Scotland’s growing strength in the emerging data economy is highlighted by the inclusion of data-driven innovation (DDI) in the £1.3bn Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, which was signed by the Prime Minister and First Minister in August 2018.
The UK and Scottish governments’ investment in DDI through the City Region Deal reflects the growing importance of data in economic growth, social change, and public services. Through high-speed data analytics, our ability to capture flows of data and understand what they tell us is bringing better and faster capability to identify trends and behaviour across many sectors, leading to improved services for consumers and citizens.
Working together to deliver the 15-year programme are the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University, whose experts will collaborate with partners in the private, public and third sectors on data-based projects to improve products and services.
DDI will increase the contribution of university research and in-demand graduate skills to the region’s economy, launching more spinout companies, attracting start-ups and established businesses, and driving public and private sector investment.
Five data-driven innovation ‘hubs’ have been created, with expertise and facilities to help 10 industrial sectors become more innovative through data. The University of Edinburgh hosts the Bayes Centre, Edinburgh Futures Institute, Easter Bush campus, and Usher Institute for Population Health Sciences and Informatics. The National Robotarium is a collaboration between Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh.
Supporting the work of the hubs, is a new super-computing facility for the secure and trustworthy analysis of datasets, which will be unique within Europe.