Scottish government commits to £13.5m Data Lab funding

DataIQ News

The Scottish Government is ramping up its campaign to make the country a serious rival to Silicon Valley by committing an extra £13.5 million to The Data Lab, the innovation centre which helps industry capitalise on the growing use of data science and artificial intelligence.

Since its launch in 2014, the Data Lab has drawn on an initial £11.5 million package from the Scottish Funding Council to attract and develop data talent North of the Border by creating and running educational programmes and events, and backing Scottish innovation projects.

The new funding was confirmed by Science and Education Minister Richard Lochhead ahead of the DataFest19 event in Edinburgh.

Lochhead said: “This investment builds on the £100 million already invested in Scotland’s eight innovation centres, including The Data Lab, which are having a transformational effect on our economy.

“Scottish universities excel in data science. Together with the country’s rich data resources and advanced infrastructure, this provides the ideal environment for the Data Lab to thrive, benefiting industry, the third sector and public services.

“I am pleased to confirm that the Scottish Government, through the Scottish Funding Council and our Enterprise agencies, is able to invest up to £13.5 million to support the Data Lab in its next phase, which will contribute to exploiting the estimated £20 billion data opportunity for Scotland’s economy by 2020.”

The new funding for Phase 2 will officially begin in April 2019 and run for five years.