BBC signs Memorandum of Understanding with the Open Knowledge Foundation

Nov. 25, 2013

Press Release: 25.11.2013

The BBC today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) supporting free and open internet technologies with the Open Knowledge Foundation.

Further memorandums were signed with the Mozilla Foundation, the Open Data Institute, and the Europeana Foundation.

The agreements will enable closer collaboration between the BBC and each of the four organisations on a range of mutual interests, including the release of structured open data, the use of open standards in web development and the online availability of catalogues of BBC archive material. One aim of this agreement is to give clear technical standards and models to organisations who want to work with the BBC and give those using the internet a deeper understanding of the technologies involved. The MoUs also bring together several existing areas of research and provide a framework to explore future opportunities.

Through this and other initiatives, the BBC aims to be a catalyst for open innovation by publishing clear technical standards, models, expertise and, where feasible, data. This approach encourages greater collaboration with the wider industry and the development of new technologies and digital services that can bring additional benefits to audiences.

James Purnell, BBC Director of Strategy and Digital, said:

“The BBC has been at the forefront of technological innovation around broadcasting and online for many years delivering the benefits of new technologies to licence fee payers, offering new services and products to audiences around the world, and creating public value in the digital economy. We have worked closely with many other organisations to promote open data, open standards and the open internet, and we plan to build on these MOUs to find new ways to engage audiences and deliver the BBC’s aspirations online”.

Laura James, CEO of the Open Knowledge Foundation said:

"We are delighted to be collaborating with the BBC to help them unlock their rich archive of culturally and historically-significant content. This partnership will not only ensure access to an amazing amount of content - but will enable connections to be made between resources - creating new insights. It's great to see the BBC taking this step to connect with these organisations who can help it make the most of its content and data in the coming years."

Notes to editors:

For comment from the Open Knowledge Foundation, please contact

The organisations involved are all actively engaged in projects which fit with the BBC’s online aspirations, including the release of structured open data, the use of open standards in web development, access to online sources of information about digitised cultural assets and giving those using the internet a deeper understanding of the technologies involved.

These MOUs demonstrate the BBC’s ongoing commitment to actively engage with organisations that share its goals and provide for regular conversations between BBC staff and representatives around topics of mutual interest.

The full text of the MoU is available at

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