Data Art NI – Open DataNI Outreach Funding

Data Art Northern Ireland is a community of technologists, artists, policy makers and other creatives that regularly come together to show, tell and learn about the collision of Data and Art.

Learn about visualisation techniques, data aggregation, and where to get data sources to create, inform, and excite.

If you want to get involved, join our Meetup Group to be first to hear when we release our schedule of events.

Data Art NI

Belfast, GB
456 Data Artists

Meetup bringing artists, technologists and creatives together to show, tell, and learn about the collision between Data and Art.Learn about visualisation techniques, data agg…

Check out this Meetup Group →

Meetups

Data Art NI is running meetups across Northern Ireland to bring the tech, creative, and public policy sectors together, so share their successes, failures, experiments and experiences, in order to build a shared understanding of how we can make the world, if not a better place, at least a more informed one!

Data Art has been operating as a community-run meetup group since 2017, mostly based in Farset Labs, Belfast.

Thanks to the support of the Department of Finances OpenDataNI Advocacy fund, we are taking the show on the road!

Venues and partners we plan on working with include:

If you’d like to host Data Art NI in your venue, please get in touch with us at dataart@farsetlabs.org.uk

(Also if you’d like to collaborate on running a local chapter of DataArt in your area…)

Workshops

Meetups are only part of the puzzle; we need to learn how to handle the different facets of “Data Art”, and that takes more than a cursory presentation…

Farset Labs are hosting a series of technical and creative workshops to upskill technologists, creatives, and passionate amateurs in targeted capabilities to enable the acquisition, exploration, augmentation, and visualisation of data in one way or another.

This could (depending on interest displayed) include sessions on topics such as:

  • Programming for Data Analysis
  • Embedded IoT for sensor acquisition and data visualisation
  • Machine Learning and Statistics
  • Geospatial Techniques and Analysis
  • Real-time Visualisation and Sonification
  • Typography and Graphic Design Fundamentals
  • Colour Theory and Interactive Visual Arts Design
  • 3D Design / Game Development
  • Physical Programming (aka Knitting and Crocheting)

But we want to listen to you! And we’ll be planning out the workshops with partners based on feedback received from the Meetups.

Hackathons

Over the past years, Hackathons have become the ‘de-rigueur’ way of engaging with the technology community to showcase some technology, problem, or task to be crowdsourced or socialised, usually in exchange for an .

Rather than running a big, high end, one-off, 24 hour crunch-time hackathon, we are running a quarterly series of hackathons instead, all with the thread around the cleaning, use, analysis and ‘artification’ of open data to inform and excite.

This provides time to really understand processes, projects and experiments, and also for relevant data owners in local government to be able to react and engage with the data-user community through platforms like OpenDataNI, and provide space to get real projects off the ground and make real change in our communities.

Open Data Innovation and Outreach Fund

We’re not the only ones being supported in this programme; Seven projects from Belfast, Derry and Newry have been successful from the £30,000 fund which encourages innovation in the reuse of data on the Open Data NI portal.

Allstate Northern Ireland was awarded £2,500 in partnership with Belfast City Council to host hackathon events for the technology community and STEM students.

Also among the winners was Anaeko Limited, who received £3,000 to host events and marketing activities for entrepreneurs to develop sustainable business models leveraging Open Data.

Derry City and Strabane District Council in partnership with Carnegie UK Trust was awarded £3,000 to host cross sectoral workshops to tell the story of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon; Derry and Strabane; and Lisburn and Castlereagh Council council areas.

Newry 2020 received £4,995 to deliver an integrated environmental sensor network to assess the impact of human activities on the environment in Newry and £2,995 to host outreach events.

Xpand Group in partnership with Belfast City Council was awarded £4,960 to create a shared access platform to enable business case development and decision making for large scale regional projects, while Flax & Teal Limited received £5,000 to develop an environmental disaster simulation tool for use in education and emergency planning.

Northern Ireland’s Finance Minister Conor Murphy, who announced the winners, said: “This fund provides entrepreneurs and organisations with a real opportunity to use public sector data for commercial opportunities and drive future economic growth.

“I am delighted to meet the winners and hear more about the range of ingenious projects and events which will further develop digital skills while creating a culture of data transparency.

“It is encouraging to see the collaborative approach the winners have taken, working with community groups, businesses and local councils to optimise public sector data for research, outreach and innovation.”

Farset Labs is receiving £6,000 (as part of a budget of £11,000) to run the Data Art programme, including 6 Meetups, 6 Workshops and 4 Hackathons, and this budget allocation is directly to fund venue, refreshments, travel and equipment costs.

If you’d like to participate in the programme or help run the project, join the Meetup Group below or contact dataart@farsetlabs.org.uk for more information.

