Our DDI hubs

The Data-Driven Innovation initiative has helped establish six hubs at the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University – creating a regional power-house for collaboration with industry partners. The hubs house expertise and facilities to help 10 industrial sectors become more innovative through data.

Bayes Centre


Opened in October 2018, the Bayes Centre provides an innovative environment to support the co-location of up to 600 world-leading applied data science researchers, students, and collaborating staff from organisations across the public, private and third sectors. The Centre is also home to the Post-Covid AI Accelerator, the Data Science Technology and Innovation online PGT programme and coordinates the internationally acclaimed EIE programme.

Focussing on the facilitation of translational research and development, the Bayes Centre connects industry partners to academic and research expertise from across the institution, as well as organisations like the Alan Turing Institute and the Data Lab.



Bayes Centre

National Robotarium

The National Robotarium is co-located on the Heriot-Watt University campus, having access to the resources of both Heriot-Watt and the University of Edinburgh. It meets existing and future industrial need by accelerating the generation of knowledge and flow of technologies into the economy through targeted research, industry collaboration, living laboratories, demonstrator and incubation facilities.

The National Robotarium provides leading-edge facilities to co‐locate researchers, engineers, entrepreneurs and educators to deliver the UK’s leading international centre for the generation of new, smart robotics companies.


Researcher at the National Robotarium

Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI)

The EFI will be a global centre for multi-disciplinary, challenge-based DDI research, teaching and societal impact. The biggest challenges that the world faces are complex and interconnected. Solving them requires multiple orientations and understandings.

EFI’s approach brings the arts, humanities and the social sciences into contiguity with data science, natural sciences and with medicine – to co-create deeply interdisciplinary models. The first major programme is focused on the challenges and opportunities posed by the revolution in data, digital and artificial intelligence.

EFI will help to transform the application, governance and benefits delivered from the use of data. It will do this by bringing together a range of academic disciplines, third party organisations, and sectors including financial services, cultural industries and the public sector, that are dealing directly with these challenges.


Image of the EFI

Usher Institute

Through the application of data science, the Usher Institute is driving innovation in health and social care that improves lives. First established in 1902, the Usher Institute is home to the oldest chair of public health in the UK and has a strong international reputation for research and teaching excellence.

Located at Edinburgh BioQuarter, the new Usher building will become a world-leading hub where health and social care research teams collaborate with colleagues from public, private and third sector organisations to deliver data-driven advances in health and social care.

This newly established innovation community will develop solutions to our most pressing sector challenges by integrating the activities of: clinicians, life scientists and data scientists to identify new, co-produced insights; and industry and public sector organisations to extract, apply and commercialise expert knowledge.

The Usher Institute is drawing on Scotland’s mature and world-leading health data assets, establishing ‘DataLoch’ - a unique and secure data service to support transformative research and innovation for the region and beyond. Robust, efficient governance and data-sharing protocols have been developed in partnership with the National Health Service, informed by public perspectives.

An ambitious Talent programme will provide a suite of education and training to support a future workforce with the knowledge and skills to drive the use of data and digital technologies to transform the delivery of care.


Easter Bush agritech hub

An efficient agricultural sector is critical to social well-being; by 2050, global agricultural production will need to increase by 50% to feed a growing global population. By applying data technologies that enable farmers and related industries to improve food production, veterinary care, digital agriculture (Agritech) will be critical to increasing global food supply.

The project will seek to leverage existing world-class research institutes and commercialisation facilities to help Easter Bush become a global location of Agritech and veterinary excellence. It will do this through a campus-wide network that will generate and collate, in real time, a multitude of local and global data, (e.g. veterinary activities, animal genetics, food species genetics, soil condition, weather and market drivers). It will also collaborate with partners to use this information to realise the potential of having the right food species, and the right products, in the right field at the right time, to maximise agricultural productivity.

As part of this project, there is also a proposed A701 relief road and A702 link, which represents a significant investment in the key infrastructure needed to support the major growth planned along the A701 corridor in Mid Lothian.

Image of chickens

Edinburgh International Data Facility

The Edinburgh International Data Facility (EIDF) provides the enabling data infrastructure platform for the wider DDI initiative and its hubs. The DDI activities require an extremely powerful, high capacity and flexible infrastructure, capable of responsive delivery of an expanding range of complex and bespoke data and analytical services.

By leveraging prior investments in the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC), and its Advanced Computing Facility (ACF), the EIDF represents a practical, flexible and cost-effective approach to the delivery of diverse technological requirements.


Researcher taking readings