Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  

 

The Data Lab Secures Scottish Government Funding

22nd September 2018

Photograph of The Data Lab Secures Scottish Government Funding

Scotland's data innovation centre, The Data Lab, has secured up to £13.5 million in new Scottish Government funding.

The announcement on Thursday 20th September 2018 follows its success during its first phase of activity, in which it established Scotland as an international data science hub.

Since its launch in 2014, The Data Lab has used its existing funding from the Scottish Funding Council to attract and develop data talent in Scotland. It has created and run educational programmes and events, and provided backing to Scottish innovation projects.

The new funding was confirmed by Minister for Further Education, Higher Education & Science, Richard Lochhead. Speaking ahead of today's announcement during the DataFest19 launch event in Edinburgh, Mr Lochhead said:

"This investment builds on the £100 million already invested in Scotland’s eight innovation centres, including The Data Lab, which are having a transformational effect on our economy.

“Scottish universities excel in data science. Together with the country’s rich data resources and advanced infrastructure, this provides the ideal environment for the Data Lab to thrive, benefiting industry, the third sector and public services.

“I am pleased to confirm that the Scottish Government, through the Scottish Funding Council and our Enterprise agencies, is able to invest up to £13.5 million to support the Data Lab in its next phase, which will contribute to exploiting the estimated £20 billion data opportunity for Scotland’s economy by 2020."

The new funding for Phase 2 will officially begin in April 2019 and run for five years. The funding package exists of up to £9.5 million from the Scottish Funding Council, £2.5 million from Scottish Enterprise, £1 million from the Scottish Government’s Digital Directorate and £500,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). This new funding will allow The Data Lab to improve data innovation’s economic impact on Scotland, generate more jobs and build on its growing global reputation.

Theresa Swayne, senior digital economy manager at HIE said: “We are working with our national partners to deliver phase 2 of The Data Lab Innovation Centre which will support the creation of a TDL hub, co-located with HIE’s Innovation and Technology team in Inverness and will focus on data driven innovation across Scotland’s rural digital economy. The hub will be the fourth Data Lab location in Scotland along with Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

"Our support will bring a TDL member of staff to the north of Scotland, to focus on data science skills and talent, events and new ambitious collaborative projects. In addition, local businesses will have access to exciting new national and international contacts and opportunities. The hub will have a specific focus on developing data talent in collaboration with Scottish universities and industry. Building on the successes of DataFest18, HIE and TDL² will host DataFest Fringe events again in March 2019.”

To date, The Data Lab has provided approximately £2.4m to 66 projects, with the projects’ total value reaching £6.3m. The new funding will ensure The Data Lab continues supporting businesses across Scotland, with an expected investment of £18.9m towards over 100 new data driven innovation projects.

In March this year, Scotland hosted DataFest18, a week-long festival of data innovation, bringing to life the collaboration overseen by The Data Lab and its engagement with the data community. The festival reached over 3,000 individuals across 50 events in Scotland.

DataFest19, which aims to further enhance Scotland’s burgeoning data reputation worldwide and was also launched today at the event, with SAS being named as its main sponsor. The event has been extended to run over a two-week period next March and will include the already successful Data Summit and Data Talent Scotland, and introduce a new technical event, DataTech. The longer festival will also allow for larger engagement from local organisations looking to run their own Fringe events across Scotland as part of DataFest19. Calls for the submission of technical talk proposals for DataTech and to run Fringe events are now open at www.datafest.global.

Gillian Docherty, CEO of The Data Lab, said: “We’re proud of the impact The Data Lab has had on Scottish business and innovation communities over the last four years and are pleased to receive further backing from the Scottish Government. The continuation of our work will help develop a strong data science community and accelerate Scotland’s economic growth.

“The Data Lab has built a vibrant, supportive and effective data community across Scotland. The success we’ve had means we’re in a great position to continue to collaborate with the Scottish and international community on Data Science and Artificial Intelligence innovation during Phase 2.”

Projects supported by The Data Lab during Phase 1 covered a wide range of sectors reflecting the breadth of value data innovation can deliver to Scotland. Sectors include healthcare, oil, gas and renewable energy, finance, professional services, creative industries, telecoms, food and drink, tourism, construction, and public and third sectors.

The projects include supporting The Albyn Housing Society and Carbon Dynamics in the FIT Home initiative, which aims to develop housing solutions to enable people to live independently for longer and allow residents to be treated at home instead of a hospital. The Data Lab provided funding to involve Robert Gordon University in the project, which used its expertise in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create mechanisms that used data to monitor residents’ activity and any concerning changes in movement patterns.

Aggreko, the Scottish-based leading global provider of modular, mobile power, and heating and cooling solutions, wanted to monitor and be able to predict and react to any potential generator maintenance issues. The Data Lab, partnering with University of Strathclyde, used its academic insight and data science expertise to support Aggreko’s analytical capabilities and latest machine-learning techniques to enhance the Aggreko Remote Monitoring system (ARM).

