Staff news

Data initiatives on show at cities conference

The potential of data within Scotland’s creative industries is being showcased to mayors and civic leaders from across Europe at an event in Edinburgh.

The flagship Eurocities conference is taking place in the capital on 28-30 November, exploring the role of culture and innovation through the theme of creative, competitive cities.

Opening gala

As event partners, the University has teamed up with hosts City of Edinburgh Council to hire Edinburgh-based agency Ray Interactive to create interactive installations for the Eurocities opening gala, which use state-of-the-art data visualisation to reflect the conference’s theme.

Our installations require group collaboration to reach full potential. They’re fun and engaging, built to highlight the need for co-ordinated effort while acting as a social ice-breaker for the attendees. Data visualisation has progressed greatly as non-scientists become more familiar with it. Nowadays, many of us are comfortable roaming the virtual space via apps, news graphics and games. For the first time, the holy grail of data visualisation is within sight: to be simultaneously elegant, accurate and understandable.

Brendan McCarthyDirector of Ray Interactive

Data economy

The University is leading the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal’s Data-Driven Innovation initiative, to help citizens and organisations capitalise on the emerging data economy.

Edinburgh punches way above its weight when it comes to data capabilities. The data-driven innovation initiative taps into this, with the goal to establish Edinburgh as the data capital of Europe. Being a data capital does not mean competing with other cities. Data is the new soil and collaboration is the seeds. We will do data right, working with top researchers, companies and cities around the world to develop fair ways to utilise data, respecting privacy, developing cyber security and building business models which benefit all.

Jarmo EskelinenDirector of the Data-Driven Innovation initiative

Annual conference

Eurocities is an annual conference that brings together the local governments of more than 140 of Europe's largest cities and over 45 partner cities. 

Through discussion forums, working groups, study visits and events, delegates have an opportunity to share knowledge and exchanging ideas for the economic, political and social development of cities.

Related links

Data-Driven Innovation

Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal

Social media image credit: Sandy Young