ATTENDED BY:     Pauline Roche – Chair         (RnR Organisation)                                    Paul Beckley                     (Centro)                                                                                    Bethan Bishop                   (Heart of England Found. Trust                                Hugo Russell                     (Innovation Birmingham)                                            Ravi Kumar (a. 5.25)          (Black Country Consortium)                                Ted Ryan                         (RnR Organisation)                                                                 Raj Mack (a. 5.30)             (Digital Birmingham)                                                     Chris Price – Secretary        (digiconsultancy)

APOLOGIES:       Jason Davies                    (WM Fire Service)                                                  Stuart Harrison                  (ODI)                                                                                        Stuart Lester                     (BCC)                                                                                         Andrew Mackenzie             (Open Mercia)                                                                Paul Burrow                      (Wolverhampton University)                                      Heike Schuster‑James         (BCC)                                                                                Glyn Simpson                    (Centro)

  1. The NOTES of the last meeting of 20/01/2016 were agreed. Correction: Name of Development Manager at Centro is Glyn Simpson.

Action:  CP to extract Aims/Activities from the notes and republish on website.

CP reported that further contacts had been made with Black Country colleagues, thanks to RK – this should lead to further representation at future meetings.


Birmingham ODI Node:  HR reported the meeting of the nascent ODI node with the Birmingham Smart City Alliance on Feb 10th.  There had been an open day on March 8th at ODI HQ in London which HR attended.  An event piloting a new training app to help with cultural change would be delivered by ODI HQ at ODI Birmingham – planned for 20th April, 10.30 for 11.00‑13.00.  Event aimed at large organisations trying to change attitudes.  PR mentioned that the node was not limited geographically to iCentrum but also included other places where innovation is happening such as Impact Hub Birmingham.

Action:  HR to distribute details of the ODI event.

There was a discussion about wider developments and possible developments in data, nationally and internationally.

Open Data Commission:  TR mentioned progress with the Commission and plans to gather information/experience for the report.  A workbook had been drafted and, following discussion, a reduced set of questions would be distributed and a sprint held, probably in April [CONFIRMED DATE: Mon Apr 11th, 10.00-15.00, Rm 3, IBL – all welcome], to blitz some of the basic information required.

West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA):  This is going live on 1st June under interim Chief Executive Martin Reeves (2 days pw).  The structures included a Cabinet of LA leaders and a Mayor to be elected.  PR mentioned a briefing for Social Enterprise on 7th April which would be addressed by Mark Rogers (MR), Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council [UPDATE: Another WMCA rep. will replace MR as he is now unable to attend]

Open Data Day 2016:  There had been 20 attendees with a good range of inputs from, for example, Tom Forth (Leeds ODI), Teresa Jolley, Stuart Lesley, Stuart Harrison and PR.

Action:  PR to write a blog post and storify [UPDATE: Post written and submitted to Open Knowledge, storify here].

  1. MYTH BUSTING – as he was unable to attend this meeting, the presentation by Jason Davies was postponed to a meeting later in the year.
  1. UPDATE by Raj Mack (Head of Digital Birmingham [DB]). DB was working on a European DISC (Designer‑Manufacturer Innovation Support Centre) project in partnership with Birmingham City University.  This year‑long project focuses on collecting data sets across the city to populate the existing Birmingham Data Factory.  A funding stream to enable the development of APIs was available.

There was competition for European Structural and Investment Funds.  Innovation Birmingham had an application, DB was applying for a data project aimed at the Eastern Corridor.

Action:  PR to send to everyone details of the ODI Data Spectrum Chart circulated at the meeting.

RM referred to Birmingham CC developments on ‘Information, Communication Technology and Digital Services’ which formed part of the Business Plan.  Andy Fullard, a data architect, was working until the end of June for Birmingham CC and was generating a paper on data for the City Council Leadership Board.

Action:  CP, on behalf of WMODF, to invite Andy Fullard to present to the next meeting.

The City Business Plan had been approved to include a section which referred to data.

Action:  RM to check whether the appropriate section was open for publication.

RM stated the support of Birmingham CC for open data as confirmed by the Leader, Cllr John Clancy.

There was a discussion about the plans for releasing data by data holders and the value of sharing approaches, experience and facilities, eg the Data Factory.  It would be beneficial to use standard clauses about open data across Authorities.  HR referred to big data available in the financial sector, eg anonymised data on credit cards, eg Barclaycard.  There was also regional data for transport in Centro and UTMC.  What could be published as part of the Strategic Economic Plan for the Region?  There would be benefits from using standardised APIs (see the experience of TfL).  Cross‑sector linked data was potentially of considerable benefit and this may be enabled through the ODI node being located with iCentrum and its range of industries.

  1. AOB

HR mentioned the opportunity for ODI memberships which were available through the Node at minimal cost.

Action:  HR to confirm whether memberships would operate for 12 months from the time of application or a year from the setting up of the Birmingham Node.

RM mentioned the meeting in Zagreb of the Share‑PSI project.

Action:  It was agreed that, through the Commission, an attempt would be made to create a local guideline (cf top ten tips).

The European Commission would host local guides produced by project contributors

Action:  PR will blog on open data for charities.


The following Wednesdays were agreed:

18th May, 4.45-6.15 – to include item on Health data by BB

13th July, 4.45-6.15 – to include item on Transport data by PB




AGENDA WEDNESDAY 9TH MARCH 2016, 16.45‑18.15



16.45    1)     Introductions, notes and matters arising of meeting 20/01/2016 (notes attached)

16.55     2)     Updates on key issues

  • ODI node HR
  • Open Data Commission PR/TR
  • WMCA developments PB
  • Open Data Day           PR/TR 

17.15    3)     Myth Busting (presentation and questions) JD

17.30    4)     Building on item 4), where do we go from here?                         To what actions do we commit?             PR/TR

17.55    5)     Members’ brief updates (round robin of items not on agenda)

18.10  6)     AOB and next meetings


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