Staff news

Data-Driven Innovation lead announced

Jarmo Eskelinen has been named as Director of the Data-Driven Innovation (DDI) initiative, a key part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.

Image of Jarmo Eskelinen
Jarmo Eskelinen

Jarmo joins the DDI initiative from Future Cities Catapult in London.

As Chief Innovation and Technology Officer, he led Catapult's research and innovation strategy and academic collaboration.

He brought together businesses, universities and city leaders to tackle the problems that cities face.

City Deal

The £661m DDI initiative is a key part of the recently-announced Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.

It aims to train 100,000 people in data skills over the next decade, from computer science specialists to traditional jobs that will increasingly use data.

The £1.3bn Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal was announced by the Prime Minister and First Minister at the University on 7 August.

It aims to drive growth for everyone across the area and includes investment in transport, housing, culture and skills and employability.

Promoting innovation

Before joining Catapult, Jarmo was the CEO of Forum Virium Helsinki, the innovation lab of the City of Helsinki, Finland.

He is one of Europe’s Living Lab pioneers, promoting user-driven innovation and developing real-life testbeds for services.

Jarmo has been executive director of the Media Centre Lume of the Aalto University and programme director of the Helsinki 2000 European Capital of Culture.

He is vice-chair of the international Open & Agile Smart Cities network, member of the Smart London Board, board member Open Knowledge International and former president of the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL).

Data is the new soil, and collaboration the seeds. The Data-Driven Innovation initiative is unique in its ambition and scale. It’s been designed to reach out to the whole City Region, so we can develop and test new services to meet the needs of our citizens. I am extremely honoured to join the programme team and have the chance to collaborate with and learn from the world-leading experts of the two Universities. I look forward to helping a diverse range of organisations benefit from the fast-developing field of data-driven innovation.

Jarmo Eskelinen Director, Data-Driven Innovation (DDI) initiative

Related links

Data-Driven Innovation

City Region Deal