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There are many opportunities ranging from programme and module design to improve graduates’ data skills, to applying research to real-world industry challenges. Although we do not directly fund research, we will create the opportunities for more research-based partnerships with public, private and third sector organisations which will strengthen applications for research grants and help demonstrate the positive social and economic impact of research. One example of this is our support for the Co-Found/Train@Ed scheme, where we provided funding for research fellows to collaborate with industry.

Decisions about the allocation of DDI funding within the University of Edinburgh is ultimately made by the City Deal Executive Governance Group (chaired by the Principal). The DDI hubs and central DDI Programme office will work together to support a pipeline of opportunities and develop proposals into business cases for approval by CDEGG. All business cases will be sponsored by the director of one or more of the DDI hubs and a University lead will be appointed as the project owner. Support will be provided from business development, finance and the DDI office.

We’re keen to get proposals, leads, and ideas from anyone. Enquiries should be directed to the relevant hub in the first instance.

The hub contacts are:

Bayes Centre: Neil McGillivary,

Edinburgh Futures Institute: John Hausrath,

Usher Institute: Colan Mehaffey,

Easter Bush: Professor Bruce Whitelaw,

National Robotarium: Ross Clark,



TRADE is an acronym for our five targets for the City Region Deal; Talent, Research, Adoption, Datasets, and Entrepreneurship. These were agreed in consultation with senior academic and management teams at the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University, and our City Region Deal partners and the Scottish and UK Governments. For Talent we want to increase the skills and qualifications of graduates, those in training, and members of the workforce. Our Research target is to increase the contribution of both universities’ world-class research to the City Region’s economic growth over 15 years. Adoption means helping public, private and third sector organisations adopt data innovation to improve products and services. For Datasets, our aim is to attract more data to our world-class data analytics facility. Finally, we’re aiming to help Entrepreneurial start-ups grow out of DDI activity and have set a target of around 400 new businesses.

Individual hub/project targets will be agreed with the director for the relevant hub and the project lead. The hub’s senior responsible officer will monitor progress towards targets and report to the DDI Programme Delivery Board. The targets for the DDI Programme as a whole will be monitored through a framework agreed with the Scottish and UK Governments.

The DDI Programme Delivery Board will work with the hubs to identify causes and remedial action where needed. Ultimately, failure to meet targets may lead to some projects being stopped or put on hold.

This total will be delivered jointly by the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University over 15 years. Certification for the 100,000 is defined as gaining a minimum of 10 University of Edinburgh credits or 15 Heriot-Watt University credits. This will mean we launch new courses and create modules for existing courses, ranging from traditional, on-campus learning to non-traditional learners, outreach, and ExecEd. There will be potential to contribute to course design and work on proposals for new courses/modules as the Programme develops.

The University of Edinburgh is working with partners to deliver the City Region Deal’s DDI Skills Gateway, which aims to help all citizens adapt to the data economy. Among less advantaged groups, our activities will aim to develop skills and employability, and increase potential to access good career opportunities. For example, the University of Edinburgh partnered with Midlothian Council to open the Newbattle Centre of Excellence in Digital in 2018. This ongoing partnership involves providing teachers with Continuing Professional Development opportunities, curriculum development, and delivering demonstrator projects for pupils, parents, and teachers.