The Data Lab marks a decade of innovation with £200m boost to Scottish economy

12/12/2023
The Data Lab Academy Class of 2022 at Innovation Week in Stirling

SCOTLAND’S innovation centre for data and AI, The Data Lab, is commemorating its ten-year milestone with a resounding impact on the economy. The centre recently unveiled its inaugural impact report, shedding light on its substantial role in fostering economic growth and job creation since its establishment in 2014.

The report, now available on The Data Lab’s website, unravels an impressive narrative of success. A staggering £200 million in additional revenue injected into Scotland’s data and AI sector attests to The Data Lab’s instrumental role in driving economic growth. Beyond financial metrics, the centre has been a cornerstone in creating and securing more than 1,350 jobs, underscoring its significance in the regional workforce.

Through strategic partnerships forged during the last ten years, The Data Lab has collaborated on more than 145 projects, involving Scottish universities, colleges, and organisations across Shetland, Inverness, Dundee, and the central belt. These collaborations have garnered £90 million in research and development funding from Scottish, UK, and EU consortia, focusing on critical areas such as health, the built environment, and transport.

Projects such as the Smart Manufacturing Data Hub, led by Ulster University, and the collaboration with NHS Highland to enhance bowel cancer diagnostics through AI-assisted colon capsule endoscopy, spotlight The Data Lab’s commitment to impactful initiatives that address real-world challenges.

Brian Hills, CEO of The Data Lab

Brian Hills, CEO of The Data Lab, reflected on the evolving landscape of data and AI, stating, “The last decade has witnessed a profound change in how we perceive and utilise technology, with AI becoming an undeniable force set to revolutionise organisational operations.” Hills emphasised the importance of skills in navigating the data and AI landscape, highlighting that 80,000 individuals have enrolled in online courses supported by The Data Lab, signalling a widespread desire to enhance data and AI adoption.

In addition to its impact on economic and educational fronts, The Data Lab has successfully cultivated a thriving data and AI community, boasting over 3,500 members from 60 countries since its establishment in 2021. Hills noted the significance of a collaborative network, saying, “Growing a thriving network of individuals to collaborate, network, engage, and learn at various stages of their career is no mean feat.”

As The Data Lab continues to chart new territories in the data and AI landscape, its commitment to creating a connected society fueled by innovation remains unwavering. The journey of The Data Lab Community, evolving month by month, reflects the centre’s vision to establish the world’s most impactful data community. 

For a detailed look at The Data Lab’s impact, including interviews with partners and beneficiaries, visit The Data Lab Impact.

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