Prime Minister Theresa May and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon have visited the University to formally agree the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.
Mrs May and Ms Sturgeon signed the deal at the University’s Bayes Centre, at an event that highlighted data science expertise at the University.
The £1.3 billion investment is designed to accelerate productivity and inclusive growth through the funding of infrastructure, skills training and innovation.
The University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University are partnering to deliver the City Region Deal’s data-driven innovation programme. This aims to increase the contribution of research, data analytics expertise and graduate skills to the region’s economy.
Edinburgh Innovations will play a key role in driving the expansion of University partnerships with commercial and public sector organisations, the delivery of executive education programmes and an increase in company formation.
“I am extremely proud of the role our University has played in helping to develop a City Region Deal that has aligned our unique strengths with the potential for wider regional growth.
“There is tremendous enthusiasm among the University’s staff to use our world-leading research expertise in a range of projects that will tackle the various social and economic challenges in south-east Scotland, and we look forward to working with partners in government and industry to address those needs.
“The City Region Deal also offers an exciting opportunity for greater interdisciplinary working between our academic schools and colleges, delivering insights from new areas of research and allowing us to take the lead in the emerging field of data innovation.”
– Professor Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of Edinburgh
Over the next decade, five data innovation hubs at the University – the Bayes Centre, Edinburgh Futures Institute, Usher Institute, Easter Bush and, with Heriot-Watt University, the National Robotarium – will use high-speed data analytics to meet industry and societal challenges.
The UK and Scottish Governments, and regional partners, are investing in the city region over 10 years across transport, housing, culture, skills and employability and innovation.
The regional partners include the six local authorities of Edinburgh, Midlothian, East Lothian, West Lothian, Fife and the Scottish Borders, plus universities and colleges in the region.