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UK needs open data champions, says Martha Lane Fox

Computer Weekly - The UK’s digital champion, Martha Lane Fox, has called for government, businesses and charities to promote the innovative use of open data.

Other countries have shown how developers can use openly published data to create applications that benefit society and the economy.

But the examples seen in the UK so far are on a small scale and need to be broadened out to reach a wider audience, Martha Lane Fox told Computer Weekly.

“Open data is such a fundamental part, I believe, of how we move the digital economy on and how we can engage people who have not yet been engaged,” she said.

Her comments came as consultants McKinsey predicted the growth of open data had the potential to add $3tn a year to the global economy.

Lane Fox identified start-up company Mastadon C – which has worked with Openhealthcare UK to identify £200m in potential savings by analysing prescription data – as an "incredible example" of what could be achieved with open data.