The term “open data” refers to machine-readable and publicly accessible, re-usable and, ideally unmodified data, which is provided free of charge.
Releasing and re-using Open Government Data are important for enabling participation and opinion formation in a strong and active democracy. This enables citizens to better understand the basis for political decision-making and participate more in the next phase, for instance for transport projects or broadband roll-out. The improved availability of data opens up a lot of as-yet untapped potential for industry and society. According to several studies, Open Data is highly beneficial to the national economy, primarily in the transport sector.
The Federal Government is implementing this principle in the federal administration by means of the following measures:
- July 2021: In addition to its goals for Germany, the Federal Government’s Open Data Strategy addresses, among other things, opportunities and added value that Open Data can provide, as well as stocktaking and a catalogue of measures, aiming to make the public sector an Open Data pioneer. The Ministry and its executive agencies have contributed 10 of the 68 measures.
- June 2021: Adoption of Second Open Data Act and Data Use Act:
- Includes almost the entire Federal Administration in the Open Data principle;
- Governs provision of open research data;
- Establishes mandatory Open Data Coordinators at the federal authorities;
- June 2021: Adoption of the Third National Action Plan (NAP) within the scope of Germany’s participation in the Open Government Partnership (OGP) initiative. The OGP is an association of now 78 countries promoting open governance and committed to acting in the spirit of the “Open Government Declaration”. The Ministry is represented in the Third National Action Programme (NAP) with the “Transparency on approval procedures for major infrastructure projects in the transport sector” measure and is continuing the ongoing “Open Data for Intelligent Mobility” measure from the First NAP.
With its position, the Ministry is clearly committed to the open data principle, thus pursuing the strategic ambition to remain a driving force and pioneer within the Federal Government.
With its geo-information strategy, the Federal Government is supporting the implementation of the Open Data objectives and providing the mCLOUD, the Mobility Data Marketplace (MDM) and the CODE-DE platforms. They enable open access to data of the Ministry and its executive agencies and to data and services from the Copernicus earth observation programme as well as to other data originating from the Ministry’s areas of responsibility. mCLOUD and MDM will be merged in 2022 and become the new Mobilithek mobility data platform.
Data from the Ministry and its executive agencies is transferred automatically through mCLOUD to GovData, the national open data portal. Connecting GovData with the European Data Portal also ensures that the Ministry’s data is integrated into the European data space.
Since 2016, the Ministry has been using mFUND (Modernity Fund) to fund the development of digital business ideas based on mobility, spatial and weather. About 275 million euros have been invested in 350 projects since the programme was launched. In addition to providing financial support, mFUND supports networking between innovative players and the administrative, scientific and economic sectors. The Data Runs encourage programmers and designers to develop innovative future mobility solutions within 24 hours. The Ministry, its executive agencies and other partners provide data for these hackathons.
Within the Federal Government, the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) plays a key role in establishing and promoting Open Data.