Unleashing the huge potential of data will be the focus of a new global institute, which is being officially launched at Imperial College London.
In the last two years the world has produced more data than in all of human history. Developing insights from better analysis of this information will enable us to improve our predictions of diseases in people, stimulate innovation, unleash waves of productivity and create new consumer services.
The Data Science Institute (DSI) at Imperial aims to capitalize on this data revolution, by underpinning multidisciplinary collaborations between the College's academic experts and research partners in areas such as healthcare, financial services, climate science, and city infrastructure to create new solutions to complex problems. The DSI will also foster the next generation of data scientists and engineers by developing a range of postgraduate and executive courses.
Sir Keith O’Nions, President & Rector of Imperial College London, says: “Imperial is uniquely placed to play a leading role in data science. Our critical mass of scientific, medical, engineering and business expertise puts us in a strong position to harness the power of the data generated by our research. We are defined by multidisciplinary collaboration and the large scale of our scientific and engineering collaborations at home and internationally. Industrial partnership is a key component of our work to apply the fruits of this research for the benefit of our society and economy. I would like to thank all the corporate partners who are helping to make our vision a reality.”
The DSI is developing a range of industrial collaborations. For example, Imperial and Huawei signed an agreement last year to develop a data science lab to bring together researchers with cutting-edge facilities to build the next generation of big data applications. These partnerships build on the College’s long standing collaborations in data science with companies such as IBM and Thompson Reuters.
Professor David Gann, Vice President (Development and Innovation), says: “Data is the lifeblood of the twenty first century. Medical innovation, disease prevention, climate change research, the analysis of financial markets and consumer behaviour, and the development of cities capable of accommodating population growth, all require us to gain insights from large, complex data sets. Imperial’s Data Science Institute will act as an international hub within Imperial West, the College’s innovation and translation campus, providing an important location for researchers and industry to collaborate together in this field.”
Professor Yike Guo, Director of the DSI at Imperial, said: “From the development of large data sensor networks to mitigate the effects of flooding in the UK, to using information collected from satellites to understand how changes in the Sun may affect our climate, there is already a wealth of research, which the Data Science Institute is seeking to harness. The Data Science Institute will extend our ability to address the frontiers of scientific research in the big data era. This launch is an invitation to industry and academia to let you know that the Data Science Institute is open for business. We are looking forward to working with all of you to put data at the core of research and innovation with the aim of building a healthy and sustainable modern world.”