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UK and France join forces to explore innovative use of data

The UK-France Data Innovation Taskforce has yesterday published a series of recommendations on how the two countries could work together to use data to stimulate economic growth and improve society.

The Taskforce’s report highlights the UK Government’s continuing work with European partners and its commitment to being an outward-looking and open trading nation.

The bilateral report also notes that both countries could learn from each other as they look to make their digital economies even more successful.

It makes 11 recommendations for collaboration around four themes - innovation, infrastructure, skills and trust, including:

  • establishing a data twinning programme for cities in regional areas with common industries and/or demographics
  • creating common data apprenticeship schemes and conversion courses to make sure both countries have access to skilled, cutting edge workforces
  • connecting tech clusters and tech SMEs via a ‘data innovators passport’ scheme to share ideas and extend startup networks in the UK and France
  • creating a Data Challenge Programme to bring organisations from each country together to solve problems and use data to improve citizens’ lives
  • sharing best practice on data skills, data policy and how to empower citizens to take control of their personal data

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said:

As the report makes clear, data will help fuel advances in the way government and businesses deliver services to consumers and will provide the building blocks for improvements in society.

The UK Government will continue to work closely with our European partners to make sure our tech firms and entrepreneurs are ready to capitalise on the opportunities data will provide, be that in exports, attracting and developing talent, or benefiting from inward investment.

French Minister Axelle Lemaire said:

This report will open the path for bilateral cooperation aimed at building the future of the data economy in our two countries. It will release enormous innovation potential, and help establish France and the United Kingdom as two leading countries in the strategic use of data.

The two countries already work closely on open data, with the UK Government committing £5 million in the 2016 Budget to explore the possibility of an open address database. This followed the success of France’s OpenStreetMap community which used data made available from the country’s National Address Database to create a freely accessible database open to all.

Contact: DCMS News and Comms team - 020 7211 2210.

Notes to editors

UK-France Data Taskforce report can be found here


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