New University Institutes in Data-Driven Innovation

The University of Edinburgh has initiated several new interdisciplinary ‘University Institutes’.

These cross-College entities are the Bayes Centre, Edinburgh Futures Institute, the Usher Institute, the Robotarium (with Heriot Watt) and the Easter Bush (‘AgriTech’ initiative) campus.

All are underpinned by major investment in a world class data infrastructure which expands the UK’s National supercomputer facility managed by Edinburgh Parallel Computer Centre (EPCC)’s capabilities along with core UoE IT infrastructure.

These ‘projects’ together act to deliver City Deal’s overall programme of DDI activities.


Artist image of the old Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, which is becoming the Edinburgh Futures Institute

Edinburgh Futures Institute

Creative Industries, Tourism and Festivals

Public Sector (Govtech)

Financial Services and Fintech


The Institute will spark new connections, internally and externally, to bring together people and organisations from across the University and beyond. It will be where our world class interdisciplinary expertise in social and data science, the arts, and humanities meets the external organisations that are tackling society’s most pressing needs.

Through teaching, research and engagement, a key part of our mission is to interrogate how data creates disorder and opportunities within the economy, creative industries and policy. Only Edinburgh – as a University and a city – can do this. It is home to a major international financial centre and the world’s biggest arts festival. It is a global leader in public policy expertise and is the UK’s foremost centre for data science and artificial intelligence.

We will assemble experts who can tackle issues from different and unconventional perspectives, gathering many hands to untangle the world’s knottiest problems. Our academics will share ideas and embark upon joint projects with unparalleled depth and ease. We will develop new research and co-designed teaching programmes that will respond to the world’s most pressing issues.

We will create graduates that are creative, reasoned and thoughtful citizens with the ability to operate amid disruption, difference and volatility. They will not be bound by seeing the world through a single perspective, but will understand how different institutions work and intersect. Upon launch, the Futures Institute will be a network across the University. In 2021 it will move into its permanent home at the heart of the University in the refurbished Old Royal Infirmary.

For further information visit the website for the Edinburgh Futures Institute


Image of the Bayes Centre

Bayes Centre

Digital Technologies

Space and Satellite Analysis


The Bayes Centre is a hub designed to foster data-driven innovation within and beyond the University of Edinburgh. It is a new programme of activity, capitalising on existing strengths across the University. It will be housed in a new building from 2018.

The core mission for the Bayes Centre is to excel in technology which powers the interaction of people, data and systems, and to create significant positive impact from talent and ideas.  The mission is pursued in terms of five themes for data driven innovation:

  1. Talent:  Attract and sustain a talent pool for data driven innovation, by nurturing knowledgeable, responsible, and agile students and staff, and by encouraging skills development more broadly.
  2. Entrepreneurship: Amplify the opportunities for entrepreneurs to work across all sectors, by providing targeted support, attracting investment, and encouraging partnerships among teams of data scientists, researchers, engineers, and designers.
  3. Research: Enhance the City Region as a pre-eminent data science research location, by strongly connecting the talent pool to the research base, and by seeding interdisciplinary data-driven research and engineering
  4. Datasets: Demonstrate the value of data assets, by providing the expertise and tools that put privacy, security and trust at the heart of data driven innovation
  5. Adoption: Accelerate the adoption of data driven innovation by championing new partnerships with local and global companies and agencies.

For more information visit the website for the Bayes Centre 


Artist impression of the Usher Institute

The Usher Institute

Health and Social Care


The Usher Institute is a high-energy, interdisciplinary environment dedicated to improving the health of individuals and populations locally and globally through research, innovation, knowledge exchange and education. The institute is currently directed by Professor Aziz Sheikh, and sits within the Edinburgh Medical School in the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. Working with partners across the NHS, policymakers, industry partners and the public is central to the highly collaborative ethos of the Usher Institute.

Three core research centres in Global Health, Medical Informatics and Population Health Sciences are at the heart of the Usher Institute, ensuring it boasts a truly interdisciplinary environment. The Edinburgh Clinical Trials Unit sits with the Centre for Population Health Sciences. There are strong interactions and affiliated academics with the MRC Institute for Genetics and Molecular Medicine – a centre of excellence in the use of genetic and genomic data in biomedicine. Around 300 researchers and support staff with expertise in a varied range of methodologies and topics contribute to world-leading research in global health, population health sciences and medical informatics.

Our research expertise is at the heart of the excellent educational experience we offer in a wide range of taught and research postgraduate programmes, both online and on-campus, our programme of continuing professional development and in our contribution to the undergraduate medical degree.

For further information visit the website for the Usher Institute 


The National Robotarium in partnership with Heriot-Watt University

Robotics and Autonomous Systems


The National Robotarium is a partnership between the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University. It aims to create the UKs leading facilities for training, research and innovation enabling the practical application of robotics and autonomous systems. In new facilities within the Bayes Centre and at Heriot Watt’s Riccarton Campus, the Robotarium will lead the development of new technologies in the fields of subsea and hazardous environments, healthcare, additive manufacturing and asset integrity. Existing and future industrial needs will be met by accelerating the generation of knowledge and flow of robotics and autonomous systems technologies into the economy through targeted research and living laboratories as well as demonstrator and incubation facilities.


Aerial photograph of the Easter Bush/AgriTech buildings

Easter Bush

The ‘AgriTech’ initiative


Easter Bush Campus is home to The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies which houses the Roslin Institute, a world-leading institute for animal science research.  As part of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. Easter Bush Campus has been recognised for delivering a first-class working and studying environment.

Easter Bush is also home to the new Roslin Innovation Centre, the business location of choice for companies undertaking strategic, commercial and collaborative research in the Animal and Veterinary Sciences; ‘AgriTech’ and One Health industries. The building provides a space where people can communicate physically and intellectually, and provides a gathering space that allows meeting and interaction from across the Campus, whilst also serving as an information point for the public. The location of the Roslin Innovation Centre at the heart of the Campus allows for the natural development of business collaborators with laboratory and office space situated close to the science and clinical livestock expertise.

For further information visit the website for the Easter Bush Campus 

Website of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

Website of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine


Aerial impression of the Roslin Institute

The ‘AgriTech’ initiative

The University has created a Global Academy in Agriculture and Food security and the new Roslin Innovation Centre for companies undertaking strategic, commercial and collaborative research in the Animal and Veterinary Sciences; ‘AgriTech’ and One Health industries. Easter Bush Campus is home to The Roslin Institute, a world-leading institute for animal science research and The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, world leader in veterinary education, research, and clinical practice. Our investment in ‘AgriTech’ also encompasses new plant growth research facilities and a new research and technology hub at the King’s Buildings, where crop science and food security research is centred.

For further information visit the website for the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security

Website of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

Website of the Roslin Institute

Biological Sciences website