Edinburgh, UK The University of Edinburgh is to spend £40million building a facility to bring together a number of departments including Informatics and E-Science, as well as incorporating industrial partners. Work on the facility is planned to begin during 2005 and finish in 2007.
The University has also agreed a deal with Scottish Enterprise to work together on the commercialisation of the project by including incubator space for new companies as part of the building.
An economic impact study estimated the benefits of the project in fifteen years time as the creation of 550 jobs, an annual income effect of £41.7 million, the generation of over 180 spin out and start up companies providing over 7000 jobs and a turnover impact of around £580 million. There would also be a business and tourism spend for the local area of £1.2 million.
Grouped under the Informatics banner are Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science while E-Science is revolutionising the way scientists work with data, and home to the National E-Science Centre. The University believes that bringing these related disciplines together under one roof working alongside industrial partners, spin out and start up companies, will create a silicon power house in the centre of Edinburgh.
Professor Timothy O'Shea, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University, said, “The combination of scientific, academic and economic progress promised by this project makes it a very exciting prospect for the University of Edinburgh. This is the first in a new generation of University facilities, where industry and academia are brought together under one roof to deliver economic and scientific benefit.”