The Data Lab – Scotland’s innovation centre for data and AI – helped to generate £200 million in additional revenue since it was founded, says a new report.

In nearly its first decade of operation, the government-funded organisation helped create and safeguard more than 1,350 jobs, securing £90 million in research and development funding with Scottish, UK and EU consortia.

The organisation collaborated on more than 145 projects, including with Scottish universities and colleges, the 39-page document revealed, spanning multiple sectors.

Such projects have included the Smart Manufacturing Data Hub led by Ulster University, as well as working with NHS Highland to speed up bowel cancer diagnostics using AI-assisted colon capsule endoscopy.  

Brian Hills, CEO of The Data Lab, said: “The landscape of data and AI has completely changed over the last decade, leading to a greater understanding and appreciation of this technology. In the last 12 months alone, AI has become a technology no one can ignore and something that is set to completely revolutionise how organisations operate.

“However, embracing the use of data and AI requires skill, and it is reassuring that so many people recognise this. The fact that 80,000 people have registered for online courses created or funded by The Data Lab – with attendees coming from all levels within an organisation – is recognition of the huge desire to increase adoption of data and AI. Supporting so many people in their learning journey is an honour.” 

The innovation centre – established in 2014 – has also established a flourishing data and AI community which has grown to more than 3,500 members from across 60 countries since it was established in 2021.

Hills added: “Growing a thriving network of individuals to collaborate, network, engage and learn at various stages of their career is no mean feat, yet we are seeing people come together from all over the world to learn from each other.

“For years, we have recognised the value AI will bring to organisations. However, we also have seen an increasing demand for people to come together and exchange ideas within our community. With more people continuing to join the community each month as they recognise its value and the opportunity to connect with peers, we are proud of the journey of The Data Lab Community to date and can’t wait to see how this continues to evolve over the coming years. Ultimately, our vision is to create the world’s most impactful data community. ”