Scottish ‘Data Lab’ to harness big data

Picture: Creative Commons
Picture: Creative Commons
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An innovation centre is to be launched this year aimed at bringing business, academia and the public sector together to exploit new developments in data analytics.

Backed by £11.3 million of public finance, the Data Lab is expected to revolutionise the way in which Scottish industry uses “big data” to capture new market opportunities and boost productivity.

Its focus will be to “improve our lives” by targeting such things as efficient energy use, personalised online shopping and more effective medical care.

Data Lab’s supporters say it will create at least 345 jobs and generate £155 million for the economy. It is funded by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and has additional support from Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise.

The centre will build on innovation in the university sector and is expected to “transform the way in which industry, public sector and academic institutions collaborate”, and will have hub locations in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Data Lab’s focus will be on the digital technology, energy, financial services, healthcare and public sector markets. Laurence Howells, chief executive of the SFC, said: “We all use and generate massive amounts of data each day. Our investment will support the Data Lab to develop innovative techniques that will improve many aspects of our lives.”

Neil Logan, chairman of the Data Lab said it would “unlock the value inside our world leading academic institutions”.


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