~ A G E N D A ~

16.45    1)     Apologies, introductions, notes and matters arising from meeting 14/09/2016

16.55     2)     Updates on key issues

  • ODI node                              HR
  • Arts and Tech Event Oct16           PR
  • Open Data Commission           TR
  • Regional Analyst Group             JD  

17.10    3)     Birmingham City Council ICTD Strategy 2016 – 2021 feedback and suggestions especially Theme 3 – Insight (pp 28-31)

17.20     4)     Birmingham Highways Data Challenge platform   TJ

17.40     5)     Open Data and Social Care – discussion & identify key questions/datasets

17.50    6)     Members’ brief updates (round robin of items and events not on agenda)

18.10    6)     AOB and date of next meeting –Jan 18th 2017



ATTENDED BY:        Teresa Jolley                    (DEFT 153 Ltd)

Pauline Roche – Chair         (RnR Organisation)

Hugo Russell                     (Innovation Birmingham)

Darren Wright                   (Inside Outcomes)

Jason Davies                    (WM Fire Service)

Susannah Goh                   (BCU) a. 5.30

Chris Price – Secretary        (digiconsultancy)

Nic Cary                           (DfT)

APOLOGIES:           Stuart Lester                     (Transport for WM)

Glyn Simpson                    (WMCA)

Paul Beckley                     (WMCA)

Heike Schuster‑James         (BCC, Digital Birmingham)

Ted Ryan                         (RnR Organisation)

Andrew McKenzie               (Open Mercia)

Raj Mack                          (BCC, Digital Birmingham)

Heather Clark                    (Wolverhampton CC)

James Cattell                    (Defra)

Bethan Bishop                   (Consultant)

Andy Reeve                      (Impact Hub)

Stuart Harrison                  (ODI)

  1. The NOTES of the last meeting of 14thSeptember were agreed.  Nic Cary, Head of Digital Transformation at the Department for Transport, was welcomed to the meeting.  The response to the consultation by B’ham CC on its ICT and Digital Strategy had been submitted in September and added to the website (wmodf.wordpress.com).

Innovation Engine – HR reported that this was progressing

Birmingham ODI node – HR reported that contacts were improving but it was unlikely that any business income would be received before next year.  A steering group meeting was to be organised.  The membership of the Birmingham Node was currently free – an interest in using open data was the only requirement.

The ODI summit held at BFI, South Bank, on 1st November had been a great networking event.  Clearly, momentum was increasing.  There had been many positive inputs on subjects covering a Skills Framework review, Food and Agritech through GODAN with transparency as a right, Smart Cities and the Transport System Catapult to the French perspective with Minister for Digital Axelle Lemaire on the power of Open and sustainable development for women and girls. Other highlights were Cathy White (TechCity UK & UK Geekgirls), intelligent mobility, a panel with Paul Maltby and Wendy Hall.

The Birmingham Highways Data Challenge was happening on 25th/26th November under the ODI Birmingham badge, being organised by TJ.

Action:  CP to circulate details to WMODF members.

Arts and Tech

Art of the Possible: arts and tech BirminghamOct 27th event ; The programme included a talk from Director of Culture Central, Gary Topp on how these plans feed into the wider ‘young, diverse and digital’ agenda in the Greater Birmingham region, as well as workshops with Birmingham Open Media. There was a performance from digital artist, Antonio Roberts, with singer Namiwa Jazz and talks from Birmingham Children’s Hospital on their ideas for digital input into The Big Sleuth in 2017 and a demonstration of ‘projection mapping’ from Leon Trimble.

BOMLab are also running FREE, monthly, hands-on Arts & Tech workshops for artists, technologists, creative practitioners and the intrigued. The workshops will demonstrate different forms of tech & digital alongside delicious free food and drinks. Each workshop is led by a different leading practitioner in their field. Next one Jan 10th 2017 with Pete Ashton

Open Data Commission:  The current version was on Google Drive – BB had offered to improve the Top 10 Tips

Action: Check if BB still progressing this – PR

Regional Analyst Group:  JD organised this group which held a networking event about twice a year.  The next meeting of data analysts will be on 29th November, 9-12 at Lloyd House.  PR was giving a talk about Open Data and Jason Lowther, who is working on WM Combined Authority, would be there.  There is to be a workstream led by WM Police, data sharing and networking.  The meeting is already full but in principle the events are open to attend – there is a mailing list and JD invited people to sign up. DW and TJ expressed interest.


There had been no feedback yet to the comments submitted in response to the consultation document.  A more detailed version had been approved by the Council Cabinet and shared with WMODF.  Parts of the strategy were projected for discussion, particularly the third strand, entitled Insight, which dealt with data.  After a brief discussion which confirmed the interest of WMODF in ongoing dialogue with the City in its use of and publication of data, it was agreed to send a further note commenting on the final document to Andy Fullard, copied to the Cabinet Member for Transparency, Openness and Equality, Cllr Waseem Zaffar.  One suggestion was that WMODF could offer to assist with external scrutiny.

Action:  CP to draft note; other WMODF members at the meeting agreed to moderate it and add their views.


TJ presented a brief overview of this European‑funded project using slides and access to the website (www.opentransportnet.eu).  The project had started in 2014 and was soon to close in 2017.  The aim was economic development and service improvement and efficiency and Birmingham, as one of the pilot cities, had focussed on road safety using UTMC (Urban Traffic Management and Control) data.  The Open Transport Network (OTN) aimed to make open data easier to use and to access by citizens, businesses and decision makers by providing a city hub, a gateway for development and a crowd‑sourcing tool for data.  This project was only funded to proof of concept levels but had identified key issues such as the difficulty of coping with all types of data, eg Lat/Long v Ordnance Survey, point data v network data.  It was hoped to explore this further at the data challenge on 25th/26th November.  The creation of a transport data hub was welcomed, especially with the prospect of HS2 development.  The use of Open Street Map was noted.


Owing to the limited time available it was decided to postpone discussion about this important and complex area until the next meeting.  Initial views included the Open Attribute Exchange, social care workforce, blue badge enquiry, social care resource funding.  DW suggested posing problems which data could address. The item had arisen from a discussion between PR and Peter Hay, Director for People, Birmingham City Council.

  1. NEWS

SG, a Director at BCU, concentrating on Big & Open Data, was welcomed back to the meeting after a year’s absence.  She would like to contribute on issues of enabled health through open data.

PR referred to the Open Data Camp happening in February next year in Cardiff (Feb 25-26) and her positive experiences at the global 2016 Web Summit in Lisbon which attracted 50,000+ people including many interested in Open Data and Open Source. She was congratulated on being awarded West Midlands Woman of the Year 2016 for Outstanding Contribution to Technology.

DW was interested in visualisation of care data in an event with Birmingham City Council.

NC reported that DfT was in the discovery phase of building a data catalogue.  This would lead to the creation of an open source product which will be shared, eg via github.

TJ reported the establishment of her new business DEFT

CP reported that Heike Schuster-James is joining BCU, working with SG


The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 18th January and the following one on Wednesday, 15th March (probably both at Innovation Birmingham).

NC requested to be added to the mailing list – agreed.


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