Usher Institute

Data-Driven Innovation Hub

The Usher Institute is one of six Data-Driven Innovation Hubs as part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.

Within the Data-Driven Innovation (DDI) Programme at the University of Edinburgh, the Usher Institute will develop innovative and financially sustainable models of health and social care that improve lives, through the application of data science.

With a state-of-the-art new building located at Edinburgh BioQuarter, the Usher Institute will be a world-leading innovation hub where the public, private and third sectors collaborate to enable data-driven advances in the delivery of health and social care.

The Institute will draw on Scotland’s mature and world-leading health data assets, and well-established governance and data-sharing protocols developed in partnership with the National Health Service and the Scottish Government.

Director: Professor Aziz Sheikh

Senior Responsible Officer for the DDI Programme in Health and Social Care: Professor Nicholas Mills (Deputy: Professor Ewen Harrison)

Contact: Michael Gray, Implementation Lead, Health & Social Care Sector of the DDI Programme.

Data-Driven Innovation Programme

The University of Edinbugh | Data-Driven Innovation | UK Government | Scottish Government | City Region Deal logos

The DDI Programme includes work across ten industry sectors; including Health and Social Care and Public Sector. The delivery hubs will each focus on industry sectors in their area of expertise, coming together to help Edinburgh to become the Data Capital of Europe, creating wider benefits for the economy and society.

The delivery hubs

Bayes Centre

Easter Bush - Agritech

Edinburgh Futures Institute

National Robotarium (in partnership with Heriot-Watt)

Usher Institute

EIDF (Edinburgh International Data Facility)

Find out more on the Data-Driven Innovation Programme website

Health and Social Care Sector

The Usher Institute leads on activity within the DDI Programme focussed on the health and social care sector.  In September 2019 the City Region Deal Joint Committee approved the full Usher Institute business case, which will enable data-driven advances across the sector.

Programmes of work which have approved funding from the DDI programme currently include:


DataLoch logo
A collaboration between the South East Scotland region’s Local Authorities, NHS health boards and The University of Edinburgh that will help generate insights and innovation in health and social care.

Talent programme

Photo of students talking in Potterow
An ambitious plan for education and training will deliver new data capability for the health and social care sector.

Data-Driven Entrepreneurship

Financed by the Scottish Funding Council through DDI (Data-Driven Innovation), the University of Edinburgh is hosting a series of programmes to advance data-driven entrepreneurship and support a recovering society. These activities offer huge opportunities to innovative and entrepreneurial students, academics and staff at the University to develop their ideas, build their skills and connect their ideas to the world. There are also opportunities for external digital start-ups and scale-up companies to join programmes like the Accelerator and benefit from the expertise and talent on offer in Edinburgh.

More information can be found on the Data-Driven Entrepreneurship programme homepage.