UK Government Cranks Up Data Mashup Competition With £20,000 Prize fund

When a public body starts to think in terms of Web 2.0, then you know things have gone bad; the UK government has apparently decided to bypass its traditional idea providers - fat cats, million dollar consultants and the likes - and ask the public itself to show them a better way.

The website, probably the brainchild of a ... consultant, aims at encouraging the general public to "tell us [them] what you'd build with public information [them] and we could help fund your idea!".

When you think about it though, it is a rather good idea, especially since there's a £20,000 tax-free prize fund to help the best ideas to the next level - this includes a symbolic trophy as well a 20 grand worth of development money.

The government went a step further by providing a few gigabytes of "new or previously invisible public information especially for people to use in this competition"; and no, the recent lost confidential data files were not part of the plan.

The data set includes NHS data as well a some neighbourhood stats dating from 2001.