I’ll be talking at this information event about the Open Data Challenge Series at Nesta?(the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) in a couple of weeks time on Wednesday 28th August.

Logo for Nesta (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts

Nesta logo

The?Open Data Challenge Series is the new name for what was called the Immersion Programme and is being run jointly by The Open Data Institute and Nesta . They are competitions that pose challenges in seven different areas?and explore how to use open data to address them. There is a grand prize of ?40,000-?50,000 for the winning project in each theme.

The aim of the series is to help develop solutions that show they have potential to impact positively upon the challenge and also have a credible plan and market.?I’m currently series lead for the first challenge, Crime and Justice, which I’ve previously blogged about on here.?The other challenges soon to start up are themed around Energy & the Environment and Midata.

Logo of the Open Data Institute

The Open Data Institute logo

The?Open Data Challenge Series offers a fantastic opportunity to get open data projects started or further developed, encourage further publication of open data and link developers with people in government. We’ve already had some successes in these areas.

As well as the presentations there will be some facilitated discussions around each of the themes, an opportunity to hear from the Nesta and ODI teams and also to meet other people interested in the programme.

Registration opens at 3.30pm with the event starting at 4pm followed by networking drinks after the finish at 6pm.

British Sign Language interpreters have been booked for the session and, for anybody who isn’t able to attend,?we?ll be sharing media from it shortly afterwards.

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Can digital technologies help reduce energy usage in public buildings?

I’m back doing some work with my former colleagues at Digital Birmingham at the moment. I’m helping out on the SmartSpaces project, which is asking this very question.

Logo for the SmartSpaces EU project

SmartSpaces logo

I’ll blog about the project more as it goes along, but at the moment I’d like to encourage people to complete a brief survey that will help us to establish some baseline data.

So if you ever visit Birmingham Council House, the Museum and Art Gallery or the Margaret Street extension we have a survey that you can fill in. It genuinely, honestly only takes 10 minutes to complete and will help us to assess the impact of the project.

SmartSpaces is a three year, EU funded project?that aims to use digital technologies, including smart metering to make significant energy saving in public buildings. Previously, I’ve worked on the DEHEMS project, which attempted to do similar work in people’s homes. It’ll be interesting to see how SmartSpaces compares to that. In particular how much more or less people feel they are able to control their energy usage.

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