The Data Lab has also recently backed Emotech, a company that specialises in AI technology, to develop ‘Olly’, the world’s first robot with personality. The Data Lab funding allowed them to collaborate with Heriot-Watt University to equip the robot with natural language processing abilities and undertake the required research and develop the test models.

Lucy Fraser, head of innovation at Albyn Housing Society: “The Data Lab’s support for our FIT Home project has been invaluable, both in terms of the funding it provided but also connecting us with the likes of The Robert Gordon University. FIT Home aims to develop housing solutions to enable people to live independently for longer and the data retrieved with The Data Lab’s help forms a crucial component of the project. We’re now able to grow the project and have recently taken on a PhD student to help take us to the next level and reach our long-term goals.”

During Phase 1, The Data Lab also established an internationally recognised MSc Data Science programme, having supported 260 MSc studentships through 17 courses delivered across 11 universities in its first three years. The programme is expected to grow throughout Phase 2, supporting 665 new data science MScs, ensuring a pipeline of talent into Scottish businesses.

PHOTO

L_R - Gillian Docherty, CEO of The Data Lab; Richard Lochhead MSP; Mark Hunter, Chairman of The Data Lab.

 

Related Businesses

 

Related Articles

Firms Secure £7.7m To Develop Wave Energy MachinesThumbnail for article : Firms Secure £7.7m To Develop Wave Energy Machines
Two new Scottish wave energy devices will take to the sea in 2020 following the award of £7.7 million from Wave Energy Scotland.   Both winning firms - Edinburgh-based Mocean Energy and AWS Ocean Energy from Inverness - will use the funds to build half-scale wave energy machines and test them in real ocean conditions at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.  
Creating a competitive advantage in the Highlands and IslandsThumbnail for article : Creating a competitive advantage in the Highlands and Islands
This February, Highlands and Islands entrepreneurs can learn how to create and sustain a competitive advantage at a workshop delivered by a leading expert in the field.   Eleanor has more than 25 years' experience in delivering entrepreneurship education across the globe.  
More Young People Want To Stay In The Highlands And Islands, Says New ReportThumbnail for article : More Young People Want To Stay In The Highlands And Islands, Says New Report
Efforts in the Highlands and Islands to attract and retain young people may be starting to have a positive effect.  This is according to a new report published on Tuesday 4 December 2018.  
Branding The Highlands And Islands A Business Success
Highlands and Islands businesses will have the opportunity to develop their brand to help them stand out against the competition at a series of brand development workshops.   Organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), as part of its Entrepreneurial Academy, the brand development workshops will be delivered by experts in the field and will be free to attend.  
Eann Sinclair Appointed Area Manager For HIE In Caithness And SutherlandThumbnail for article : Eann Sinclair Appointed Area Manager For HIE In Caithness And Sutherland
Eann Sinclair is the new area manager for HIE in Caithness and Sutherland.   Eann is from Thurso and graduated from Glasgow University with a degree in Scottish and English Literature before gaining an MSc in Tourism.  
Impact30 Initiative To Inspire Business Leaders Of The Future
A dynamic new programme for young entrepreneurs has been launched by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to discover and support the business leaders of the future.   IMPACT30 has been designed to uncover a new generation of ambitious talent, offering bespoke support from industry experts to help drive the growth of their businesses.  
HIE reports on 2017-18 results
IE has announced performance figures for its work in 2017/18.  The figures are included in the agency's annual accounts laid before the Scottish Parliament.  
Practical Steps To A Cyber Strong Business - Highlands And Islands Tour Launched
Businesses and social enterprises across the Highlands and Islands which want to head-off cyber attacks in their online work are being offered jargon-free, expert advice.   The Cyber Strong Business programme, introduced by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) last year, is back with a second series of workshops, one-to-one consultations, and a Cyber Cafe in venues across the region.  
Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
Week commencing 27 August 2018 UKVL Sutherland: Today (Friday) marks Roy Kirk's last day as Area Manager for HIE in Caithness and Sutherland, as he will move next week to become full-time director for the Sutherland Spaceport project.  Following Roy's move I have been offered (and have accepted) the role of acting Area Manager for Caithness and Sutherland, which in the short term I will take forward in addition to my CNSRP work.  
HIE Leadership Changes In The North As Spaceport Plans Get UnderwayThumbnail for article : HIE Leadership Changes In The North As Spaceport Plans Get Underway
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has made leadership changes in Caithness and Sutherland, following the recent announcement of plans to create a spaceport near Tongue.   Roy Kirk has moved from his role as area manager to become project director for the new spaceport, where he will lead HIE's plans to develop the new satellite launch facility.  

[Printer Friendly Version]