The Open Data for Growth project deals with access to open data and GIS (geographic information system) as a driver for innovation and economy. The idea is to establish a common approach among local authorities on how to handle different types of data.

This project highlights the fact that public authorities produce large quantities of data, which might be useful for business and innovation purposes. When companies need data, their requests tend to be tailor-made and ad hoc, and there is no common way to systematically scout the companies’, nor the publics’, need for open data. Challenges include lack of systematization and standardization, as well as lack of resources to handle data. Another challenge has to do with reliability and consistency.

The project aims to set a roadmap for local authorities to handle access to open data. It argues that the availability of open data in the Baltic Sea region will create a better environment for innovation that will help attract new start-ups and investors. In the long run, the project will increase the global competitiveness of the region as open data is a natural resource. Activities will include meetings, case studies and seminars.