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New R&D projects will help British businesses exploit large and diverse sources of data

1 March 2011

Over £5M of government funding is to be invested in twenty-one new research and development projects and trials aimed at helping stimulate the development of innovative technologies and strategies to enable businesses to extract greater value from large and diverse data sources.

The collaborative projects involve a mix of data creators, owners and custodians, together with technology providers from multiple disciplines as well as end users of data. The projects will be funded by the government-backed Technology Strategy Board with support from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

The research and development will be in two broad areas:

Harnessing diverse data sources - such as novel approaches to the integration of internal and external data sources, better methods to monetise and share assets across organisations and how to model and assess the value of data to a business;

Making sense of 'big data' - new or enhanced algorithms that will significantly speed up data analysis and novel visualisation technologies that will put complex and 'big' data in the right form to be more easily explored and understood.

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said: "We are delighted by the broad industry response to this call, covering applications including genomics, insurance and computer network management. External data sources present huge opportunities for business - the potential of public data alone has an estimated indirect value of between £10Bn and £100Bn. However, the specific ways in which value will be unlocked are not entirely clear yet. Opening up access to this data in the projects we are funding will utilise the UK's world-class strengths in areas relevant to data exploitation and allow us to take a lead in better understanding how large and diverse data sources can be harnessed for economic benefit."

The Technology Strategy Board will be investing a total of £5M in the twenty-one projects and the three research councils will invest a further £260,000 in three of the projects. The total cost of the research and development activity, including contributions from the companies involved will be in excess of £10M.


Notes to editors

Further information about the Harnessing Large and Diverse Sources of Data funding competition can be found at:

The offer of funding to the research and development projects is conditional and remains subject to the successful completion of the Technology Strategy Board's compliance and financial review processes and the review processes of the research councils involved.

The lead organisations for each of the projects are: BAE Systems (Operations) Ltd, BMT ARGOSS Ltd, Centre for Sustainable Energy, CountingLab Ltd, CorporatePay, Cunningham Lindsey, Cresset Biomolecular Discovery Ltd, Cybula Ltd, Dataline Software Ltd, Deloitte MCS Ltd, Eagle Genomics Ltd, Emnico Technologies Ltd, Farmvet Systems Ltd, HR Wallingford Ltd, ImageCat Ltd (trading as eCityRisk), Knowledge Now Ltd, Linguamatics Ltd, Ordnance Survey, Siemens Plc, Syngenta Ltd and TRL Ltd.

Companies and other organisations seeking information about Technology Strategy Board funding competitions should visit the Competitions page of the Technology Strategy Board website - , email, or phone the Competitions Helpline at 0300 321 4357.

Media enquiries only should be addressed to the Technology Strategy Board's media relations consultant or manager: Nick Sheppard, Media Relations Consultant - mobile: 07824 599644, email: or Claire Cunningham, Media Relations Manager - tel: 01793 442901, mobile: 07554 115745 email:

To see all press releases from the Technology Strategy Board please visit:

To subscribe to the Technology Strategy Board's RSS newsfeed please visit:

About the Technology Strategy Board

The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led government body which works to create economic growth by ensuring that the UK is a global leader in innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit:

About the EPSRC

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the UK's main agency for funding research in engineering and physical sciences. EPSRC invests around £850m a year in research and postgraduate training, to help the nation handle the next generation of technological change. The areas covered range from information technology to structural engineering, and mathematics to materials science. For more information see:

About NERC

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is the UK's main agency for funding and managing world-class research, training and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences. It co-ordinates some of the world's most exciting research projects, tackling major issues such as climate change, environmental influences on human health, the genetic make-up of life on earth, and much more. For more information see:


BBSRC is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £470M in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life in the UK and beyond and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders, including the agriculture, food, chemical, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors.

BBSRC provides institute strategic research grants to the following:

  • The Babraham Institute
  • Institute for Animal Health
  • Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (Aberystwyth University)
  • Institute of Food Research
  • John Innes Centre
  • The Genome Analysis Centre
  • The Roslin Institute (University of Edinburgh)
  • Rothamsted Research

The Institutes conduct long-term, mission-oriented research using specialist facilities. They have strong interactions with industry, Government departments and other end-users of their research.