Prestigious universities join forces in Turing project

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The five universities chosen to lead the Alan Turing Institute have been announced: Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford, Warwick and University College London.

The Institute is aimed at building on the UK's existing academic strengths and help position the country as a world leader in the analysis and application of big data and algorithm research.  Its headquarters will be based at the British Library, at the centre of London’s 'Knowledge Quarter'.

UK Business Secretary, Vince Cable, who announced the collaboration, said: 'Alan Turing’s genius played a pivotal role in cracking the codes that helped us win the Second World War. It is therefore only right that our country’s top universities are chosen to lead this new institute named in his honour.

'Headed by the universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford, Warwick and UCL, 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 delivery of the Institute is being coordinated by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which invests in research and postgraduate training across the UK. The Institute is being funded over five years with £42 million from the UK government. The selected university partners will contribute further funding. In addition, the Institute will seek to partner with other business and government bodies.

Philip Nelson, EPSRC’s chief executive, said: 'The Alan Turing Institute will draw on the best of the best academic talent in the country. It will use the power of mathematics, statistics, and computer science to analyse Big Data in many ways, including the ability to improve online security.

'Big Data is going to play a central role in how we run our industries, businesses and services. Economies that invest in research are more likely to be strong and resilient; the Alan Turing Institute will help us be both.'