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Source: Fotolia / 3dkombinat

Open Data denotes the principle of the public provision of data: by default, exploitable for everyone, free of charge, machine-readable and preferably unmodified. The Federal Government is implementing this principle in the federal administration by means of the following measures:

  • January 2017: Cabinet decision on an Open Data Act (modification of the eGovernment Act) that obliges the federal authorities to make their data publicly accessible.
  • December 2016: Accession to the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a group of 75 states who are lobbying to make the work of their governments more open and who follow a common Open Data charter.

An important reason for the realization of these measures is the significant potential of Open Data. According to several studies, the high benefit to the national economy is estimated to be at least 12 billion euros per year over the period to 2026 in Germany (Konrad Adenauer Foundation 2016) or 10 billion euros for transport data alone in the EU28+ in the period to 2020 (European Commission 2015).

Open Data facilitate innovations and new business models, for example the development of information apps for public transport users. The federal authorities will benefit from Open Data through more efficient internal processes as well as a higher degree of confidence from the public, who will enjoy greater transparency and more possibilities of participation.

The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is supporting implementation of the Open Data objectives with its geo-information strategy and is providing two platforms named mCLOUD and MDM (Mobility Data Marketplace) that enable open access to the data of the Ministry and its executive agencies and to additional data originating from the BMVI’s thematic areas.

With mFUND (Modernity Fund), the BMVI is funding the development of digital business ideas that are based on mobility, spatial and weather data. In addition to the funding support, the mFUND provides several event formats. An example is the BMVI Data Run where the BMVI invites participants to develop during 24 hours innovative mobility solutions based on data from the Ministry and its executive agencies.

With these projects, the BMVI is a key player in the promotion of Open Data.