Data Intensive Research

INITIATOR FUND 

Project period: January 2017 – June 2017 

This community later received Accelerator Funding for the project: GW4 Turing Network: Enhanced Interdiciplinary Collaborations to Build Capacity and Capability in Sata Science and Artificial Intelligence in teh Region

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: Jonathan Dawes, Mike Tipping 
University of Bristol: William Browne (PI), Dave Cliff 
Cardiff University: Stephen Fairhurst, Jonathan Gillard 
University of Exeter: Susan Banducci, Richard Everson 

Project overview

Developing capacity for research and development in data science is a major national priority. The clearest evidence for this was the announcement in the March 2014 UK Budget speech of £42M funding for the establishment of the national Alan Turing Institute (ATI). Despite none of GW4 universities becoming part of ATI at the time of this award, each has well-established research strengths in many aspects of data science and is in the process of establishing their own research institute in data science and related topics. 

Background 

Developing capacity for research and development in data science is a major national priority. The clearest evidence for this was the announcement in the March 2014 UK Budget speech of £42M funding for the establishment of the national Alan Turing Institute (ATI). Despite none of GW4 universities becoming part of ATI at the time of the application, each has well-established research strengths in many aspects of data science and is in the process of establishing their own research institute in data science and related topics:  

  • Bristol has recently set up the Jean Golding Institute for Data Intensive Research (led by Browne) 
  • Cardiff has set up the Data Innovation Research Institute (led by Fairhurst) 
  • Exeter is developing the Data Science Institute (led by Everson)  
  • Bath has a slightly more established institute, the Bath Institute for Mathematical Innovation (led by Dawes with Tipping hired as a chair in data science). 

Data intensive research underpins many aspects of digital innovation and the recent South West England and South East Wales Science and Innovation Audit (SIA) highlighted the strengths both within GW4 and the wider community in this area. With the SIA as a springboard we would like to build on this to increase region wide coordination, communication, and cooperation of data science researchers and practitioners. 

Project summary 

The funding was used to deliver four workshops successfully (one in each University in different data science related fields) in March – July 2017 and five six-month pilot projects that were developed as outputs of the workshops were also funded. The workshops and project funding helped to establish links across GW4 data institutes (e.g. supporting a Mathematical Sciences Study Group with Industry co-organised by Bath and Bristol) and formed links with external organisations such as Met Office, Office for National Statistics, Welsh Assembly Government, UWE and University of South Wales. Directors have met subsequently to discuss how to link up activities and areas of expertise across the GW4 Universities. The initiator established effective routes and networks for collaboration across the Alliance – leading to a successful Accelerator Award to establish links to the Alan Turing Institute, the national institute for data science and AI in the UK. 

University of Bath (Institute for Mathematical Innovation) 
Website: bath.ac.uk/research-institutes/institute-for-mathematical-innovation
Twitter: @IMIBath 
 
University of Bristol (Jean Golding Institute)
Website: bristol.ac.uk/golding
Twitter: @JGIBristol 
 
Cardiff University (Data Innovation Research Institute)
Website: cardiff.ac.uk/data-innovation-research-institute 
Twitter: @CardiffUniDII 
 
University of Exeter (Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence)

Website: exeter.ac.uk/idsai
Twitter: @UniExeterIDSAI