A government-backed initiative to help companies exploit the value of data has celebrated its first year of operation in Aberdeen.
The Data Lab, whose northern innovation centre was established at Robert Gordon University (RGU) last year, has backed 30 collaborative projects across Scotland with £1.1million in seed funding. These projects, linking companies and cutting-edge computing and data science research at universities, have galvanised a further £2.7million in funding from other partners and are expected to deliver an overall £47million to the economy.
In the north-east, the Data Lab has so far backed six projects, with a further 14 in the pipeline including with oil and gas services firm, Wood Group.
Gillian Docherty, chief executive of the group which has operations in Edinburgh and Glasgow, said: “It has been a really focused year in terms of moving from what was a plan into delivery mode.”
Duncan Hart, business development executive for the data Lab based in Aberdeen, said: “People are starting to get it. We are an engineering led region. With that are great advantages, but there are new things that need to be learned. All good engineers want to understand how it can bring value. The advantage we have is we can show how you can add value from data and here are some examples from other industries how they got that.”
Of the projects coming through the Data Lab pipeline in the region, half are in other industries than oil and gas.
The group was established with an £11.3million grant from the Scottish Funding Council, led by the Scottish Technology Advisory Group’s Big Data Lead, ScotlandIS, Lockheed Martin, DC Thomson-owned brightsolid and SAS.