Bayes Centre

DDI Covid-19 Response and Recovery Small Grant Funding

In April 2020, as one part of DDI's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Data-Driven Innovation Programme allocated up to £200,000+ in small grants to enable staff and students at them to apply data-driven-innovation ideas in support of communities, services and businesses in the Edinburgh and South-East Scotland Region.

  • DDI Funding: £200k
  • Timescale: Implemented by July 2020
  • Lead Hub: DDI Programme Management Office.

Over the last month, DDI received 36 innovative ideas from staff and students from across the University. Over three rounds, a panel of ten from across the University agreed to fund nineteen projects covering a range of diverse areas. Through these projects we will be collaborating with global and local partners including the Scottish Government, NHS Lothian, Sopra Steria, Inbest, The List, Breadshare and many more.

The projects involving the Bayes Centre are outlined in detail below:


Michael Rovatsos

Bayes Centre

School of Informatics

OpportunityMatch – a web-based tool to match opportunities and people

Awarded: £10,000

This project aims to develop a web-based tool to match experts with opportunities such as challenge descriptions, funding programme and project ideas. The tool will allow opportunity-to-expert, expert-to-expert, and opportunity-to-opportunity matching and create automated emails to users based on customised alerts. Stable releases will be immediately made available to all University staff and students, including important user groups such as researchers, business developers, and research support administrators.


Rik Sarkar

Bayes Centre

School of Informatics

SIM-SPREAD: Data Driven Simulation and Modelling for Infection Spread Reduction and Cultural and Economic Reopening in Edinburgh.

Awarded: £17,379

This project has developed a probabilistic simulation framework that uses real mobility data from citizens to deduce the likely rate of spread of a disease. It studies the effect of different ambient restrictions such as restricted mobility, closure of some fraction of venues in the city, segregating citizens into random groups etc. The simulations can incorporate various virus-specific properties such as incubation period and asymptomatic carriers.

The project aims to enhance its analysis for greater statistical reliability, and will adapt the simulations to the specific scenario of Edinburgh and the types of datasets they have available. The projects partners from City of Edinburgh Council, Festivals Edinburgh and EventScotland will assist with insights and stakeholder priorities. Academics at Edinburgh Napier University are a specialist in Festival and Event Management, and will work closely with the team at the School of Informatics to further articulate partners insight needed to make critical decisions and to translate their discoveries into practical actions and recommendations for festivals, events and the City of Edinburgh Council’s Culture Department.


Dave Murray-Rust

Bayes Centre

Design Informatics

Acceptability of digital contact tracing applications

Awarded: £5,058

Digital contact tracing is a key feature of many exit strategies from lockdown – by rapidly sharing potential infections and tracing all of the people who have been in contact, it is hoped that many asymptomatic carriers will self-isolate and reduce the spread of the disease, reducing the replication rate significantly. This needs to be carried out rapidly, there is a clear desire for digital solutions in this space, which can rapidly carry out contact tracing at scale. However, there are issues around ethical use of data – privacy, transparency, data sharing, overreach, feature creep and so on.

The aim of this project is to find out: Which characteristics are important to end users’ choice of whether to i) install and ii) keep a digital contact tracing app and create design guidelines. What explanation is important to end users, and how is this best carried out? Also, how much difference a privacy preserving solution might make in terms of uptake. This project is interested in not just the app, but the manner in which it is deployed, with the intention to discover ways to improve deployment, and places where ethical behaviour supports this.

Click here, to read the full article and see the full list of projects.