The Alan Turing Institute
Founded2015; 9 years ago (2015)
FounderUK Government
TypeResearch institute
Registration no.England and Wales: 09512457
FocusData sciences
Location
Membership
CEO
Jean Innes
Websitewww.turing.ac.uk Edit this at Wikidata

The Alan Turing Institute is the United Kingdom's national institute for data science and artificial intelligence, founded in 2015 and largely funded by the UK government. It is named after Alan Turing,[1] the British mathematician and computing pioneer.

Governance

The Alan Turing Institute is an independent private-sector legal entity, operating not-for-profit and as a charity.[2] It is a joint venture among the University of Cambridge, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Oxford, University College London (UCL) and the University of Warwick, selected on the basis of international peer review.[3] In 2018, the institute was joined by eight additional university partners: Queen Mary University of London, University of Leeds, University of Manchester, University of Newcastle, University of Southampton, University of Birmingham, University of Exeter and University of Bristol.[4]

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the primary funder of the institute, is also a member of the joint venture. The primary responsibility for establishing the Alan Turing Institute has been assigned to the EPSRC, with continuing engagement in the shaping of the institute from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Government Office for Science. The chair of the Alan Turing Institute, appointed in July 2022, is Doug Gurr; Jean Innes is the institute's CEO since July 2023. Between 2018 and 2023, the institute director and chief executive was Sir Adrian Smith.

Funding

Funding for the creation of the institute came from a £600m investment for the "Eight Great Technologies",[5] and specifically so-called "big data", signalled by the UK Government in 2013[6] and announced by George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the 2014 budget.[7] The bulk of the investment in "big data" has been directed to computational infrastructure. Of the remainder, £42m was allocated to the institute to cover the initial five-year period of its operation.[7] The five founder universities each contributed £5m to the institute.[8] Further funding has come primarily through grants from Research Councils, university partners and from strategic and other partnerships.[4]

In June 2021, the EPSRC awarded the institute £10 million, on behalf of UK Research and Innovation, for 2021/22.[9]

Location

The institute is named in honour of Alan Turing,[1] often considered the father of Computer Science

Concurrently with the selection of founder universities, the EPSRC initiated a process to find a "location partner". The resulting selection of the British Library in London was announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in December 2014 during the launch of the Knowledge Quarter, a partnership of organisations in and around the King's Cross area of the capital.[10]

As of 2023 the Alan Turing Institute is housed within the current British Library building, but it is anticipated it will occupy new premises in a development planned on land between the Francis Crick Institute and library.[11] In February 2023 the plans for the new building were approved by the local council.[12]

Background

The Alan Turing Institute is the indirect product of a letter from the Council for Science and Technology (CST) to the UK prime minister (7 June 2013), describing the "Age of Algorithms". The letter presents a case that "The Government, working with the universities and industry, should create a National Centre to promote advanced research and translational work in algorithms and the application of data science".

The Alan Turing Institute fits into a complex organisational landscape that includes the Open Data Institute, the Digital Catapult and infrastructure investments. The role of the institute is to provide the expertise and fundamental research into data science and artificial intelligence needed to solve real-world problems.[4]

The Alan Turing Institute has since 2021 run an annual event called AI UK,[13] which is described as a national showcase of data science and artificial intelligence.

The organisation's intranet is called Mathison, which was Alan Turing's middle name.

History

In 2015 Lloyd's Register Foundation became the institute's first strategic partner, providing a grant of £10 million over five years to support research into the engineering applications of big data.[8][14][15]

Notable people

References

  1. ^ a b Newman, M. H. A. (1955). "Alan Mathison Turing. 1912–1954". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 1: 253–226. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1955.0019. JSTOR 769256.
  2. ^ "The Alan Turing Institute, registered charity no. 1162533". Charity Commission for England and Wales.
  3. ^ "Business Secretary Cable announces partners in the Alan Turing Institute". Archived from the original on 9 April 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "About us". The Alan Turing Institute. Retrieved 5 October 2022.
  5. ^ "Eight great technologies: infographics". Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  6. ^ "'Eight great technologies' benefit from £600m in government funding". The Guardian. UK. 25 January 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Alan Turing Institute to be set up". BBC News. 19 March 2014.
  8. ^ a b "Alan Turing Institute operations begin". The University of Edinburgh. 28 March 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2023.
  9. ^ "The Alan Turing Institute has secured £10 million new funding from EPSRC, on behalf of UKRI". The Alan Turing Institute. Retrieved 5 October 2022.
  10. ^ Davies, Caroline (4 December 2014). "Alan Turing Institute for Data Science to be based at British Library". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 15 February 2023.
  11. ^ Spocchia, Gino (26 January 2023). "RSHP's contentious British Library expansion plans set for approval". The Architects’ Journal. Retrieved 14 February 2023.
  12. ^ "British Library's 12-Storey Extension Gets The Go-Ahead". Londonist. 1 February 2023. Retrieved 14 February 2023.
  13. ^ "The Alan Turing Institute – AI UK".
  14. ^ "The Lloyd's Register Foundation becomes The Alan Turing Institute's first Strategic Partner". The Alan Turing Institute. 4 August 2015. Retrieved 14 February 2023.
  15. ^ McKenna, Brian (15 December 2014). "Lloyd's Register Foundation grants £10m to Alan Turing Institute | Computer Weekly". ComputerWeekly.com. Retrieved 14 February 2023.
  16. ^ "Jean Innes appointed to lead The Alan Turing Institute | The Alan Turing Institute".

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