About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Open Data Scotland: Our progress so far...

We have now appointed four fellows; Alan Gardner, Andrew Sage, David Morrison and Rory Gianni, as part of our Open Data Scotland which is also running as part of the larger Code for Europe programme.

Our fellows will work closely with four local authorities; Aberdeen, Edinburgh, East Lothian and Clackmannanshire, to develop new digital services which solve real issues. These digital services will be built on an ‘open’ basis, meaning they will offer both open source content and digital frameworks, to allow them to be copied, adapted and brought to scale.

We recently held a two day Code for Europe meeting in Edinburgh. The focus over the two days was to bring the Scottish fellows and local authorities together with the European fellows to encourage shared learning and collaboration across the projects.

Each fellow introduced themselves and their project to the room, giving an overview of the aims, objectives and technical details of their app and any problems that they have encountered so far. Many cooperative networks were formed as there were clear cross-overs between the international projects and what they aim to achieve.

Service design and the ways in which the developers could approach their projects in terms of reaching out to their users was a prolific discussion. Sean Miller and David Townson, founders of Nonon, delivered a workshop on how to get in to the perspective of their intended end user by thinking about their individual needs.

The Waag Society in Amsterdam also delivered a jam-packed workshop day for our fellows. We heard from the fellows working with Amsterdam City Council and what they intend to do moving forward, including running events to support citizens to carry on or create their own community projects. Software developer, Bert Spaan, talked about his work and the CitySDK project, another European project aimed at helping cities to open their data and a change in how to deliver services in urban environments. Suzanne Heerschop, project manager at Waag, deliberated on how the SCRUM methodology might work for them collectively and individually to meet their goals.

The Scotland fellows have gotten off to a flying start, the time in Edinburgh and Amsterdam has allowed them to strengthen the team and strategise future ways of working so we are looking forward to a very collaborative project.


Ruth Watson

Ruth Watson

Ruth Watson

Programme and Design Coordinator

Ruth joined Nesta as the Scottish Programmes Intern supporting the Digital R&D Fund for Arts and Culture in Scotland and Age Unlimited Scotland including the creation of Rooted: A guid…

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