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Lloyd’s Register Foundation offers £10 million for big data research

The Lloyd’s Register Foundation has reported that it has made a conditional grant offer of £10 million over five years to support research by the Alan Turing Institute on engineering applications of big data.

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The offer comes on the back of the Foundation’s Foresight review, which looks at the potential impact big data will have on engineering in areas such as energy, transportation and shipping.

Prof Richard Clegg, managing director of the Lloyd’s Register Foundation said: “Our report concludes that within the next five to 10 years we are going to witness step changes in sensor technology, data-driven intelligent systems, computer science and algorithms for data analysis, impacting all aspects of the business life-cycle - from design to manufacturing, maintenance to decommissioning.”

“This report sets the high-level strategic direction and funding priorities for the Foundation in the field of ‘data-centric engineering’. Big data is going to bridge the gap from monitoring 'what is' to predicting 'what if'. The Foundation intends to become a major supporter of international research in the field, partnering with organisations.”

Four areas of priority have been identified by the Foundation: Technology road mapping, Design for data, Codes and standards, and Data analytics. The Foundation’s donation is intended to support these pillars.

The Alan Turing Institute, announced as part of the UK government’s 2014 budget, will act as a national centre for data science. The £10 million grant it receives will help fund its research into using big data to engineer safer and more reliable infrastructure.

“The Lloyd’s Register Foundation (has) shone a spotlight on how big data is increasingly central to the design and management of the engineered world,” said Prof Sir Mark Walport, government chief scientific adviser.

“Their £10 million grant offer to the Alan Turing Institute will build knowledge and skills that will not only make that engineered world a safer one, but will also support growth and public service provision.”

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