Science Minister heralds new era in data science

Jo Johnson speaks at Turing launch

Minister for Science, Jo Johnson speaks at the launch of the Alan Turing Institute

Minister for Science and Universities Jo Johnson officially launched The Alan Turing Institute at a reception on Wednesday evening (Nov 11). He was joined by digital champion Martha Lane-Fox and Government Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Sir Mark Walport in welcoming the new UK centre for data science.

Mr Johnson announced the Institute’s new strategic partnership with Intel and the creation of prestigious Alan Turing Fellowships. Intel joins existing strategic partners Lloyds Register Foundation and GCHQ.

Speaking at the launch reception, Institute director Professor Andrew Blake said: “We are used to hearing about big data, but The Alan Turing Institute is about more than that. It is about data science, analysing that data, and gaining new understanding that finally leads to decisions and actions.”

He added: “What an amazing opportunity this is, to create a National Institute addressing this most pressing of challenges – how can we, in the UK, be masters of the internet age?”

He also paid tribute to the work and legacy of Alan Turing and thanked the Turing family, several of whom attended the event. Institute chairman Howard Covington said: “Our ambition is rapidly to become the world’s leading institute for the fundamental research and application.

“We dare to move this fast and to have such high ambition because of the enormous support and help we are receiving from our five partner universities, from EPSRC, from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, and from our strategic partners.

“Right up front, let me thank all of them for all the time and resource that has been so generously provided to us.”