Newcastle’s Science Central, which opened in late 2014, is establishing itself as a flagship science
Jamie Hardesty

Member Article

£30m Newcastle smart data institute to boost region’s digital cluster

A new £30 million centre to unleash the potential offered by big data will be launched at Science Central, in Newcastle, by Newcastle University.

The National Institute for Smart Data Innovation (NISDI) will bring together industry, the public sector and world-leading academics to develop the skills, ideas and resources needed to exploit opportunities offered by the explosion in digital data, as alluded to in George Osborne’s recent Budget announcement.

NISDI will reportedly enable businesses to extract value from smart data which will help to address specific challenges in areas including health, automotive and manufacturing.

Professor Paul Watson, Director of Newcastle University’s Digital Institute, explained: “As the volume of big data increases, organisations face real challenges in unlocking its value: the new Institute will help them to achieve this.

“Newcastle is already home to one of the fastest growing digital clusters in the country. By providing world-class facilities and expertise all under one roof, NISDI will act as a beacon for Smart Data innovation, accelerating innovation and helping the region, and the rest of the UK, to become global leaders in this increasingly important sector.”

Charlie Hoult, Chair of Dynamo, said: ““This is great news for the region. Dynamo has always placed the region’s strengths in technology in a wider context and it’s testament to the strength and depth of support for innovation and collaboration that the Institute will provide a further platform to engage both nationally and internationally.

“The Institute will also be a beacon for the up-skilling needed for this IT revolution, if we are to succeed in areas such as smart cars, cybersecurity, government digitisation or cloud innovation.

“Our region needs to be at the forefront of this so NISDI is great for the region, great for the University and great for the future.”

Councillor Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “It is great news that Science Central will host a unique facility which brings together industry, the public sector and universities to create the skills, ideas and resources needed to exploit the commercial opportunities provided by Smart Data.

“It was identified in the North East devolution agreement as a priority for the region and this outcome is a testament to the partnership working that went into developing the proposal.

“Local people will benefit from the creation of over 1000 jobs in the city’s booming digital tech sector, helping them to develop the skills of the future. The institute will make a big contribution to the economic growth of the city and the wider region. It will have national and international significance, cementing Newcastle University’s role as the country’s leading centre for research in computing science.”

Are you confident that the new institute will suuceed in boosting the region’s businesses? Tell us your thoughts.

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