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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 CoFound/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 (CDEGG – 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 that have been endorsed by the hubs, but the original ideas can come 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,

For multi-hub or multi-disciplinary proposals, contact Ritchie Somerville, Head of Strategy, Data-Driven Innovation programme,




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.

Governance of the DDI Programme is provided through a number of channels. The University of Edinburgh has various governance obligations as a signatory, lead delivery partner and stakeholder of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal (CRD), the governance and oversight arrangements for which include a range of committees, boards and advisory groups, as outlined in the CRD Agreement document, published in August 2018.

The CRD Programme Management Office (PMO) from the City of Edinburgh Council provides a monitoring and evaluation framework and financial reporting of all approved CRD projects and activities. As the Accountable Body for CRD finances, including government funding, the PMO has the authority to hold others to account should any activity or project present a risk to the Programme. It produces an annual report to UK and Scottish Governments and other stakeholders, which assesses progress and alignment with the CRD’s vision and inclusive growth outcomes.

Governance from a University of Edinburgh perspective is provided by a senior University management group, the City Region Deal Executive Governance Group (CRDEGG). This is chaired by the Principal and provides strategic direction, coordinates the University’s contribution to the CRD and reports to the University’s governing body, Court. In addition, the Data-Driven Innovation Programme Delivery Board (DDI PDB) reviews all DDI projects and activities and reports to funders and key stakeholders; as one of the thematic advisory boards to the CRD it provides an additional level of governance and assurance to stakeholders that DDI projects are being appropriately resourced and managed.

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.