Open Education Handbook/Open Education Data - Conferences and Competitions

Data competitions and challenges are not new to universities and research institutes but there is now also an increasing number taking place outside the academic space. Here are some example competitions where open data has played, or is playing a role.

Some conferences are devoted to open data and its social and educational value. These include:

There are also many 'challenges' which encourage novel or effective uses of open data in education. These include:

The Open Education Challenge


The Open Education Challenge, launched in partnership with the European Commission, is part of Startup Europe. It is an opportunity for cutting-edge education startups to receive mentoring and seed funding through the European Incubator for Innovation in Education, and get direct access to investors from day one. The competition is not focused on open data but open data use is encouraged.

The Open Data Challenge series


The Open Data Institute is running a series of seven challenges to generate innovative and sustainable open data solutions to social challenges. So far the areas covered have been education, crime and justice and energy + environment.

The Mass EduData Challenge


The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) maintains extensive data sets on education from all of the state’s 351 cities and towns and is seeking to spark additional engagement and innovation around its data through the launch of the Mass EduData Challenge- a six week competition aimed at engaging the public in viewing, analyzing, and visualizing Massachusetts educational data to produce new insights, tools, and opportunities to improve outcomes and drive social benefit in the Commonwealth.



Apps for Europe is a support network that provides tools to transform ideas for data based apps into viable businesses. They are bringing together a powerful European network of individuals and organisations who have been involved in open data programmes and in supporting promising ideas to help ideas to scale. As part of their programme they are supporting a series of data events, competitions and hackathons.

Science for Solutions open data competition


A competition to promote the use, reuse and repurposing of science that is freely available on the Queensland Government open data portal. The aim is to encourage data visualisations, application development or other unique treatments of the science datasets provided by the Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts.

Open Data Stories


Partnership for Open Data (POD) is inviting people to share stories about how open data has positively impacted you, or those around you; technologically, politically, commercially, environmentally, socially, or in any other way.

LAK Data Challenge


What do analytics on learning analytics tell us? How can we make sense of this emerging field’s historical roots, current state, and future trends, based on how its members report and debate their research? The LAK data challenge uses data sets from the learning analytics field.

Career Hack


The CareerHack contest, run by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), asked developers to find innovative and inspiring ways of using data made available through its Labour Market Information (LMI) for All data site.

Land Registry Open Data Challenge


A challenge to develop a creative idea that clearly demonstrates how the Land Registries public data can make a positive impact on the UK economy. The competition marked the release of the Land registries price paid data.

Apps voor Ouders Challenge 2012


The Dutch network Open Education Data ran an open data hackathon using open data sets from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science released through

Open Data Challenge


The Open Data Challenge was the first large-scale open data competition with 20,000 euros in prizes to win, and a total of 430 entries from 24 EU Member States. The winners were selected by an all star cast of open data gurus, and announced by Vice President of the European Commission Neelie Kroes at the Digital Agenda Assembly in Brussels.