UK universities are being asked to express their interest in establishing The Alan Turing Institute to further Big Data research.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced that the UK government would provide £42m, over 5 years, to fund project in this year’s Budget statement, to help the nation develop a lead in the analysis of large datasets.
The centre has been named after Alan Turing, the godfather of computer science and the code-breaker who solved the German Enigma code during the Second World War, and the government has now tasked the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) with inviting universities to join a consortium to establish the institute.
“Big Data is a key component in how we conduct science today and its importance will only increase in the future,” said Greg Clark, who took over from David Willetts as Minister for Universities, Science and Cities earlier this week.
“That is why government identified it as one of the UK’s eight great technologies, and why we are committed to remaining at the forefront of this technology through the establishment of The Alan Turing Institute.
“It is a fitting tribute to Alan Turing that this Institute will push the boundaries of mathematics and lead the way in research, education and knowledge transfer.”
The planned institute will be designed to bring together leaders in advanced mathematics and computer science and will provide a national centre to promote advanced research and translational work in the application of data science and the associated algorithms.
The government’s investment of £42m to 2020 includes an initial capital investment of £20m and support for operating costs to assist in funding the Institute. Its work is expected to encompass a wide range of scientific disciplines and be relevant to a wide range of business sectors.
EPSRC’s chief executive Philip Nelson said: “EPSRC’s portfolio makes it highly appropriate that we are responsible for the delivery of The Alan Turing Institute. Big Data plays an increasing role in research across many scientific and engineering fields and therefore it is vital that the UK stays at the leading edge in this area.”