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Alan Turing Institute

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Alan Turing Institute

Alan Turing Institute
Founded 2015 (2015)
Type Research institute
Registration no. England and Wales: 09512457
Focus Data sciences
Location
Owner Universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford, UCL, Warwick and the EPSRC
Website www.turing.ac.uk

The Alan Turing Institute is established as the UK national institute for the data sciences.

The mission of the institute is to: undertake research in the data sciences at the intersection of computer science, mathematics, statistics and systems engineering; provide technically informed advice to policy makers on the wider implications of algorithms; enable researchers from industry and academia to work together to undertake research with practical application; act as a magnet for world leaders in academia and industry to engage with the UK; attract senior business and public service leaders to engage with and be trained in the business of data and analytics; and, promote the transfer of skills and insight as well as of technologies. The institute will also bring to bear insights from the social sciences and the study of ethics to the data sciences.

Background

The Alan Turing Institute is the indirect product of a letter from the Council for Science and Technology (CST) to the UK Prime Minister (7 June 2013), describing the “Age of Algorithms”. The letter presents a case that "The Government, working with the universities and industry, should create a National Centre to promote advanced research and translational work in algorithms and the application of data science."

Funding for the creation of the Institute comes from £600m investment for the '8 Great Technologies',[1] and specifically so-called 'Chancellor of the Exchequer (2010-2015), in the 2014 UK Budget. The bulk of the investment in ‘big data’ has been directed to computational infrastructure. Of the remainder, £42m has been allocated to the Alan Turing Institute to cover the initial five-year period of operation. The five founder universities have each contributed ₤5m to the institute (a further ₤25m). Additional funding from industry, foundations and government bodies has already been indicated.

The Alan Turing Institute fits into a complex organisational landscape that includes the Open Data Institute, the Digital Catapult and infrastructure investments. The specific role of the Alan Turing Institute will be to provide the expertise and fundamental research into mathematics and algorithms needed to solve real world problems.

Structure

The Alan Turing Institute is formed as an independent private sector legal entity operating not-for-profit and as a charity. It is a joint venture (JV) consisting of a core group of founder universities: Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford, UCL and Warwick selected on the basis of international peer review.[3] The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the primary funder of the institute, is also a member of the joint venture. The primary responsibility for establishing the Alan Turing Institute has been assigned to the EPSRC with continuing engagement in the shaping of the Institute from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Government Office for Science. The Chair of the Alan Turing Institute, appointed in June 2015, is Howard Covington; the Director, appointed in August 2015, is Andrew Blake.

Location

The British Library and St Pancras.

Concurrently with the selection of founder universities, the EPSRC initiated a process to find a ‘location partner’. The selected location is the British Library in London. This was announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 4 December 2014 as a key part of the 'Knowledge Quarter'.[4] It is anticipated that the Alan Turing Institute will initially locate within the existing precincts of the British Library and subsequently in a new development on land between the Francis Crick Institute and the British Library.

References

  1. ^ https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eight-great-technologies-infographics
  2. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/jan/25/government-technology-science-funding
  3. ^ http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/newsevents/news/alanturinginstitute/
  4. ^ https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-turing-institute-at-londons-knowledge-quarter-announced-by-chancellor
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