UK Government Backs Alan Turing Institute For Big Data
Written by Editor   
Thursday, 20 March 2014

The UK Government appears to be embracing Big Data and is funding a new Data Science Institute that will be named in honor of Alan Turing.

The announcement of funding to the tune of £42 million (around $70 million) USD over 5 years for the new research institute was included in the 2014 Budget by Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.

The institute may be a brand new facility or may be within a university, its funding with come from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and its chief will report to the science minister, David Willetts.

The Department for Business tweeted:

New Alan Turing Institute will ensure UK is at the forefront of data science

including a picture of this infographic:

 

Welcoming the news the UK head of digital and analytics at KPMG, Alwin Magimay said:

"Data scientists are what computer programmers were to the UK economy in the nineties. We as a nation need to industrialise this discipline to ensure that British business can prosper from understanding the potential of the data and turn it into a competitive business advantage.

“The investment of £42 million is a powerful signal to businesses, academic institutions and investors to sit up and realise that big data isn’t just a term coined by the technology world but that it presents a real opportunity for UK business to gain value from the abundance of data being created in a digital and connected world.

 

Explaining the choice of new Institute's name in his Budget speech George Osborne told the House of Commons:

"In my maiden speech here in this House, I spoke of Alan Turing, the code-breaker who lived in my constituency, who did more than almost any other single person to win the war, and who was persecuted for his sexuality by the country he helped save.

I am delighted that he has finally received a posthumous royal pardon.

Now, in his honour, we will found the Alan Turning Institute to ensure Britain leads the way again in the use of big data and algorithm research."

Lib Dem MP for Manchester Withington, John Leech immediately encouraged the university - where Alan Turing carried out much of his work - to bid for the new Institute in his name.

 

Statue of Alan Turing in Manchester

 

He said: “Alan Turing’s contribution to Manchester was enormous as well as his efforts in bringing the war to an early conclusion. He is a national hero.  I am delighted that the government have pledged support to create a fitting legacy for Alan Turing to ensure generations remember him for years to come. Given his huge contribution to Manchester, it is only right that the new institute will be here.”

 

 

 

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