Edinburgh International Data Facility

A unique service for academia and industry

Built and operated by EPCC at the University of Edinburgh, EIDF is a place to store, find and work with data of all kinds.

data infrastructure diagram

What is the Edinburgh International Data Facility?  

The Edinburgh International Data Facility (EIDF) supports learners, researchers and innovators across the spectrum, with services from basic data download, through simple learn-as-you-play-with-data notebooks, to GPU-enabled machine-learning platforms for driving AI application development.

Most users of the EIDF  work in the Data Service Cloud, which offers a rich set of data science and analytics tools: from browser-based notebooks to full desktop environments.

The Data Service Cloud sits on top of an Analytics-Ready Data Layer(ARD Layer), where EIDF data can be shared and re-used for science and innovation. This ARD Layer will grow over time as more and more data are collected in the EIDF. Innovators and researchers looking for data can search and browse through the Data Catalogue to discover just what analytics-ready data EIDF has, and how they can get access.

EIDF data managers work with data depositors at the Data Ingest Gateway, ensuring that incoming data are safely stored in the Data Lake Archive Layer, and well-described in the Data Catalogue. Data in the Data Lake are stored for the long term using best practices in digital preservation.

EIDF data wranglers work in the Data Preparation Layer, often in collaboration with data depositors and others, to turn archived data from the Data Lake into analytics-ready data products in the ARD Layer. They are then ready for data innovators to create new, exciting datasets that can be stored and shared all over again.

Safe Haven Services

EIDF provides Safe Haven services to health and government users, following best practice in independent governance and supporting the linkage of complex personal data for public benefit research and policy-making under national and regional safeguards. Safe Haven services can also be created for organisations wishing to host and govern access to their data assets in a highly secure environment.

Safe Havens are isolated from the rest of EIDF, with user approvals, data ingress and egress, and permitted software all controlled by information governance bodies independent of the infrastructure itself.

EIDF and the Data-Driven Innovation initiative

Launched at the end of 2018, the Data-Driven Innovation (DDI) initiative is one of six funded within the Edinburgh & South-East Scotland City Region Deal. The DDI initiative aims to make Edinburgh the “Data Capital of Europe”, with ambitious targets to support, enhance and improve talent, research, commercial adoption and entrepreneurship across the region through better use of data.

The initiative targets ten industry sectors, with interactions managed through five DDI Hubs: the Bayes Centre, the Usher Institute, Edinburgh Futures Institute, the National Robotarium, and Easter Bush. The activities of these Hubs are underpinned by EIDF.


Subscribe to updates about the Edinburgh International Data Facility

Data-Driven Innovation Programme

Edinburgh & South-East Scotland City Region Deal

Innovation Hubs

Bayes Centre

Easter Bush

Edinburgh Futures Institute

National Robotarium

Usher Institute


DDI logos