We have recently awarded grants to Oxford EBM DataLab, OpenCorporates and Mental Health Innovations (Shout).

Oxford EBM DataLab

The DataLab at the University of Oxford’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine is a mixed team of clinicians, researchers, and software engineers. They build cutting-edge tools that turn complex NHS datasets into actionable insights, with huge numbers of users. Their ambition is to drive the better use of data, evidence and software in healthcare and society, leading by example.

The Mohn Westlake Foundation is funding a policy think tank in our group. The think tank will do four things:

  • document the structural, technical, political, and cultural barriers to better use of data and software, and produce worked solutions to these barriers
  • publish materials that show policymakers, funders, traditional researchers, clinicians, and commissioners the power of these tools
  • identify, promote, and summarise the best existing materials in this space
  • produce materials that show researchers how they can engage with policymakers.


OpenCorporates maintains the world’s largest open database of companies in the world, shining a light on the corporate world and is a key resource for journalists, NGOs, governments, banks, and due diligence professionals.

OpenCorporates is a Social Enterprise dedicated to making information on companies more accessible, more 
usable and more useful for the public benefit.

By the simple act of de-siloing company register data from across the globe, it has brought transparency to company activities, powered anti-corruption investigations and provided a hostile environment for the criminal use of companies.

The Mohn Westlake Foundation is supporting OpenCorporates to expand its work of adding new jurisdictions and companies to its data set, and developing tools and processes to improve the productivity and effectiveness of the work. Through this funding we hope to help OpenCorporates make a significant and permanent difference to corporate transparency.

Mental Health Innovations (Shout)

Shout is the UK’s first free 24/7 text service for anyone in crisis.

Shout connects people in need to trained volunteers who provide help at a time when it is most needed; enabling them to move from a moment of crisis to a calm state and form a plan for next steps to find longer-term support. As texting is private and silent, it opens up a whole new way to find help.  It provides instant support – you can have a conversation at any time – at school, at home, on the bus, anywhere. This service is for everyone, but for younger people especially, texting is a trusted and familiar form of communication, and using text rather than apps makes it simple and accessible for anyone with a phone.

Shout is powered by a team of volunteers who are at the heart of the service. They are trained to create a safe space for people experiencing mental health challenges. The programme is unique with the training and volunteering all done online, under the supervision of qualified clinicians. Working remotely, volunteers are part of a supportive and connected online community.

Shout draws on a tried-and-tested model developed in the US by Crisis Text Line. Crisis Text Line has been operating in the US since August 2013, and has processed over 100 million messages since its inception.

The anonymised data that Shout collates provides unique insights into mental health trends to help improve people’s lives, and is being analysed in partnership with Imperial College.

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