The Data Lab announces move to Aberdeen tech hub

Pictured from left at the launch are: Gillian Docherty, CEO, The Data Lab, Sir Ian Wood, Kate Forbes, MSP, Ian Watt, CEO of Code the City and Maggie McGinlay, Deputy Chief Executive of Opportunity North East.

The Data Lab – Scotland’s national innovation centre for data science and Artificial Intelligence (AI) – has announced a move to a new tech hub in Aberdeen.

As part of a commitment to ‘deliver significant impact to the north east’s growing tech and data science community’, the organisation, led by Gillian Docherty OBE, has located to the One Tech Hub in order to support regional economic growth goals.

At a special launch event on Tuesday, which included an address from Kate Forbes MSP, Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy, and a talk from Peter Van Manen, former Managing Director of McLaren Electronics, on the importance of real-time data, more than 130 delegates from across the Aberdeen business community gathered to celebrate The Data Lab’s latest milestone.  

Since 2015, The Data Lab has engaged with some 3,000 companies and participated in or led more than 170 events in the Aberdeen region. It has also hosted 75 events for the technology sector alone in the city, with more than 460 attendees and 192 companies.

In education, The Data Lab has funded 131 students as part of its MSc programme at Aberdeen, Dundee and Robert Gordon universities, meaning companies in the area can easily access data science students and graduates, enabling them to harness the power of data and artificial intelligence.

The Data Lab’s move to ONE Tech Hub, which is situated in Aberdeen city centre and home to the digital tech and entrepreneurship community in the north east, will enable the Innovation Centre to continue building new relationships and partnerships with firms across the region, further strengthened by the recent appointment of Cameron Gordon as Business Development Executive.

At the event, Peter Van Manen, who secured McLaren Electronic Systems as the official supplier of engine control units to all competitors in Formula One, NASCAR and IndyCar, discussed the other industries which can benefit from applying Formula One’s philosophy and approach.

He said: “Formula One arguably manages change and risk better and more quickly than any industry in the world, and much of this is underpinned by digital technologies. The contribution of science, measurement and mathematics to the success of the sport has been tremendous and there is much that can be translated into the energy, water, transport and other important sectors.”

Discussing the Aberdeen office launch and celebratory event, Gillian Docherty OBE, Chief Executive of The Data Lab, said: “We are proud to officially launch our new Aberdeen office, and are incredibly grateful for the support from the local business community, as we set our sights on further growth and impact in the region.

“It is an extremely exciting time just now for technology, data science and AI here in Aberdeen. Our move means we’re now based in the very heart of the city’s tech community, which will help us significantly build on the relationships we have forged, while also creating new ones, as we demonstrate our commitment to helping businesses capitalise on the opportunities innovating with data science and artificial intelligence can present.”

The Data Lab now has nationwide hubs in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness.