University of Edinburgh to play key role in creating Data Capital of Europe

20 July 2017

The University of Edinburgh will be a key partner in a major initiative that aims to make the city and its surrounding region Europe’s leading centre for applying data science to products and services.

The move to transform the region into a digital powerhouse is a key strand of the recently announced Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Deal.

Under the agreement, significant investment from the UK and Scottish Governments will be provided for major infrastructure projects in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders

The University’s role in City Deal will include working with partners in government, industry and other universities to grow a vibrant cluster of activity based on data science, which is the collecting, organising and interpreting of large sets of digital information.

The University will partner with local councils, schools and employers across the region to create the workforce of the future by supporting a huge increase in data skills.

It will also support new entrepreneurs to form high growth companies, and work with existing companies and the public sector to apply data expertise to help deliver high quality products and services.

With the University at its centre, the City Deal’s data driven innovation programme will give businesses and people in Edinburgh and its surrounding areas maximum advantage in the data revolution.

In the Edinburgh city region, companies have adopted data-driven innovation to great effect, creating the third-highest density of high value technology start-up firms in the world.

In the UK, the digital and data economy is growing two to three times faster than the economy as a whole. Early adoption of data driven innovation offers huge opportunities and may help offset the decline in some traditional sectors of the economy.

Professor Charlie Jeffery, Senior Vice-Principal of the University of Edinburgh, said: “The City Deal is a major vote of confidence in the economic strengths and further potential of Edinburgh and South East Scotland.

“We are delighted to be working with our partners to grow the region’s digital economy and to open up new opportunities for our businesses and communities to flourish.”