The recipients of Datademo’s first funding round have been selected. App developers who entered their own proposals for funding and open data experts selected eight ideas for realization, each of which will receive EUR 2,000 of micro venture capital funding.

Funding provided through Datademo is meant for developers seeking to promote civil society by producing apps utilizing open data for the benefit of all.

Datademo is an agile funding instrument launched in February 2014 by Helsinki Region Infoshare (HRI) in cooperation with Open Knowledge Finland to channel micro venture capital to app development projects. Datademo originates from the innovation prize awarded to HRI by the European Commission in June 2013. HRI uses the prize – EUR 100,000 – to promote the use of open data.

Support for the opening of a project register and for an open address-data service

The most popular candidate for funding was Mikko Markkanen’s proposal Project time (“Hankeaika”), which competed for funding in The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra’s Finland category focusing on national open data. Markkanen plans to condense the nearly 20,000 reports in the EU Structural Fund Programmes database into word clouds that ease the understanding of the content, helping readers to visualize which programmes have received funding and when. Markkanen seeks to show how administrative services could be improved if administrative data were automatically available through open interfaces.

According to Lilli Linkola of Sitra, the realization of the projects proposed for Datademo makes Finnish administration considerably more transparent and comprehensible: “I’m especially excited about the opening of both the Finnish Government project register and the EU Structural Fund data service. With the help of visualizations, it will be easier for organizations planning various projects to find experts and data without having to reinvent the wheel every time.”

The most votes in the category focusing on open data from the Helsinki Metropolitan Area went to the proposal titled Open address-data service (“Avoin osoitetietopalvelu”) by a team led by Jaakko Korhonen. This project plans to refine the address and location information datasets of Itella, the National Land Survey of Finland, the City of Helsinki and others and to make the data available in real time through an open interface.

Two other proposals in the Finland category were selected for realization, both proposed by Juha Yrjölä. The project Interface to Finnish Parliament Member Data looks up the data on Parliament members on the Parliament Web site and makes it available as open data. The other project does the same with the Finnish Government project register.

Funding in the Helsinki Region Infoshare category went to the following: a visualization of the City of Helsinki decision making; a service facilitating searches for leisure opportunities, gathering data from various sources; a programming library in the R language utilizing Helsinki’s open data; and a visualization tool for alternatives for infill construction.

“The winning proposals in the HRI category include both interesting services targeted directly at citizens and plans that facilitate and enable other development processes,” says Ville Meloni of Helsinki Region Infoshare.


Above graph: Open data + Your app + Datademo funding = Open democracy

Funding based on peer assessment

Funding from Datademo was granted using a method that complies with the principles of participatory budgeting. Instead of a process carried out by office holders, the funding decisions were made on the basis of on open online discussion and voting. The decisions in this egalitarian process were made by makers of proposals themselves, representatives of the funding sources and a group of open data experts.

The makers of the winning proposals now have three months to realize their projects. The funding is released in advance, so delivery is only secured by peer pressure.

The next Datademo funding round will be launched later in the spring. The launch will be announced on datademo.fi and Twitter. The use of Datademo’s total budget can be monitored in real time here.

See the results of the first funding round (in Finnish).