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Government unveils plans for £30m big data innovation centre

The government has unveiled plans to build a £30m National Innovation Centre for Data to connect academics with industry and the public sector.

The project is a joint initiative between Newcastle University and government, which claims the sector could be worth up to £40m a year to businesses in the UK.

Speaking at Nesta’s Data Skills For The Future conference, digital minister Matt Hancock said: “We’re determined to unlock the huge potential of big data which could add billions of pounds to our economy – from powering price comparison sites to improving the flow of transport around cities.

“Our new National Innovation Centre for Data will help us achieve this aim by making sure the skills and talent in our universities is being transferred into industry and the public sector.”

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said the centre will bring together academics and industry to share insights into how data can be leveraged to solve challenges.

Professor Nick Wright, PVC Innovation and Business, Newcastle University, said: “NICD will help to address the data skills gap by taking a practical hands-on approach. We will work with organisations on their domain related problems, transferring the skills into the organisation that will enable them to innovate through data.”