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The government is creating a world-class research institute specialising in data science dedicated to British WW2 code-breaker Alan Turing.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, made the announcement in his Budget 2014 statement.
The Alan Turing Institute for Data Science will benefit from a £42 million government investment over 5 years that will strengthen the UK’s aims to be a world leader in the analysis and application of big data. It will also ensure that the UK is at the forefront of data-science in a rapidly moving, globally competitive area, enabling first-class research in an environment that brings together theory and practical application.
Once operational, this will be a world-leading institute, attracting the best talent and investment from across the globe. It will provide a fitting memorial to Alan Turing.
Benefits of big data
The Centre for Economics and Business Research estimates that the big data marketplace could benefit the UK economy by £216 billion and create 58,000 new jobs in the UK before 2017. Furthermore, a recent report from Deloitte estimates that the direct value of public sector information alone to the UK economy is around £1.8 billion per year, with wider social and economic benefits bringing this up to around £6.8 billion.
Research by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (Nesta) also shows that UK data-driven firms are 40% more likely to report launching products and services ahead of their non-data savvy competitors.
How the Institute will work
The Institute will collaborate and work closely with other e-infrastructure and big-data investments across the UK Research Base including the Open Data Institute, Catapult Network, ARCHER and the Hartree Centre.
Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said:
Creating a world-class institute dedicated to data science will secure the UK’s place as a global leader in this field and bring significant future benefits to the UK’s economy and society.
The pioneering work carried out at the Institute will be a fitting tribute to Alan Turing.
Alan Turing was given a posthumous pardon under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy by the Queen in December 2013, following a request from Justice Secretary Chris Grayling.
There had been a long campaign to clear Alan Turing’s name, including a well-supported e-petition and Private Member’s Bill along with support from leading scientists such as Sir Stephen Hawking, and members of the public. The pardon under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy, helped to clear the name of a man who has often been described as the ‘father of modern computing’.