Data Art NI

Belfast, GB
456 Data Artists

Meetup bringing artists, technologists and creatives together to show, tell, and learn about the collision between Data and Art.Learn about visualisation techniques, data agg…

Check out this Meetup Group →

Now offering in-space advertising

Farset Labs has accomplished a lot in the past 5 years, stimulated by the goodwill of the STEAM community, and underpinned by the direct financial support of the membership.

However, like many others in the community and voluntary sector, we face continually rising overheads despite efficiently delivering our charitable aims. As such, we’re exploring a new revenue stream: in-space advertising.

Next month, we will be putting up four A3 poster panels in the co-working space and workshop on a three-month trial basis, available on rolling monthly hire by outside organisations and companies.

These poster locations will be allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis at the discretion of the Farset Labs management team, and posters must be provided by the advertiser.

These are currently priced as follows:

  • Community/charitable/non-profit groups advertising events, programmes & opportunities: £150pm
  • Direct advertisement of goods, services & jobs: £300pm
  • Indirect promotion of recruitment services & non-specific roles: £600pm

If you’d be interested in participating in this trial, contact us on info@farsetlabs.org.uk.

At the end of this three month period, the results and impact will be assessed openly in the community along with trial participants, and any modifications deemed necessary will be made before restarting the programme. Trial participants will have early-access into the continued programme.

This new revenue stream will give Farset Labs a more stable platform from which we can cover our increasing operational costs and focus on reinvesting in our services and facilities. We want to achieve this without having to put any more financial pressure on the members of our community who need access to these resources the most.

Farset Labs has been a fully membership-funded community space, delivering volunteer-driven outreach, education, and facilitation to the STEAM community; from programming & engineering courses at local primary and secondary schools, to taking part in national and global collaborative events such as Global Game Jam and BBC’s Make It Digital campaigns.

Beyond this, we have been a melting pot for meetups and user-groups, with our free use of our event space on Wednesday evenings for qualifying non-profit groups and individuals, where organisers can test the viability of their event ideas, developing communities that can (and usually do) rapidly grow to join the major meetup circuit beyond Farset Labs.

Given the nature of the community fostered under our roof, Farset Labs has also hosted and spun-through a number of successful member-run startups, giving entrepreneurs the freedom to explore, collaborate, and experiment without losing equity or requiring significant upfront costs (Desk rental starts at £100 per month, but hot desking is included at all membership levels).

All of this while operating on what can only be described as a “lean” budget. With no staff, no salaries, and no institutional funding, we have kept our significant outgoings limited to rent, power, heating (most of the time), cleaning and refuse collection, and insurance/accounting/legal fees.

If you, your company or your organisation wish to support the work of Farset Labs, or are interested in engaging with this unique community, get in touch via email to info@farsetlabs.org.uk, or tweet us at @FarsetLabs.

First Farset Bring and Buy Sale

ForSale-dispWe had our Town Hall meeting over the weekend, which was a great success that we’ll be posting about separately, but one of the suggestions from our fantastic community was to bring back the old-school idea of tech-swaps, or ‘Bring and Buy Sales’. Bringing back the classic swap-shop atmosphere with a bang, and also hopefully raise some funds for much-needed upgrades to the space.

The Farset Labs Bring-And-Buy sale enables community members and others to sell or swap their creations, or their attic-junk.

The rules are simple, £5/table for members, £10/table for non-members, and don’t try to sell anything illegal.

If you want to attend and check out the wares on offer, don’t worry about tickets, just show up! (Although, non-members attending are ecouraged to donate on arrival…)

Get building and get selling!

Eventbrite - Bring and Buy Sale

3D Printer Fund – Sponsume

This morning, we’re launching our first crowd-funding drive to raise £2000 for 3D printing facilities in the space.

Since before day one, a 3D printer has been on the minds of the community (and plenty of people who have said that they would join the community if those facilities were available), and now, we’re ready to rock! Continue reading 3D Printer Fund – Sponsume

SeedCorn 2012

Farset Labs is a mix of people with a mix of ambitions. Some want a high flying career, some want a steady existance, and some want to jump off a cliff and build a plane on the way down.

SeedCorn

If you’re one of the latter ones, you might be interested in the ITI SeedCorn competition. Long story short, it’s a business plan competition for up and coming SME’s, entrepreneurs or just people with an idea, competing for a share of €280,000 in funding, as
well as a wealth of mentorship support and advice.

If you want more information, or just want to get a feel for the competition, they’re having a free briefing day on Wed 6th. (NOTE The venue has changed from the Holiday Inn to the Momentum offices on Ravenhill Road)

Best of luck, and don’t forget your old friends Farset when you make it big!