumer trust in data-sharing and increasing collaboration between organisations to share the data they own. With the latter we can achieve the former, showing consumers the real-life benefits of data intelligence and the innovation it can bring to their lives. The partnership with Singapore will drive this change, increasing momentum in two of the leading lights in data innovation, London and Singapore.”
Data City, Data Nation is supported by key Singapore and UK Government Ministries and Agencies including the Greater London Authority, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, London Data Store, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Innovate UK. These organisations, working alongside the Digital Catapult and Newton Circus will host a multitude of events and activities during the first six months of 2016 in Singapore and London, kick-starting today with an open call for involvement in November.
Fortunately today the quantity and quality of data created by government, business and people sectors is growing exponentially,” said Daryl Arnold, CEO of Newton Circus. “Unfortunately however much of this data is out of sight and inaccessible to researchers, developers and entrepreneurs, and will continue to remain so until its gatekeepers can appreciate and extract a lot more value from opening it up and sharing.”
Following the collation of data from organisations, the data sandbox will be open for registration to the global development and innovation community and a series of monthly data innovation challenges, linked to specific themes including mobility, security, healthcare and population, concluding with a ‘Best of the Best’ showcase. The global data sharing initiative will then begin its next phase, with new global city partners announced and expanded public, private and people sector data contributions to a refreshed and updated data sandbox.
As part of the Digital Catapult’s broader relationship with Singapore, it will also be supporting the International Clinic, run by Innovate UK. The programme looks to help IoT businesses in the UK deepen their relationships with counterparts in Singapore, to increase collaboration to overcome business challenges and increase their growth. An open call is currently in session for organisations to express interest in the project, companies who would like to be involved, should register their interest here.
Carr continued: “The partnership with Singapore, and the Data City, Data Nation project which forms part of it, will be instrumental in helping achieve innovation in data sharing. By encouraging organisations to share their data – creating a ‘sandbox’ that will be available to registered developers across the spectrum – and undertaking a series of events to identify opportunities, we will be able to drive real-life innovation that solves the challenges of both Singapore and London.”
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