The Alan Turing Institute announces new director

Supplementary content information

Andrew Blake

The Alan Turing Institute has marked its first few days of operations with the announcement of its new director, the confirmation of £10 million of research funding from Lloyd’s Register Foundation, a research partnership with GCHQ, a collaboration with Cray Inc. and EPSRC, and its first research activities.

A joint venture agreement was entered into on 30 March 2015 between the founding partners, the universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford, UCL, Warwick and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to create The Alan Turing Institute. The conditions to the joint venture agreement were satisfied on 22 July 2015, with the effect that the Institute is now fully constituted and has begun operations. It will be headquartered at the British Library.

Jo Johnson, Minister for Universities and Science, said: The Alan Turing Institute has set off on a speedy course to secure new lasting partnerships and bring together expertise from across the UK that will help secure our place as a world leader in areas like Big Data, computer science and advanced mathematics.

The Institute will promote the development and use of advanced mathematics, computer science, algorithms and big data for human benefit.

More specifically, the Institute announces that it:

  • Has appointed Professor Andrew Blake, who will join the Institute in October, as its first Director.
  • Has accepted a formally approved offer of £10 million of research funding from the board of the Lloyd’s Register Foundation.
  • Will work with GCHQ on open access and commercial data-analysis methods.
  • Is to collaborate with Cray Inc. and EPSRC to exploit a next generation analytics capability on the UK’s Largest Supercomputer for scientific research, ARCHER.
  • Is issuing its first call for expressions of interest from research fellows.
  • Will commence research work this autumn with a series of data summits for commerce, industry and the physical and social sciences and scoping workshops for data and social scientists to inform and shape the Institute’s research agenda.

Further details of these developments, together with Notes for Editors, are provided in the Appendices to this announcement available below.

Commenting today Howard Covington, chairman of The Alan Turing Institute, said: The enthusiasm and commitment of the founding partners have enabled the Institute to make rapid progress. We will now turn to building the Institute’s research activities. We are delighted to welcome Andrew Blake as our new director and to begin strategic relationships with the Lloyd’s Register Foundation and GCHQ. Our cooperation with Cray Inc. is one of several relationships with major infrastructure and service providers that will be agreed over the coming months. We are also in discussions with a number of industrial and commercial firms who we expect to become strategic partners in due course and are highly encouraged by the breadth of interest in working with the Institute.

Professor Philip Nelson, Chief Executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) added: I am delighted to see The Alan Turing Institute up and running. The teams from EPSRC and the founding universities have shown outstanding collaboration in bringing together five of our world-class academic institutions. We look forward to the Institute becoming an internationally leading player in data science.

The Alan Turing Institute is a joint venture between the universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford, Warwick, UCL and EPSRC - The Alan Turing Institute will attract the best data scientists and mathematicians from the UK and across the globe to break new boundaries in how we use big data in a fast moving, competitive world.

The Institute is being funded over five years with £42 million from the UK government. The university partners are contributing £5 million each, totalling £25 million. In addition, the Institute will seek to partner with other business and government bodies. The creation of the Institute has been coordinated by the EPSRC which invests in research and postgraduate training across the UK.

Reference: PN 39-15

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Name: EPSRC Press Office
Telephone: 01793 444404