The government is creating a world-class research institute specialising in data science dedicated to British WW2 code-breaker Alan Turing. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, made the announcement in the 2014 Budget.
The Alan Turing Institute for Data Science will benefit from a £42 million government investment over 5 years that will strengthen the UK’s aims to be a world leader in the analysis and application of big data. It will also ensure that the UK is at the forefront of data-science in a rapidly moving, globally competitive area, enabling first-class research in an environment that brings together theory and practical application.
Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said about the set-up “Creating a world-class institute dedicated to data science will secure the UK’s place as a global leader in this field and bring significant future benefits to the UK’s economy and society. The pioneering work carried out at the Institute will be a fitting tribute to Alan Turing.”
The Centre for Economics and Business Research estimates that the big data marketplace could benefit the UK economy by £216 billion and create 58,000 new jobs in the UK before 2017. Furthermore, a recent report from Deloitte estimates that the direct value of public sector information alone to the UK economy is around £1.8 billion per year, with wider social and economic benefits bringing this up to around £6.8 billion.
Research by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts also shows that UK data-driven firms are 40% more likely to report the launching of products and services ahead of their non-data savvy competitors.
Technology law specialist Andrew Brydon of Pinsent Masons said, “It is welcome that the government is investing in data science. A lot of the running on big data has come from the US so the establishment of a UK centre on big data has the potential to help the UK compete at the forefront of what is increasingly becoming a central aspect of doing business.”
“However, the precise impact that the new Alan Turing Institute can have will depend on the remit it is given and the focus of its research, including whether it is tasked with analysing public sector data only, whether it is tasked with developing better tools for analysing data and whether the results of its research and development will be made available for those in the private sector to benefit from for free or at a cost.”
George Osborne announced this as part of the 2014 budget, which he said was for the “makers, doers and the savers.” Osborne said he wanted people to know that “the government is on their side and that the heart of this budget was support for savers.” He made a large range of announcements during the budget speech including an announcement that the government will help British businesses by doubling the annual investment allowance to £500,000 until the end of 2015. In addition, attempts will be made at reducing energy costs, to ensure that the UK remains a competitive location for manufacturing.
This Budget also announced radical measures to help savers at all stages of their lives and to give people greater freedom over how they access their pension savings. People could spend more money earlier in their retirement, when they could enjoy the money more, or pay off mortgage and debts early. This Budget introduces the most fundamental change to the way people access their pensions in almost a century.
It also supports households to save through a package of measures including reforming the ISA into a New ISA with a significantly higher annual limit and cutting savings tax.
The government is taking further action to help families keep more of what they earn and to save for their retirement. The government will reduce taxes by increasing the level of the tax-free personal allowance further, from £10,000 to £10,500 in April 2015. In addition it will provide £140 million of new funding to repair flood defences that have had problems in the recent flooding, and provide £200 million to establish a potholes challenge fund.
In what areas of the economy do you believe the 2014 budget will have the biggest affect and why?