European Commission launches plan to make public sector data more widely usable

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 14 December 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d8160
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

The European Commission has launched a plan to make it easier for citizens and businesses to make use of data from the public sector.

Its open data strategy aims to mimic on a Europe-wide scale the “open data” policies already adopted in the United Kingdom and France. The hope is that making data available free or at small cost will encourage those outside government to use the data creatively to create new products and services.

The commission says that it expects the plan to deliver a €40bn (£34bn; $53bn) boost to the European Union’s economy every year. Europe’s public administrations are, it says, “sitting on a goldmine of unrealised …

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