FAQs – MEDapps and Open Energy

We are updating this page as we receive questions via email. Please get in touch with Michelle Brook on michelle.brook@icebreakerone.org if you have a question that we do not answer below or if you would like to participate in our Open Energy programme.

What is MEDapps? 

Modernising Energy Data Applications (MEDapps) is a £2m funding competition launched by SBRI, part of Innovate UK. The purpose is to help accelerate digitalisation and complement the MEDA programme.

What will MEDapps data applications do?

MEDapps data applications help enable the complex coordination of infrastructure upgrades through the energy transition. Integrated approaches across energy, transport, telecoms, water and other sectors are becoming increasingly important. The interactions and optimisation of infrastructure types across sectors will be vital to achieve deep decarbonisation, outstanding user experiences, and an efficient transition to a net-zero society that works for people from all backgrounds.

How can MEDapps use the data made available by the Open Energy programme?

A MEDapps service provider must be onboarded to the Open Energy Governance Platform (OEGP). The conditions for this are under development and will be an output from our Policy, Regulatory and Legal Advisory Group.

Once onboarded, the MEDapps service provider will be able to request access to data from a data provider, according to pre-agreed terms and conditions. The OEGP ensures that only authorised service providers can access the data, provides the control point over the specific datasets,  signposts the API endpoints, and allows the data provider to recognise that it is a legitimate request from an authenticated MEDapps service provider.

What is the Open Energy Governance Platform?

It is the mechanism by which Open Energy will be made accessible and secure for the widest possible range of participants: it is the central foundation of trust for the Open Energy ecosystem.

The OEGP is built on the same principles and technology approach of the successful Open Banking (UK) Directory which now enables around 300 participants to share data from over 500m API calls every month. It ensures all approved parties can establish and provide trusted identities for their organisation and for their related Applications.

It also provides a rich set of functional technology services to support the lifecycle management of all entities and related credentials, encryption keys and digital certificates for organisations, their human contacts and API platform software instances. It removes the risk of fragmentation of standards and avoids the need for participants to duplicate effort, which is vital for scalability and interoperability.

What are the technical requirements for MEDapps?

There are two parts to the technical requirements: the functional specifications and the security specifications.

The functional API specifications describe what format any data will be made available, and the Security specifications confirm which security profile should be used. The API specifications are being developed as part of the Icebreaker One Phase 2 proposal, by our technical Advisory Group, and will evolve over Phase 3 and into a fully live ecosystem.

How secure are MEDapps?

MEDapps will be highly secure. The core security profile will be the tried and tested OpenID FAPI standard, which is acknowledged as the global gold standard for sensitive data sharing. It is the standard already used successfully in the UK by the Open Banking ecosystem, so is a familiar standard for many companies.

How can I test a MEDapp?

The Open Energy Governance Platform will include a Sandbox environment which will be open for participants to register themselves and their apps. Once registration is complete, onboarding to any registered provider is straightforward (and can be automated) for testing purposes.

How can I find energy datasets for a MEDapp?

Part of the Open Energy Governance Platform is the Energy Data Search. The tool aggregates information about available datasets and offers rich search capabilities to find just the data you need. It offers querying by various parameters such as geospatial boundaries, the license a dataset is governed under, files types and many more.

Under the hood the Energy Data Search crawls metadata from different decentralised sources to keep track of the energy data landscape. It also allows data owners that currently do not advertise metadata about their datasets to create metadata in a matter of a few simple clicks. Nobody needs to worry about learning new standards and codifying information by hand.