Minister Howlin opens Industry Consultation Open Data

Issued 3 March 2015

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr. Brendan Howlin, T.D., opened an industry consultation event to examine the opportunities for innovation and enterprise provided by Open Data. The event, titled “Growing an Open Data Enterprise Economy” was organised with support from Fujitsu Ireland and attended by representatives of enterprises and public bodies. 

The Open Data Initiative launched by Minister Howlin in July 2014 highlights Open Data as having a powerful role to play in the Public Service Reform agenda.  It is also prioritised as part of the recently published ICT Strategy for the Public Service.

The Minister said that such events would allow“the development of our national approach to Open Data to be underpinned by meaningful collaboration, and I am confident that this will help to create an environment where the economic, social and democratic opportunities and benefits of Open Data are recognised and grasped”. 

Speaking about the potential economic impact of Ireland’s Open Data Initiative, the Minister said:-

I firmly believe that, by opening up our data, we can drive new innovation and provide opportunities – including commercial opportunities - for businesses, citizens and public servants to realise the true value of Open Data”.   

The Minister noted the progress already achieved in Open Data and acknowledged the potential for further progress:

I want to develop a data-driven culture across the public service and to work with public bodies and their customers to ensure that Open Data in Ireland is based on international good practice and is sustainable in the long-term”.

Fujitsu Ireland CEO, Ms Regina Moran, said:

“We are delighted to partner with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform on this important initiative. The open data domain has a potential value of as much as $3 trillion annually. This has the potential to not only benefit business but also broader society, driving efficiencies and enabling better services across healthcare, education and energy to name but a few. Working with the Department and industry partners, we will evaluate the current status of open data in Ireland, the potential opportunities and what is required to drive growth in the future.”

Minister Howlin said that recommendations and insights arising from today’s discussions will inform the ongoing implementation of the Government’s Open Data Initiative and he invited industry to continue to engage with the public service on this important issue.

Note to Editor:

Fujitsu Ireland is part of a consortium engaged following a competitive tendering process by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to provide technical and strategic support on the Open Data Initiative.