The following post is from Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation.

Earlier today the new French open government data initiative,, posted a letter of support for the OpenDataChallenge from Séverin Naudet, who heads up the initiative and works with the French Prime Minister’s Office.

Here’s an excerpt:

I would like to hereby express my support to the Open Data Challenge, and commend the Open Knowledge Foundation for organizing this groundbreaking pan-European initiative to stimulate innovation based on public sector information reuse.

Open government data is a key enabler of enhanced transparency and the creation of new services for citizens. It is an important development in support of the digital economy, which in turn fuels a major share of growth and jobs creation. Its future impact could be far-reaching, spurring research and innovation, catalyzing sustainable development and igniting the information society.

The future French open data platform,, will strive to encourage PSI reuse. The Open Data Challenge is an opportunity to do so now, ahead of our planned beta release at the end of 2011, and we’re delighted to support this initiative, alongside and other stakeholders of the Open Data community.

It is great to have such a strong support and explicit support from the French government for open data ahead of the launch of the new data catalogue later this year. We’re really looking forward to finding out more about this in the next few months!

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Dr. Jonathan Gray is Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, where he is currently writing a book on data worlds. He is also Cofounder of the Public Data Lab; and Research Associate at the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam) and the médialab (Sciences Po, Paris). More about his work can be found at and he tweets at @jwyg.

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