Oxford big data centre to get £30 million

A “big data” health research centre at the University of Oxford has been announced as the latest to benefit from the government’s UK Research Partnership Investment Fund.

May 3, 2013

The Big Data Institute at the Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Information and Discovery, launched by Prime Minister David Cameron on 3 May, will be built using £10 million from the scheme, which is managed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

Government funding will be matched by a £20 million donation from Chinese entrepreneur and philanthropist Li Ka-shing.

The already complete first phase of the centre - the £35 million Target Discovery Institute - won another £10 million from the £300 million government scheme last year. It will house research generating data about disease using genomic and chemical screens, important for the early stages of drug discovery.

Meanwhile the Big Data Institute will focus on the analysis of large anonymised medical data sets - such as is collected through NHS electronic patient records, DNA sequencing, clinical trials and national registries - in an effort to improve detection, treatment and prevention of a range of conditions.

Both institutes that make up the centre will be based on the university’s Old Road Campus and together will house up to 600 scientists.

Big data is one of the “eight great technologies” outlined by universities and science minister David Willetts as government priorities in January.

Mr Cameron said: “The Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Information and Discovery will pioneer new advances in the analysis of medical data which can help scientists to better understand human disease and its treatment.

“This will help to further develop a strong and competitive science and research base in this country which is vital for the UK to compete and thrive in the global race.”

Oxford vice-chancellor Andrew Hamilton added that big data would “transform the way we treat patients and understand disease in the coming decades”.

“We are collecting much of this data already. We owe it to ourselves to make full use of it and deliver more effective treatments for all of us as patients. The Li Ka Shing Centre, and this enormously generous gift which underpins it, along with continued public investment, will be instrumental in driving this research forward,” he added.

Mr Willetts said the centre “yet again shows that charities and businesses want to collaborate with our excellent universities to tackle global challenges like public health”.

This is the fifteenth project funded under the UK RPIF scheme, for which universities must secure private funding worth a minimum of double the public contribution.

elizabeth.gibney@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 10 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Research Grant Writer UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER
Senior Manager (Projects and Space) ST MARYS UNIVERSITY, TWICKENHAM
Academic Solutions Assistant UNIVERSITY OF GREENWICH

Most Commented

Elly Walton illustration (7 July 2016)

Researchers in the liberal arts seem to have made it their mission to communicate in the most obscure fashion, says Zachary Foster

Daniel Mitchell illustration (14 July 2016)

Frank Furedi says the mournful mood on campus and the disparagement and silencing of Leave supporters betray an isolated scholarly class

Michael Parkin illustration (7 July 2016)

Rising immigration-related costs and lack of employer support send an unwelcoming message to international staff, says Jason Danely

Female Brazilian football/soccer fan celebrating with flag of Brazil, Best universities in Latin America

Brazil leads Times Higher Education’s debut ranking of the top universities in Latin America

People walk past second hand books for sale

Shift may be evidence that researchers feel they are increasingly judged on citations and journal impact factors