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February 6, 2014

UK Big Data research gets £70m boost

The latest funding will back 55 projects and construction of new Big Data research centres at Essex, Glasgow, UCL and Leeds universities.

By CBR Staff Writer

The UK Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, is set to release £73m of new funding to back about 55 big data projects, which are considered to bring large sets of complex information into practical formats that can help in research and analysis.

The new projects are aimed at driving innovation a range of diverse areas, including building a better perceptive of human disease, tackling obesity and solving issues related to transport.

Part of the overall funding will also be used to establish Big Data research centres in four English universities, which would facilitate researchers to access data from private sector organisations and local government.

Willetts said: "Big Data is 1 of the 8 great technologies of the future and a priority for government.

"It has the potential to transform public and private sector organisations, drive research and development, increase productivity and innovation, and enable market-changing products and services," Willetts added.

"This funding will help the UK grasp these opportunities and get ahead in the global race."

About £50m will be invested by the Medical Research Council (MRC) in bioinformatics; about £4m will be used by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for 21 new open data projects; £14m will be intended for the establishment of 4 new research centres at Essex, Glasgow, UCL and Leeds Universities.

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The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) will use £4.6m of the overall funding for 24 projects that are aimed at assisting the UK research community to exploit the existing environmental data.

"Making the most of large and complex data is a huge priority for government as it has the potential to transform public and private sector organisations, drive research and development, increase productivity and innovation, and enable market-changing products and services," Willetts added.

According to estimates, the Big Data market will contribute £216bn to UK economy by and generate about 58,000 new jobs by 2017.

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