Every quarter, Ireland’s inward investment agency, IDA, publishes details of all recorded project successes. See http://www.idaireland.com/news-media/announcements/
In the spirit of transparency and openness, shouldn’t we expect the same from our national inward investment agency? For years UK Trade & Investment has only ever announced aggregated annual figures broken down by their own definitions of sectors and functions. It was left to regional development agencies to then detail individual project wins if they so wished. This year, with new structures in place, would be a great time to open up the books. Of course there is confidentiality around certain projects, but once announced there is no reason why we can’t have all the facts in one place.
It would be a really useful tool for LEPs and inward investment teams across the country if all current and past data could be made available – project by project. We could all then ‘mash-up’ the data and look for any interesting patterns and trends which get lost in data aggregation.
The government is looking at ways to release more public sector data and has set up the Data Strategy Board led jointly by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude and universities and science minister David Willetts. The release of inward investment project wins should be an easy and early output for the DSB. Not only would it be useful information, it would help to profile the many inward investment successes which are happening every week in the UK.
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