Canadian Organizations Join Forces to Launch Open Data Institute to Foster Open Government

Press Release: “The Canadian Digital Media Network, the University of Waterloo, Communitech, OpenText and Desire2Learn today announced the creation of the Open Data Institute.

The Open Data Institute, which received support from the Government of Canada in this week’s budget, will work with governments, academic institutions and the private sector to solve challenges facing “open government” efforts and realize the full potential of “open data.”
According to a statement, partners will work on development of common standards, the integration of data from different levels of government and the commercialization of data, “allowing Canadians to derive greater economic benefit from datasets that are made available by all levels of government.”
The Open Data Institute is a public-private partnership. Founding partners will contribute $3 million in cash and in-kind contributions over three years to establish the institute, a figure that has been matched by the Government of Canada.
“This is a strategic investment in Canada’s ability to lead the digital economy,” said Kevin Tuer, Managing Director of CDMN. “Similar to how a common system of telephone exchanges allowed world-wide communication, the Open Data Institute will help create a common platform to share and access datasets.”
“This will allow the development of new applications and products, creating new business opportunities and jobs across the country,” he added.
“The Institute will serve as a common forum for government, academia and the private sector to collaborate on Open Government initiatives with the goal of fueling Canadian tech innovation,” noted OpenText President and CEO Mark J. Barrenechea
“The Open Data Institute has the potential to strengthen the regional economy and increase our innovative capacity,” added Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo.