The Singapore and British Governments are partnering to share their datasets with citizens.

Developers will be able to register for access to billions of data points from the public and private sectors in both countries. The aim is to inspire startups in UK and Singapore to develop new services using the data.

The first datasets will be available from the end of January 2016, after which the countries will host a series of monthly data innovation challenges.

A Singaporean startup – Newton Circus – will analyse downloads of these datasets to show which are the most valuable and how they are being combined with other data.

Much of public and private sector data is “out of sight and inaccessible to researchers, developers and entrepreneurs, and will continue to remain so until its gatekeepers can appreciate and extract a lot more value from opening it up and sharing”, said Daryl Arnold, CEO of Newton Circus.

The initiative is backed by Singapore’s Infocomm Development Authority and 13 other ministries and agencies: Economic Development Board; International Enterprise; SPRING Singapore; Singapore Land Authority; Land Transport Authority; Maritime and Port Authority; Housing Development Board; Energy Market Authority; Health Promotion Board; National Environment Agency; Ministry of Social and Family Development; Ministry of Trade and Industry; and Ministry of Finance.

These agencies will contribute open data in the fields of healthcare, transport energy and public safety, said Jacqueline Poh, Managing Director of IDA. “To build Singapore into a Smart Nation, data is the most critical gateway to enable co-creation and problem-solving,” she added.

In the UK, the initiative is led by Digital Catapult, an innovation centre funded by the government.

The initiative plans to expand to other cities in the future, growing the number of datasets.

Image above by Flickr user Mac Qin; licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.