News, events and publications:

Big data: free and open data available for businesses

Big Data: free and open data available for businesses - 6 May 2014. Thinkstock
Time: 9am - 5pm
Venue: STFC, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Didcot

Map of venue

Join the big data revolution

The UK boasts vast data sets open for public use, generated through world-class research activity and as a consequence of data-intensive public sector organisations.

The UK government and research community are committed to making this big data available for the benefit of our society and economy.

This unique day aims to remove the barriers for companies to access this open data, revealing how to extract value and insight for the benefit of your company – of all sizes and sectors. You will be equipped with expert guidance on how to take advantage of the data sets on offer, as well as introduced to enabling funding schemes and organisations that can help you to take raw data and make it into something valuable.

Exploit the UK's research strength to create multiple opportunities

Hosted by the Big Innovation Centre there will be presentations from the UK's Research Councils, the Public Data Group companies, the Technology Strategy Board and the Connected Digital Economy Catapult. There will also be a panel session and networking lunch, providing an opportunity to discuss your needs, potential projects or collaborations with peers and experts.

Lee Beniston, BBSRC Senior Business Interface Manager, Innovation and Skills Group will be presenting on what BBSRC funding has supported in terms of openly accessible biological data and resources.

Meeting the experts

The UK's Research Councils spend £3Bn a year on research, across seven disciplines from science and technology to the natural environment, focusing on societal and economic impact. The Public Data Group of companies, including the Met Office, Ordnance Survey, Companies House and Land Registry collects huge amounts of data through their everyday operations. This is an opportunity to see directly and clearly what dataset they offer that are available for use by industry.

Big data: one of the government's eight great technologies

The British government estimates that by 2017 the big data marketing will have increased the UK economy by £216Bn and created 58,000 new jobs. In February 2014 the UK government announced £73M in new funding to assist the use of big data, with a commitment to the game-changing data revolution.

Data infrastructure in the UK is supported by £189M of investment derived from the 2012 Autumn Statement, much of which went to the UK's Research Councils, which operate high levels of industrial capabilities.

The day benefits from the setting of Harwell Oxford, one of the UK's national science and innovation campuses, a thriving eco-system of research, innovation and collaboration between academia, government and industry.


The Hartree Centre, a collaboration between STFC and IBM, is offering companies attending the event on voucher prizes to obtain access to Big Data facilities and resources to run data analytics Proof of Concepts (PoCs) projects. The vouchers, to be spent within the Hartree Centre, will be awarded to organisations who best articulate clear business objectives, future growth potential within their sector and use of publically available data presented on the day. For more details see in external links (above).

How to register

Free entry. To register your place, visit Eventbrite.