University launches vision for Digital Nottingham

The University of Nottingham has launched a vision to help growth and recovery in the city it calls home with an ambitious programme combining data science, technology and innovation.

Digital Nottingham is an endeavour to help transform the city; its potential, skills and ambitions, using expertise in research to help solve local challenges, while providing opportunities for growth and regeneration.

The vision is launched as the University announces the first two initiatives that will propel forward future research collaborations in the area of data science and financial services.

A new partnership with KPMG, the UK’s leading business advisory firm, seeks to drive insight for clients and support the regional economic growth agenda. Research in partnership with KPMG will leverage data science to inform business decision-making. The collaboration draws on University expertise is harnessing the power of big data, in particular large-scale financial data, together with methods from machine learning and artificial intelligence. At the same time, a collaboration with the UK’s leading technology venture builder, Blenheim Chalcot, will link the city’s next generation of scale-up businesses to university expertise which can help them innovate and grow.

Digital Nottingham is driven by shared vision of data for good, and facilitated by technology overcoming borders and the traditional challenges to global collaboration. Using digital platforms, our research in data science reaches from Nottingham to Ningbo to New York.

Professor John Gathergood, Professor of Economics and Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Nottingham, said: “Technology-driven radical transformations in the economy and society are changing the ways we work and live. At the same time, so is our understanding of the role of places, people and partnerships to deliver growth and change. Central to this transformation is the way in which our world uses data, facilitated by digital technologies, to learn and develop new skills, create opportunities, and deliver growth and recovery.

“We are excited by the prospect of new collaborations focusing on applications of data science to new forms of data, including unique real-time data to which the latest methods from artificial intelligence and machine learning can be applied, and new opportunities to contribute to data-driven start-ups and commercial opportunities.

We will bring together our expertise from computer science, data science, economics, finance, mathematics and beyond. Central to these ambitions is the development of talent. From high-skilled advanced analytics to first-time data wranglers, Digital Nottingham will create opportunity for all in data science and build skills for the future.

Digital Nottingham is a hugely exciting development for the University and draws on research and education expertise across a wide range of disciplines that use data science and digital technologies for their work, while at the same time addressing a number of key challenges affecting the local area, the economy, society, and the environment.

Professor Landman, University Executive Board sponsor of the project, continued: “The new partnerships with KPMG and Blenheim Chalcot are two of many developments as the project progresses.”

Digital Nottingham plans to maximise on Nottingham’s reputation as the UK’s leading destination for data science start-ups, through investment in the city by Blenheim Chalcot, and a high-skilled cluster of firms engaged with financial services, including KPMG.

Councillor Rebecca Langton, Portfolio Holder for Skills, Growth and Economic Development, said: “It’s fantastic to see the University of Nottingham collaborating with major private sector partners like KPMG and Blenheim Chalcot to support the local economy.

This new, pioneering approach only stands to benefit Nottingham and its local people with the expertise and resources that are being put into it from such prestigious partners.

Councillor Langton added: “Nottingham is a city of discovery and creativity – Boots, Raleigh, Paul Smith, ibuprofen, the MRI – and my hope is that the work of Digital Nottingham can produce something equally as impressive for the 21st century, enhancing Nottingham’s reputation further across a range of areas. I am excited to see what will come of the cooperation of some highly impressive skillsets and how that will help Nottingham progress.”

With significant government investment in data science in Nottingham planned for coming years, the city has in prospect new opportunities for growth, development and regeneration, delivering high-skilled employment, quality jobs and a new growth narrative for our region.

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