The Open Data Incubator for Europe (ODINE) has launched its second call for applications from open data startups.
Startups that join the programme receive up to €100,000 in funding as well as access to peer-networking, technology, datasets, mentorship, VC investors and the media, including coverage on ODINE’s Guardian partner zone.
The incubator is funded by the European Union and sets out to create a network of data providers from the public sector, industry, small and medium-sized enterprises, public administration and researchers that will demonstrate the power of open data to transform business models.
Speaking at the 2015 World Wide Web Conference, Professor Elena Simperl said: “We want small and medium-sized companies, which are so important to the European economy, to experiment with open data and to think about business ideas that use open datasets and create added value.”
Francesco Barbato, a special projects officer at the European Commission who oversees the ODINE project, has warned the Guardian that European businesses must exploit open-data opportunities before the US does or it risks facing a multibillion-euro game of catch up.
Barbato said: “Of course exploiting open data is only a part of it but supporting entrepreneurship, exploiting the power of open data will help us reach the highest-level objectives that we have as Commission, which are more skilled jobs for Europe and more growth for Europe.”
The opportunities of open data are said to span many industries as well as the public and private sectors.
Nigel Shadbolt, chairman of the Open Data Institute, told the Guardian in May ofthe benefits of open data to the NHS, which he believes could help the service save hundreds of millions of pounds a year.