Scottish Big Data centre announced

Scottish local authorities are set to participate in a new Big Data innovation centre, which will launch later this year following funding approval announced today.

The new Data Lab will be funded to the tune of £11.3 million from the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) with support from Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

It is expected to create 345 new jobs and will focus on digital technology, energy, financial services, healthcare and public sector markets.

David Smith, director of technology engineering and creative industries at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Scottish Enterprise welcomes the latest addition of the Data Lab to the family of Innovation Centres.

“We will continue to work alongside our partners in industry, HIE and SFC to ensure that we harness and grow Scotland’s significant capability in data analytics and informatics to address the rapidly growing global Big Data market opportunity.”

Neil Logan, chairman of The Data Lab and chief technology officer for Lockheed Martin Business Technology Solutions, said the new centre would partner with local authorities, among others, to unlock value from data it holds.

He said it would revolutionise the way in which Scottish industry develops and applies analytics and data science techniques to capture new market opportunities and boost productivity.

The Data Lab bid was made by Scottish Technology Advisory Group’s Big Data Lead, ScotlandIS, Lockheed Martin, DC Thomson-owned brightsolid and software provider SAS.

It will operate out of locations in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow and deliver more than 100 new collaborative innovation projects, as well as education in Big Data for professionals.

The SFC, in partnership with Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, launched the Innovation Centre programme in 2012 to enhance innovation in and across Scotland’s key economic sectors.

The council has funded eight Innovation Centres and committed £110 million for the Innovation Centre programme up to 2018.

Colin Marrs

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